Changing Life-Changing Decisions
Sometimes the most interesting observations come from the most interesting people. Susan Pease Gadoua is most definitely an interesting person with some interesting ideas gleaned from her time working as a licensed therapist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Susan has extensive expertise in marriage and divorce, she is the author of two books on the subject and has appeared many times in the media, including publication in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Psychology Today, and Divorce Magazine.
In a recent article published on the Psychology Today Web site titled Contemplating Divorce: Whether you should stay or go, Gadoua had some insightful comments on the pivotal events that occur in people’s lives and how they can cause people to make life-changing decisions. Unfortunately, one of the most common life-changing decisions they seem to make is choosing to get a divorce.
Gadoua says life-changing events like heart attacks, parents dying, job loss and car accidents are life-altering in their own right, but also events that are pivotal in that they can cause people to question whether they are living the best life they can. Following a major life event people often take a personal inventory and if they find that they are not be living their lives to their fullest extent they may decide to make big changes in areas involving their job, spouse, home and friends. While pivotal events can make relationships stronger and bring people closer, sometimes they bring the seeds of doubt too, and the result is often a divorce.
Susan Gadoua’s experience in these matters has led her to list three important and very useful considerations for people to think about before they go making any big changes in their lives following a pivotal event of any kind.
Susan’s first instruction is that people should not make any major life decisions for three months following a pivotal event. Since pivotal events are life-altering by themselves, they take time to sort out. Many people can fall into the trap of making a rushed decision due to a sense of imagined urgency. Making big decisions in a hurry can lead to mistakes and holding off for a while can allow time for better sense to prevail. As Gadoua noted, “If a decision is truly the right decision now, it will be the right decision in three months.”
The next big consideration is realizing that even if you are in the middle of a traumatic event, other people will be affected by it too. Those closest to you will certainly be impacted by your legal, health and financial events and taking their feelings and needs into consideration can help you make better choices in the long run.
Susan’s final admonition for those experiencing pivotal events is to always be sure to get another opinion before making life changes. It doesn’t matter whether the second opinion comes from a friend or a paid professional, people make better life decisions when they have someone to guide and counsel them.
Although pivotal events are often life-changing, those changes will be of a better nature and less destructive overall if a person will simply slow down long enough to consider the effects on others and talk about their situation before taking action on it.