The notion of keeping a separation ‘friendly’ is a nice one but impractical. It will not help to stay in touch with your spouse and if it is absolutely necessary (children, shared business) be sure to keep contact to practical negotiations.
Don’t hold back
Make your feelings and position clear from the word go. It often helps to explain our anger and though this doesn’t mean screaming and shouting, discharging pent up emotion will help you to deal with the business side of divorce.
Even if your separation marks the end of unhappiness it also spells the end of a dream and the idea you would be with your spouse forever. It’s OK to feel sad about this and don’t try to stop your grief because it’s a necessary reaction and will ultimately help you get past it.
Don’t carry on as normal
Sticking your head in the sand and carrying on as normal is not going to make the situation better. Instead try to create new habits and associations. If you and your partner used to go for coffee every weekend at a particular place, go somewhere else, if you used to walk your dog together every morning then choose another route. They seem like small steps but will help you to realise you can do things on your own.
Consider what was important before your marriage
If you are expected to consider practical problems during the early stages of your divorce, for example furniture negotiation, then consider what was important before you got married. If you are in a bitter row over who gets to keep the recliner or the flatscreen TV with surround sound then take a step back and think about if you only want these things because your ex partner does. Think about the possessions you loved even before you were married.
Learn to be alone
Being alone is a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills. Try setting a goal for yourself every few months which involves either socialising or trying something new.