There are two sides to every coin, and I will bet that just about everyone has been on both sides of this situation. In an article from The Huffington Post, writer Micki McWade discusses the different emotions between the spouse that leaves the marriage and the spouse that is left. Whether you are married or not, you have had relationships before and chances are you were in both of these shoes at one point.
The differences between emotions are pretty obvious in this situation. However, what I found reading the article is that my reaction to both situations made me look at my past relationships in a different light. For instance, when I was the one being left in a relationship my attitude became very "histrionic" just as McWade referenced. I was overly dramatic and emotional and felt like I had lost control of how to act normally. On the flip side, when I was the one leaving the person in the relationship, I felt immensely different. I was almost happy, sad to say, however I did feel bad for the person I was leaving. But overall I did not have the same feelings I did as when I was the one being left in a relationship.
This is what McWade refers to as surgery, "Divorce for most people is like surgery -- the cutting of norms on many levels." So the "cutting" and intensity of the surgery varies depending on which side of that coin you fall on. Are you leaving someone or are they leaving you?
The Anesthesia comes in to play mainly for the person who is leaving the relationship, especially if they are leaving and going to another partner. They receive these little "doses" of Anesthesia because they have begun a new relationship already. As McWade states it, "…for now, the romantic connection and fantasy soothes a lot of the worry, fear and strife during the adaptation to separation." Thus as McWade explains, "the non-initiating spouse experiences a deeper, more intense surgery, and without the emotional anesthesia, so the pain is obviously more intense and raw."
Read the entire article here