Do You Really Want a Divorce?

Getting a divorce is one of the most emotionally stressful events in a person’s life.  Only the death of a one’s spouse or child creates more stress than a divorce.  It will also have an impact on several aspects of your life and can change your entire lifestyle.  Before you begin the process of getting a divorce, you need to take some time to think about how it will affect your life.  This post will help you examine a few of these things.


Legal Divorce

In emotional terms, this is the easiest part of divorce.  It is simply the breaking of your matrimonial bonds; the termination of your marriage contract and partnership.  The stress created here is that of going through a court system procedure and having to deal with your spouse as you go through it.  However, when compared to the other aspects of divorce, the legal divorce doesn’t last as long.  On the other hand, the legal divorce can be the most confrontational and emotionally explosive stage.

Social and Emotional Divorce

Divorce can have a tremendous impact of your social and emotional lives, which may continue long after you are legally divorced.  These impacts include:

Lack of companionship :  Even if your marriage is one of the most miserable, you may still notice at least a little emptiness, loneliness or solitude after the divorce.  It may not be that you miss your spouse in particular, but just miss another person being around.

Grief :  Divorce may be viewed as the death of a marriage, or maybe the funeral ceremony for the death of a marriage.  And like the death of anyone or anything you’ve been close to, you will feel a sense of loss.  This aspect can take you through all of the normal feelings associated with grief, such as guilt, anger, denial, and acceptance.  You’ll get angry and frustrated over the years you’ve “wasted.”  You’ll feel guilty because you “failed to make the marriage work.”  You’ll find yourself saying, “I can’t believe this is happening to me.”  And, for months or even years, you’ll spend a lot of time thinking about your marriage.  It can be extremely difficult to put it all behind you, and to get on with your life.

Dating :  After divorce, your social life will change.  If you want to avoid solitary evenings before the TV, you’ll find yourself trying to get back into the “single’s scene.”  This will probably involve a change in friends, as well as a change in lifestyle.  First, you may find that your current friends, who are probably all married, no longer find you, as a single person, fit in with their circle.  Gradually, or even quickly, you may find yourself dropped from their guest list.  Now you’ve got to start making an effort to meet single people at work, church, the gym and other places where you spend time.  This experience can be very frightening, tiring and frustrating after years of being married.


Financial Divorce

This can be a very long and drastic adjustment.  Divorce has a significant financial impact in just about every case.  Many married couples are just able to make ends meet.  After getting divorced there are suddenly two rent payments, two electric bills, etc.  For the spouse without custody, there is also child support to be paid.  For at least one spouse and often for both, money becomes even tighter than it was before the divorce.  Also, once you divided your property, each of you will need to replace the items the other person got to keep.


Children and Divorce

The effect upon children, and your relationship with them, can often be the most painful and long-lasting aspect of divorce.  Your family life will be permanently changed, as there will no longer be the “family.”  Even if you remarry, step-parents rarely bring back that same family feeling.  Your relationship with your children may become strained as they work through their feelings of blame, guilt, disappointment, and anger.  The strain may continue for many years.  Your children may even need professional counseling.  Also, as long as there is child support and visitation involved, you will be forced to have at least some contact with your ex-spouse.


Photo Credit: Visual Hunt