Even though almost half of all marriages end in divorce, no one wants to believe it will happen to them. That’s why it’s such a shock divorce happens. Even if you choose a collaborative divorce, it will be painful. You will experience grief, whether you initiated the divorce or your spouse tells you she doesn’t want to be married to you anymore. Your life will be turned upside down, even if you want to have a “friendly” divorce.
Telling the Kids
It will be hard to tell your children about the divorce because they don’t want their family destroyed. It’s best if both parents tell them together; and above all, avoid arguing or blaming. Children have a hard time without watching mommy and daddy fight. Be prepared for tears, anger, silence or guilt from your children. Expect to have the conversation again, because there will be questions later.
Dealing with Grief
Approximately 90% of divorces among college-educated couples are initiated by women. This means the wife has generally worked through her grief and moved on to acceptance before she tells her husband. By contrast, he will experience shock and denial when he learns about the divorce. He won’t believe it’s happening and isn’t prepared to handle the overpowering grief. Once a husband moves beyond denial and comes to believe his wife is serious, most men become angry or try to bargain with their wife to save the marriage.
Your Friends Will Disappear
Many of your friends will disappear or take one spouse’s side during a divorce. They will drift away to avoid sharing your pain. Difficult as it may be to see your friends leave, it’s for the best. Surround yourself with the few friends who care about you. They will be there when you need them and will help you through the misery. Good friends can give you realistic feedback about how you are doing and help you make sensible choices during a difficult time.
Dealing with Guilt
Don’t feel guilty about divorce–it takes two to make or break a marriage. It’s not all your fault. People build their identity around work, marriage and family, so they feel diminished by divorce. Don’t give in to feelings of failure. Spend time with friends and family, go for a walk in the park and if you feel really guilty, see a counselor. Getting an objective professional view of your situation can help you grow.
Even a Collaborative Divorce Hurts
Even if you choose a collaborative divorce and try to deal with your spouse amicably, it’s still going to be painful. Litigation is worse, because the parties demonize each other to gain an advantage in dividing assets or managing the children. Either way, your life will change dramatically because you will have to move, your children won’t be around much and you will lose at least half your assets. There is no such thing as a good divorce–only bad and awful ones. You will resolve your grief sooner and your dispute more fairly through the collaborative process, but it will still be difficult and painful. Be prepared to face some serious challenges over the course of a divorce.
Nearly 90% of divorces among college-educated couples are initiated by the wife. This means many husbands begin the process with shock and disbelief. Even if they choose a collaborative divorce, it will be painful. Divorce is disruptive to parents and children. Every individual must work through the grief of divorce in their own way, so give them time. They will experience denial, anger, bargaining and depression before moving on to acceptance. Your friends may disappear because they feel uncomfortable. Divorce will change your life: you will live in a different place, see your children on a rigid schedule, and have much less money to spend. If you choose a collaborative divorce, you will resolve your grief sooner and your dispute with less pain. But, don’t expect a collaborative divorce to be easy–it’s not. There is no such thing as an easy divorce but a collaborative divorce is the better way to manage a divorce in Texas.