A stereotypical divorce is one that’s usually difficult, painful, and unhappy. In this episode, Virginia Gilbert joins host Jennifer Hurvitz to discuss how to recognize a high-conflict divorce and how to get through it. Virginia is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles who specializes in the treatment of high-conflict divorce. A Clinical Associate at the Center for Healthy Sex, she learned how to help adults challenged by sexual compulsivity. She is also a freelance writer who has written hundreds of articles on divorce and mental health topics and published her first book, Transcending High-Conflict Divorce: How To Disengage From Your Ex And Find Your Power.
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Getting Through A High-Conflict Divorce With Virginia Gilbert
This is going to be an extra special episode for me. Usually, I’m always talking about happy divorce this, happy divorce that, co-parenting and how wonderful happy divorces can be, but I have a special guest with me who’s going to help me out. Oftentimes, divorce is not happy. Divorce does not come easily. Divorce is not amicable. It’s tough and it’s hard. A lot of my guests are reading this going, “I wish I could have it as easy as Jennifer, but I don’t.” What do I do if I have a high-conflict divorce? I have a special guest with me who specializes in high-conflict divorce and how to disengage from your ex if you have problems that you can’t fix. My guest is Virginia Gilbert.
Virginia Gilbert is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles. She specializes in the treatment of high-conflict divorce and sex and love addiction. She’s a freelance writer and has written hundreds of articles on divorce and mental health topics. She published her first book, Transcending High-Conflict Divorce: How to Disengage from Your Ex and Find Your Power, which is available on Amazon. I know for a fact that it’s doing phenomenally. I’m excited to have her. Virginia, welcome to Doing Divorce Right. Thank you for coming. I’m glad you’re here.
I’m happy to be here. Thank you for having me.
I’m glad to have you because I’m always saying, “Happy divorce, you can do it,” but what a lot of people are in typical situations and don’t know how to get out of them. They’re struggling. Tell me what makes a divorce high conflict. What causes it?
I want to say that most divorces, initially, there’s a level of conflict. In a garden-variety divorce, the conflict dies down after about a year or so and people get into a good co-parenting routine. There is a whole bunch of other divorces that don’t ever get better. They don’t get through that high-conflict stage and they stay acrimonious for years. People can’t co-parent effectively and that happens. There are different types of people who find themselves in that situation. One type of person is what we call a high-conflict personality. They tend to have features of personality disorders or full-blown personality disorders, meaning they are narcissistic, borderline or histrionic. People like that have rigid ways of looking at things or the way they interpret reality is distorted.