Read these 10 Divorce Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Marriage tips and hundreds of other topics.
A researcher Paul Bohannan described the divorce process as an intense journey that includes six different experiences with various different phases. The six phases are (1) the emotional divorce, which focuses on deterioration of sharing thoughts and feelings; (2) the legal divorce, which focuses on the legal arena; (3) the economic divorce, which has to do with money and property; (4) the co-parental divorce, which deals with custody and visitation rights; (5) the community divorce, which involves a change is social groups, friendships, and community relationships, and (6) the psychological divorce, in which the individuals try to work towards being single again and gaining individual autonomy.
Parents can help their children in the process of adjusting to divorce, if they follow the guidelines below. These guidelines are based upon advice from experts on family relations:
1) all the children should be told at the same time about the divorce
2) children should be told only as much as they need to know
3) children need to know that they have not caused the divorce
4) parents must emphasize the finality of their decision
5) arrangements for the children's care should be carefully explained
6) children should be reassured of both parents' continuing love
7) children should be encouraged to express fear, sadness, and anger
8) limits should be set on children's behavior
9) parents should enlist the help of other adults
10) battling parents should declare a truce when they are with the children
11) children should not be used as weapons
12) parents must recognize the conflict between their needs and their children's needs
13) children's lives should be changed as little as possible
14) parents should use whatever resources they can find for themselves and their children
Many times when one spouse chooses to leave a marriage it devastates the other spouse. They often plead with their spouse not to leave. Unfortunately, such efforts are not accepted and further rejection is felt. In situations like this it becomes important for the person being left to find inner strength. At times like this it doesn't have to be pleading and begging, it can simply be "I love you and wish you wouldn't go, but I cannot stop you." This lets your spouse know how you feel and it also let them know that you understand your value. When one partner leaves it is common to feel rejected and unloved. It is important to realize that such feelings are common but each and every one of us are of value and we need to show our spouse we understand our true value even if they don't.
When you and your spouse divorce don't badmouth your spouse, or anyone else in your family. Hold children to this rule as well. Children will not love you more if you attempt to make your spouse the bad guy in their eyes. This only makes it difficult for them, and at some point they will more than likely resent you for your attacks. Children need to feel it is okay to love both parents without making anyone unhappy.
Before a marriage ends it is always helpful for individuals to learn how to create boundaries with their soon to be ex-spouse. Divorce is difficult and it is hard for many couples to not to hurt each other. However, if proper boundaries are set divorce can be a little easier. Such boundaries might include: no sex, spending less time interacting, discussing only issues that relate with finances or children. Sometimes the partner who wants the divorce will send mixed messages such as wanting warmth and affection, but once they have got what they wanted they emotionally cut-off again. This sends mixed messages. That is why boundaries are important. If you are divorcing consider what boundaries are important for you to develop.
Adjusting to divorce is not easy for any child. However, researchers have found that children have certain "tasks" that can improve their chances of successfully surviving their parents divorce. Below is the list:
a) acknowledge the reality of the marital rupture
b) learn to disengage from parental conflict and distress and resume common interests
c) resolve loss
d) resolve anger and self blame
e) accept the permanence of the divorce
f) achieve realistic hope regarding relationships
Divorce is something that lasts a lifetime. No, this doesn't mean that life is over, it just means that going through divorce will impact the rest of your life. Moving on is possible but it requires learning new relationship skills and solving unhealthy patterns. Many times it requires a new beginning. My recommendation is to find new connections or renew old connections with family and other friends. I believe connections post divorce are the most critical for healing. One word of caution here is that this connection doesn't have to be sexual (that can be dangerous). I also recommend that individuals dealing with the loss of divorce begin developing new rituals and events that create hope and replace the old ones from marriage.
There are many times in which a relationship is not abusive, yet the couple still wonders if it is time to end things. One of the most important factors to consider is which has a better beneficial outcome, to repair or to replace?
Obviously, there is something missing if the couple is considering breaking up. Something is in need of fixing, change, and moving forward. It is then that both sides of the relationship need to determine a few factors.
To repair the relationship can be painful. You will most likely have to face a number of truths that will not exactly be pleasant, both about yourself and your partner. It will take time, energy and more to help put the relationship back on track. In fact, this could take weeks, months, or even years to do. It may be impossible. However, it is possible that you could end up with a better relationship than you had to begin with back when things were not strained.
To replace the relationship means ending it. It also means going through the steps of trying to find another suitable partner, including enduring the dreaded "dating scene." This, too, can take a great amount of time and has no guarantee of a positive outcome.
When deciding to either repair or replace your relationship, be realistic with yourself as to the steps that would need to be taken in each of these scenarios. By comparing and contrasting the two, you can decide if the relationship just needs to be repaired or whether it should ultimately be replaced with someone new.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|