If you have empathised with Julia Roberts every time she sobbed and felt lost and confused in Eat Pray and Love, you will perhaps know what it takes to step out of your comfort zone and embark on a new journey of self-discovery, after your marriage comes to an end. Saying divorces are difficult is a cliche. You know how it feels like only if you have been there. But Robert’s character in the movie suggests that it might take time to deal with the dreaded D, but eventually, everything falls in place.
If you are going through a rough patch in your marriage and contemplating divorce, here’s everything you need to know to help you deal with it better.
Divorce predictors can be different for different couples. For some the trigger can be that either of you (or both) have different priorities now, leading to frequent disagreements or fights that turn hostile most of the time. Here are a few indicators of a troubled marriage that you should not avoid:
One of the major reasons why marriages head south is trust issues. If your partner fails to remain loyal to you and is a serial cheater, it’s time for you to reconsider your marriage.
If you are constantly thinking about being single or being with someone else, it means you are not in a happy relationship. Unless both of you try to solve the problems together, there is very little chance that things will work out between you two.
Abuse can be of different types and does not necessarily mean only violence or physical assault. If you feel intimidated by your partner or you do not share things with him because you are scared of him, even that’s abuse. If he humiliates you or puts you down, is jealous and possessive, forces you to have sex or threatens to hurt you or the children, then you are in an abusive relationship.
Contempt and resentment are interrelated. When you are full of negative thoughts about your partner, you are likely to turn resentful towards them. This takes up the space of intimacy and love in the relationship.
You are not in a healthy marriage if your partner refuses to understand your physical needs and if your sex life goes through long dry spells. In short, sex is no longer working in your relationship.
For many of us, divorce is not even an option until we have tried all other resorts to make the relationship work. If you have painstakingly pursued every other alternative but every time you come to the conclusion that divorce is the only solution, then make sure that you know what you are heading into. Ask yourself these questions the moment the thought of divorce hits your mind.
Before you take the big tough decision, take a while to analyse your marriage and your partner’s role in its fall. Is he willing to take responsibility or address the issues affecting the relationship?
Anger and resentment can make you believe that divorce is the only option. But before you part ways, hit pause and analyse have you ever tried talking to your partner about the things that bother you?
If you feel that divorce is the only solution to your troubled marriage, be sure of your rights first to ensure a fair financial settlement and child maintenance.
Divorces can be complicated, especially when there are kids and money involved. Make sure the lawyer you choose has expertise in family law and child custody. If you know someone who has gone through a divorce recently, ask them for recommendations.
Talk to a licensed marriage and family therapist (with your partner) who can help you work out things. Sometimes the expert advice of a third party is all that you need to save your failing marriage.
From trying to communicate with a difficult ex to single-handedly managing your finances (for the first time in a while), there are several repercussions of divorce that one has to deal with. Trust us, it is not an easy ride. Here are a few tips to help you cope with the situation without losing your sanity.
With a divorce, you experience a series of conflicting emotions. You might feel relieved at one moment and could be hit by self-doubt the next. Feelings of rage, shock and depression are common, but the better you navigate these feelings, the faster you will be able to accept the reality. Remember, all of these feelings are natural and it's human to feel the way you are feeling. Just give it some time and you will be alright.
There will be people who will blame you and then there will be people who will encourage you to ‘spill the gossip’. Stay away from anyone who either pities with your situation or anyone who makes you feel that you owe an explanation to them. Talk to friends who genuinely care about you, who uplift you and who help you move on in life.
Things can get critical if there are children involved in the divorce. You and your partner should be overly sensitive while breaking the news of the divorce to the children. It’s always better to break the news together. Your divorce should not have any impact on your children. Tell the kids that you love them and they are in no way responsible for the divorce.
If you and your partner have been managing finances together, or if your partner was the one dealing with money matters, then you may feel sceptical about your ability to manage your finances alone. Chalk out a monthly budget to allocate finances wisely and also set aside funds for savings.
You have been living the married life for so long that you have forgotten who you are as a person. You have been so engrossed in playing the role of the wife and mother that your own interests and hobbies have taken a backseat. Now is the time to rediscover yourself and your passion in life. So live, laugh, love and find out what makes your heart sing. Then follow it with all your might.
Stop being too harsh on yourself. Show yourself some love and care because you deserve that. Before anyone else, be forgiving and compassionate to yourself. Love yourself because only love will get you through to the other side.
Things might be so bad right now that it feels like the end of the world. But remember that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Time will heal all the wounds and a new morning will await you. Until then, stay positive and don’t lose hope.
Here are a few FAQs about divorce that will help you understand it better:
Yes, you can file for a divorce even if your spouse is not ready.
Minimum six months. Time may vary depending on the complexity of the case.
Varies from case to case depending on the financial status of the applicants.
A minimum of two times. The rest depends on the complexity of your case.
Usually, mothers are given custody of children below the age of 5. For older children, custody can be given to either of the parents depending on their financial conditions and parenting skills.
These women-centric organisations can come to the rescue of women who are going through a tough time. These can help them come out of a difficult marriage and live a safe life by offering financial support and vocational training.
A 24*7 helpline for women who feel lonely, distressed and suicidal. You can call, write or even meet the volunteers in person to get non-judgemental advice to the problem you are dealing with.
Angala aims to help victims of violence both in and outside a marriage. The organisation helps women find an accomodation, get a job, and take care of their children. Also, in case of reconciliation with an abusive husband, the organisation checks on the victims from time to time to ensure they are living a life of dignity.
The organisation offers financial independence to women who continue to stay in an abusive relationship because they are financially dependent on their spouse. The Foundation trains women in self defense and driving, educates them on their rights and helps them find employment.
If you think nobody understands what you are feeling right now, these books will give you a little context and offer the much needed emotional support.
The guide you need to remind yourself that you are enough. The book will remind you again and again why it is important to love yourself even if your marriage didn’t work.
Just when you think you have lost everything, there will come a moment when you will rise from your loss and your fears and be the best version of yourself. This tale of love and loss is for every woman who wants to find her true self.
This book by Byron Katie will help you come out of a broken marriage without feeling like a victim. Only when you let go the hopes and expectations you had from a relationship, can you feel a sense of freedom in your life.
The logic that you need to your emotions, especially when you have no idea where your marriage is going. If you find yourself stuck in a situation when you don’t know whether to stay in the marriage or call it quits, this book is what you need.
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