As I’m writing this article, I am divorcing with two children, so I want to share these negative realities of the situation, in order for you to be prepared and develop strategies to overcome them successfully. Divorce solicitors like Bates can help you out if you’re in the same situation.
1. Children are less resilient than we think
When you are a divorcing parent, many people tell you that “children are resilient”, so you shouldn’t worry too much about them. Actually this is not true at all. Children aren’t your extensions. They are human beings with their own feelings and emotions, so you can’t expect them to feel better about your divorce solely because you started to feel better and make peace with your new status. Children may have troubles in comprehending why their parents took such a radical decision in the first place. Some kids feel guilty and responsible for their parents’ actions and behaviors, therefore they become emotionally unstable or depressed. You may be fine with the fact that divorce is the best solution for the two of you, but your children have their own perception of the reality, which isn’t necessarily identical with yours.
It is very important that children are part of this process. They need to integrate the facts into their conscious mind, so that they can make peace with themselves. You need to talk openly about your divorce if you want your kids to understand it and get a vision of how their new life is going to be. It is a major change that might trigger grief and sorrow until it is fully processed and accepted by the young mind of a child. Explain your children what is happening and let them heal by themselves, with your support, of course. Don’t rush them, the healing process takes years sometimes, so be prepared and ready to help your kids if they need it.
2. Flipping out is common, even if it is only temporary.
Divorce is a major event in one’s life. It may trigger depression, addictions or even physical jeopardy in some cases. Such things can happen to any of the involved parties. The other spouse may have a hard time to understand this situation, especially if he or she is the one who asked for the divorce. The left spouse will feel desperate and abandoned, vengeful or terrified by the perspective of living the life alone from that moment on. No matter how hard it may be, both spouses need to understand their behavior has a major influence on their children, therefore they should temper their behavior and try to make the whole thing a civilized one. Empathy and patience are very important. At the end of the day, both spouses still love their children, despite the fact that they decided they don’t want to live together anymore. The well-being of their kids should be a priority for both parents.
3. Not all problems disappear after a divorce with children.
If you have children, you are going to be their parent for the rest of your life, even if you divorce your spouse. This may lead to unpleasant situations, as both of you will need to go on with your parenting duties and responsibilities. When a family breaks up, there are many questions that arise, questions regarding their prior agreements and about the best parenting methods and techniques. Moreover, financial problems may also become urgent, as there might not be enough money for properly taking care of two households.
Divorce occurs because of problems inside the family, but once it takes place, it generates new problems ex-spouses have to face. Children are in the middle of this tormenting situation, so they are the most exposed ones in the entire process. This is why both parents need to be adults and overcome their personal feelings in order to be able to offer a secure home to their offspring. Freedom after a divorce with children doesn’t come for free. There is a toll both spouses have to pay if they want their kids to suffer less and heal completely.
4. Divorce is a failure.
A divorce is always a failure. All marriages start as a lifetime commitment to stay together, to love and support each other until death do you part. Since you get a divorce, it means you failed in abiding to your commitment. Failures happen, we all have our share of them. The important fact is to be able to recognize them as failures and learn the lessons. This is what makes us wiser, so that we can do things better the next time. If we understand what went wrong and why we failed, we have more chances to improve. If we deny the evidence, we don’t grow. That’s how it happens that some people divorce even five or six times in a lifetime. They never learn, as they don’t accept the divorce as a failure. They seek for excuses, so they don’t have any reason to change anything in their own behavior.
5. Eat, Pray, Love is only a book, not the real life.
It’s definitely easier to get over a divorce when you are rich. However, not even rich people can afford to leave their kids and go on a pilgrimage around the world in order to heal their wounds faster. If you have children, you have responsibilities towards them. This situation doesn’t cease with the occasion of the divorce. You divorce your spouse, not your children. This is why you can’t simply disappear for one or two years as if nothing has happened. You need to live with your pain and go through the healing process while still doing your job as a parent. Life after a divorce is a struggle, but you must find ways to overcome it locally, you need to find the strength to manage your emotions and to be strong. Your kids need you more than ever, so you can’t afford to be weak if you care about their future.