Separation and the agony of waiting: an exploration

I listen to many stories each week about the difficulties of separation and the inevitable changes that it brings to life. They often involve feelings of agony when waiting for an end result, and yearning to move past the present-day towards a better future.

A play I discovered that illustrates how it feels to be engulfed by the futility of waiting for something unknown and uncertain is “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett. It focuses on the character of Vladimir and his friend Estragon who meet on a lonely road beside a tree. They speak with humour and affection, but also noticeable brutality and desperation as they are both choosing to stay and wait for Godot, however long this may take.

One poignant quote from Vladimir is that “there is nothing to be done”, reflecting his powerlessness to influence what has come before, and what is to follow in his story. This uncertainty is discussed between he and Estragon throughout the play and at times overwhelms them both. But yet it is because of their underlying urge to wait for Godot – who we as the audience never learn the identity or origins of – that the two men ultimately decide they must stay and persevere.

What struck me in this play was the portrayal of how debilitating the process of waiting was for both characters, and how they communicated with one another to ease their mental and emotional struggles. The friendship between Vladimir and Estragon is similar to that of a long-term relationship where they knew each other’s tendencies and vulnerabilities so well that they could provide distraction and relief during moments of weakness and misery.

I have seen this dynamic in my work within family law, from those telling me their stories about the breakdown of their relationships. It is a natural desire to want to share and offload to someone who will listen to your needs with compassion and non-judgment. The agony of being stuck in the space of separation, the powerlessness of not knowing what to do about it, and the spark of hope that can be nurtured with the right information and support are all deeply human feelings.

And it is in times of chaos that connecting with those who nurture and care for us can be life-changing. Surrounding ourselves with positivity and those who value us for who we are and what we stand for reaffirms our faith in ourselves. It can also give us the strength to navigate very difficult times ahead. Finding a clear endpoint, with proper guidance and support as to the best way to get there is important too. This is where close friends, family and trusted professionals can make all the difference, helping us to create the road map we need.

Naturally, there are challenges along the way for each client. This can resemble having to patiently allow their ex-partner to come to the same realisations they did about the end of their relationship, or face this process themselves of being told by their partner that they no longer want to be together. There are also the realities of what this decision means for your children; the innocent bystanders who must adapt to the changes imposed upon them and manage their own grieving for a life that will never be the same again.

Vladimir and Estragon showed me a narrative that provided insight and a new perspective on the mundane yet significant process of waiting. Their story also emphasized the need and benefit from the right input at the right time – something that is deeply impactful in the separation space.

At Creative Family Law Solutions, we listen deeply, connect and provide you with the information and support you deserve. We take every little spark you have, nurturing it from a flame of hope to a fire of certainty and confidence. One that helps you embrace time and the belief that your journey is leading to a better life with new opportunities for personal growth. To discuss your needs, goals and legal options, contact us here.

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