Divorce and Children If you have children, and many couples divorcing do, it is important…
Many couples enter a marriage expecting they will never get divorced. This is easy to do when you are wrapped up in the feelings of first or “true” love. However, one has to be practical and realistic when it comes to relationships. For one reason or another, it seems that in many industrialized parts of the world, divorce is the standard rather than the exception to the rule.
Common Causes For Divorce
There is no one single reason why people divorce. Cultural and societal beliefs and ideals may play a huge role in one’s decision to divorce. However, more often than not, the most commonly cited reason for divorce is “irreconcilable differences” between couples.
There are many reasons for this, including:
- People marry too young, without getting to know each other well and find out that they are not a good fit for each other in the first few years of their marriage.
- One partner commits an act which is unforgivable by the other partner, as in many cases of unfaithfulness.
- One partner may be emotionally abusive.
- Each partner may realize they have grown apart during marriage.
- Sometimes people marry without much thought ending up in an impasse in their relationship.
- One or both partners’ interests and life styles diverge so extremely, it makes living together impractical.
- People fall “out” of love for each other, just as they fall in love.
- When marrying, one or both partners do not treat the marriage contract as sanctimonious.
- One partner has ambitions to move in another direction, or his or her personality and behavior changes in a way that is less appealing to the other.
- One or more partners do not make an effort to learn to “communicate” with the other during a relationship. A relationship is not just about “Me” but in most cases “We.” To understand the “we” part, communication is the key to the success of a marriage, and even to an amicable divorce.
This list is by no means comprehensive, and there may be other reasons that are unique to your relationship. Your reason for divorcing may involve a complex combination of different reasons.
The Impact Of Divorce On You and Your Partner
Divorce can have many consequences for you and your family. Your family circle may include you, your ex, your children, your in-laws, mutual friends and many others. It is important that you recognize how far-reaching the consequences of your divorce may be, so you can address each of your family member’s concerns properly.
Divorce and You
If you have an interest in preserving your family ties, then your number one job is to identify how divorce has impacted you and what you plan to do about it. You can’t help your family members if you don’t first learn how to cope with divorce and go on with your life. You have to become stable in your new environment so you can care for your children and serve the best interests of your extended family.
How do you do that?
- Identify the reasons that led to your divorce. Were there communication issues? Did you fall out of love with your partner? Did your partner commit an unforgivable act? Did your partner fall out of love with you?
- Identify the stressful feelings you now face.
- Seek the help of friends, family and a counselor to work through each of these issues so you can reduce your stress and focus on your well-being.
- Learn how to rediscover what life is like as a single person. This may mean staying away from or avoiding jumping into another relationship immediately to fill the “void” you may now feel in your life.
Remember, at some point in time, you did love the person you married. You may still love that person, but now in a different way. Divorce is not always a bad event. It can help you rediscover who you are and teach you to become a better communicator, lover and parent.
If you divorced because your partner was violent or dangerous, then you are likely to spend most of your time focusing on how to improve your self-esteem, your confidence and your ability to move on and protect your health and your children.
Children are often the most harshly impacted during divorce. The idea that “mom” and “dad” are no longer together often is confusing to children. It can lead to behavioral problems, lashing out, frustration and anger. Your children may need assistance and even therapy to help them overcome their confusion.
By focusing on how to improve your situation and your life after divorce, only then you can help your family members to cope with divorce in a positive way. Once you start examining how divorce affects YOU, then you can evaluate how divorce impacts those around you. You can also evaluate how other family members can cope with divorce.
Divorce and Your Partner
Many people harbor resentful feelings toward their partner during a divorce. You may not realize your partner may feel hurt and upset just like you. Remember, no one wants to go into a marriage with the expectation that it will someday end in a bitter way.
If there is a chance for reconciliation and you BOTH want it, then go for it. But don’t push it too much, if you both think that divorce is the best route to go. For the sake of your family, it is best that you try to understand your partner’s feelings and decisions rather than attack your ex each time you see him or her.
By doing so you will limit the negative impact the divorce has on you and your family. This is especially important if you have children, because no child deserves to see their mother or father engaged in heated quarrel time after time.
