For some couples, after repeatedly fighting, name calling and maybe even violence, followed by marriage counseling, talking with a pastor and other trusted friends, reading every book on happy marriages, and seeking every other available alternative to permanently leaving a spouse , divorce seems to be the only solution to an unhappy marriage, and reconciliation seems impossible. Women initiate 85% of divorces, and 90% of men think they can save their marriage in the courtroom. Here’s some advice for those of you, both men and women, who have exhausted every option and see divorce as the only remaining option.
Divorce – On Your Own
Getting divorced can be scary, not only because of leaving your spouse, but additionally because suddenly you’re on your own. Some of the following issues can be overwhelming and uncomfortable:
Where can you turn for guidance? Who can be trusted? How do you let go of that person who was a major part of your life for so many years, and who you were looking forward to spending a lifetime with? How do you avoid ongoing denial? How do you keep bitterness from creeping into your thoughts and hurting your other relationships? Whatever you do, don’t allow your thoughts to be dominated daily with extremely negative ideas! The pain is real, but there are opportunities to spend your time with other needy, lonely people, and get your thoughts off of your own problems. Making other people feel good makes us feel great too.
Make sure you find someone you trust to help you continue to provide for the children, whether you have possession of them or only occasion visitation rights. Don’t let them suffer, even if you are grieving terribly. One funny and likely fictitious story has a couple waiting until they’re in their nineties before they get divorced, and their children are dead from old age, so that the kids’ feelings aren’t hurt. It’s also a fact that your former spouse has a different relationship with your kids now, and they need to know that daddy or mommy won’t be around as much, but isn’t gone (in most cases). Talk to them. Grieve with them. Help them. They desperately need you, even if they seem to be just fine. Develop a plan, include them, and enjoy life with them and your other loved ones and friends who care very much about you. You are not alone. Enjoy life. Find something you can really enjoy, like go on a vacation, and do it!