Even though forcibly separated couples often face similar challenges to those who separate consensually, for reasons such as undocumented immigration purposes, they also face some distinctive differences. According to Dr. Angelina, when couples are separated forcibly, it undermines elements that make being in a couple so meaningful and can lead to anxiety or even depression
Forced separation can negatively affect the following aspects of your life:
- Proximity: Physical closeness involves being able to hug and hold hands with someone. It provides contact comfort and a powerful connection when someone touches you.
- Support: The everyday routines and conversations of a relationship are essential. In order to ensure a long-term relationship, couples must be able to communicate about the most important topics, including finances and children.
- -Sexual Intimacy: The sexual and romantic life of a couple creates physical and emotional closeness between partners, and the loss of an intimate relationship creates anxiety and worry about being replaced.
In many cases, couples are also forced to consider how separation will impact their family unit. Couples are concerned not just about themselves, but also about their children. Children are affected from a forced separation, this trauma that the family ultimately goes through is considered an exceptional hardship and therefore, it falls into the “Exceptional Hardship Waiver” criteria.
People who are separated from their loved ones, whether by choice or force, often struggle to cope with legal issues while dealing with shame and stigma. People without documentation may turn to trusted sources such as friends and ministers rather than seeking professional assistance. Although turning to people that create a comfort sense, getting professional help is necessary and, often times, the only way to solve the existing problem.