If you find you have a hard time overcoming feelings of anger or helplessness during divorce, or can’t stand the sight of your ex, work with a trained counselor or therapist to develop a program of action that will allow you to better understand divorce and help you alleviate your anger as well as nurture better feelings in a more productive way.
In many cases, however, it is possible to establish a healthy relationship with your ex and promote a better environment for your children to grow in as well as an environment where you can develop renewed confidence and hope within yourself.
Life After Divorce – Unwedded Bliss!
No one enters a marriage “wanting” to get divorced. But, divorce is a fact of life. It happens. If it does, remember that it should not necessarily reflect on you poorly as a person or partner. If you gave your marriage a good try and failed, simply try to move on. Always look to the future rather than dwell on the past. This is how you can gain mastery over your physical, emotional and spiritual wellness.
In the early stages of a divorce, you may find yourself feeling guilty, angry, frustrated, depressed and upset no matter what your reasons are for separation. The first step toward getting back to “new” normal is to establish a lifestyle you can easily maintain, one where you feel happy and rewarded because you deserve it.
This is often very difficult for people to do in the early stages of separation. Many recently divorced people feel depressed or harbor negative feelings. Sometimes this is expressed through shopping sprees. Other times it may result in someone jumping into another relationship too quickly.
Emotional and Spiritual Growth Following Divorce
Sometimes it really is in the best interest of both parties to separate. People grow, develop, change and learn throughout their lives. During this process, it is common for people to fall “out of love” with someone else.
You may find it helpful to imagine your divorce as a “rebirth” rather than a separation. It is like springtime, a time when things grow, develop and flower into something new and exciting. If you imagine your life after divorce like spring, you will open your eyes to the new opportunities that lie ahead.
These opportunities may include:
- An opportunity to grow and develop as a person.
- An opportunities to explore a new career, a new relationship and meet new friends.
- A chance to explore your emotions and learn something new and invigorating about who you are and why you are in this situation.
- A chance to forge new bonds with your children.
- An opportunity to control your anger, frustration and guilt and transform it into a positive change, growth and stability.
Make sure to take some time alone and find out who you are, what you want to do and who you enjoy being around now that you are single again. By being alone, you have the ability to discover new and exciting things.
Spend some time with trusted people around you who care about you and your welfare. You may find that sometime you need to rely on them for strength and courage, love and understanding. They can also help boost your self-esteem and confidence when things seem to look bleak.
Consider the time after divorce as a time to explore your new life, the next chapter in your life. Are there things you always wanted to do but couldn’t? Why not try them now?
Pursuing A New Relationship Too Soon
One thing you may want to avoid is jumping back into a new relationship too soon. Many recent divorcees immediately jump back into the dating scene right after they are divorced. You need to do some soul searching before you pursue a new relationship. Are you dating again so soon because you really like someone, or because you want to erase your feelings of sadness or remorse?
Undoubtedly you’ve heard of people who divorce once, twice, three times or even more. This pattern demonstrates some distress and helplessness on the part of the person remarrying and divorcing afterwards, rendering them perhaps incapable of entering into a mutually satisfying relationship.
Before you jump into another relationship, take some time to figure out why you ended up where you are now, and how you can prevent it from happening again in the future. Many people find it more helpful to spend some time alone following a divorce to explore their new life and reevaluate what they want out of life. You should always feel powerful, as though you have the ability to achieve and conquer any obstacle that comes your way, including divorce.
Some people divorce and find that they feel relieved from the very start. However, the chances are that you will want to do some soul-searching following your divorce. When looking back, you should focus on the positive parts of your past relationship rather than dwelling on the negative aspects of it. For example, what good came out of your relationship? Your children, for one; your renewed sense of power and confidence.
Never sit back and let depression, guilt, anger or frustration dominate your life. If you do, these feelings will eventually overcome you and render you incapable of moving on. If you are still coping with negative feelings, make sure you see a therapist, one that can evaluate your circumstances and help you feel better.
Remember that there is life after divorce, and it can be rewarding. So consider it an opportunity to make a fresh start. We wish you the best in your journey towards a healthy, happy and new beginning.