| The aftermath
of any divorce constitutes
some very definite realities. Although, the most immediate are of
the more painful variety, those who find themselves single
again can truly find happiness whether it is in a new primary
relationship or learning how to live alone
while being content to do so.
| However, in the meantime, coping
and the natural emotional downs that attend divorce can be extremely disconcerting
at first. Your survival will depend upon your coming to believe that
their is indeed life after divorce.
Having faith in the future will be a determining factor in how well you
deal with these post-divorce realities.. Those who do not work at
past a divorce will eventually exhibit bitterness, regret, and anger.
These emotional forms of cancer will plague your mind, eatup your soul,
and harden your heart.
The following insights concerning
these realities are included here to remind you that what you are experiencing
is common to all human experience when a marriage ends. You are in
good company. The key thought is to determine within yourself to
be one of the many who have overcome the immediate challenges that attend
the first few years of being newly divorced until such a times as you are
back on your feet again.
The Reality of
You began your marriages with a pledge to stay together
until "...death do us part." Perhaps you were the one who thought
that the marriage relationship was just
fine--that it would never end. After all, whatever problems you recognized
were certainly workable and things like family, shared history, and tradition
certainly should be the glue that holds two people together. Now
that your mate has divorced you, the fears that come with being uncertain
about your own ability to comprehend what really constitutes a good, solid
marital relationship have become questionable. As a result, the future
looks hazy and you are definitely shakey when it comes to inviting any
kind of a serious relationship into your life.
On the other hand, should you have been the one who initiated
the divorce, you might have already found someone with whom to share your
life. Perhaps you are simply single and enjoying your newfound freedom.
Nevertheless, the most recent data concerning those who think that their
divorce might have been a mistake indicate that 73% of the women and 60%
of the men believe this to be the case. The point is that the painful
effects of a marital breakup afflict even those who could not wait to be
free of their mates. It is simply human to doubt and those same doubts
bring a sense of uncertainty to even those who initiated the divorce.
|The Reality of
Guilt is a natural result of any divorce.
If you are the one who sued for it, feelings of guilt
regarding the other person can be an ongoing thing based on a number of
factors. Should your ex-mate have a particularly hard time dealing
with finances or emotional depression, your guilt might be amplified all
the more. In fact, half of those who divorce are forced to deal with
inadequate incomes and even clinical depression. Only the most hard
hearted are able to brush off any sense of responsibility toward their
former husbands or wives. The vast majority of us are left to deal
with the guilt of being the one who made the final decision and then seeking
the legal means necessary to end the marriage.
Should you be the one on the other end of the divorce,
you might also feel the brunt of guilt. Given the fact that hindsight
is always twenty-twenty, the realizations as to what you might have done
to save the marriage as well as recognizing those areas where you were
blind to what was really happening (or not happening) will further impact
your sense of being culpible.
Although, most newly divorced people expect to feel much
better about everything at the time the divorce is granted, that is not
usually the case. In fact, since guilt attends divorce, it may be
emotionally difficult for the first months and years following it.
the good news is that half of the men and two-thirds of the women say that
they are "more content with life" five years after a divorce than they
had been before.
Again, one must continue to believe in the future to get
past any sense of guilt.
The Reality of
It's hard to believe that half of all women and a third
of the men who divorce remain angry at their former spouse up to ten years
later. This has to do with the factor of forced changes that come
with the demise of a marriage relationship.
Middleaged women have an especially hard time. Less
than 28% of them will marry again. Statistically, most younger women
do marry again. Perhaps they are motivated by the need to have security,
someone to help them raise their children, or maybe it is purely biological
considering the normal need for intimacy during the reproductive years.
At any rate, 55% of females in their 20s and 30s report being much happier
than they were in their previous marriages. It is those who are forced
to make changes later on in life who resent them more.
Conversely, most men seem to be able to pull out of the
financial stresses caused by divorce within 3 to 5 years. Those who
were married for less than 20 years may not have to pay any spousal support.
However, those who were married longer will probably have to do so.
This will be determined by the divorce laws of the state where the divorce
takes place. Also, half of those men who are divorced will be paying
Having to deal with work, child raising (depending on
who gets custody), a lower standard of living, being alone, social stresses,
and the emotional upheaval of losing one's love can be overwhelming at
times. Yet, these changes are part of the realities brought on by
divorce. Still, you can adapt and manage any changes if you determine
to do so.
Keep in mind that, just as these changes were the natural
results of your divorce, change will continue and it will probably be for
the better if you decide now to do whatever it will take to succeed again
The Reality of
A third of divorced women experience a lower standard
of living as a result of divorce. Those who were never quite able
to attain to a middleclass lifestyle may even become impoverished as a
result. The cost of even getting a divorce can be overwhelming to
those in this type of situation. With the added expenses of trying
to have a social life or finding the means to get away from it all once
in awhile, trying to live a decent life can be very challenging.
Many men are forced to work longer hours and even take
second jobs to make ends meet, especially if they have child and spousal
support to pay. Those who once owned homes with attached garages
(filled with every imagineable gadget known to modern man) may end up sharing
a rental house with another divorced guy. In fact, the financial
ravages of going through a divorce may literally mean starting all over
Those who learn how to live within their means and are
determined to work hard to get ahead again are most likely to succeed.
The best way to avoid the uncertainty of the future,
regardless of the many forced changes resulting from a divorce, is to work
you have gotten past the legal stress of concluding your marriage as far
as the law is concerned, what follows may not necessarily be a great sense
of new freedom and independency.
Instead, you will have to contend
with lonliness, painful memories, having to find new friends, uncomfortable
changes, and wondering how you are going to pay your monthly bills.
These are all common realities following divorce.
Still, those who are willing to
lower their standard of living, face these realities, deal with them, and
get on with their lives find that these things are only temporary.
Life goes on for those who go with it.
No matter whether you carry the
lion's share of blame for your marital breakup or not, your best bet is
to move on. Leave the old baggage behind. Reinvent yourself
as a better person if that will help. Locate a local singles
group and become an active member. Get out and dance on the weekends.
Date some frogs. At least that way, you'll be getting out and rediscovering
If not, you'll end up living alone
as well as others wanting to leave you alone.
If you do work at pulling out of
the post-divorce period, you might very well end up living a whole new
wonderful life with someone who will treasure and cherish you for the rest
of your life.
© all rights reserved - 10/22/2001
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the basic human need to love and be loved takes on many forms which are
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