Every marriage is unique and each couple has their own issues and conflicts. In one marriage for example, the spouses may have built up a lot of resentment over the years and they practically cringe whenever they’re in the same room together.
These types of couples may have fantasized about divorce for years before one of them finally threw in the towel and contacted a divorce attorney. Usually, it’s the woman to file for divorce. Why? Because statistically, women file for divorce far more often than men, though a smaller percentage of men still do initiate divorce filings.
In another marriage, it can be quite different than the one described above. The couple may be going along living their life and everything seems perfect to one spouse. Perhaps this one spouse is quite content with the relationship but he or she has no clue that their spouse has been miserable or that they have been having extramarital affairs until one day the unhappy spouse drops the “D Bomb,” packs their bags and leaves.
Your Unique Divorce Story
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably on the road to divorce or seriously considering it. Like all other divorcing couples, you have your unique story. While it’s possible for you to identify with the first or second couple mentioned above, your situation could certainly fall somewhere in between.
In our experience as divorce lawyers, in the majority of divorce cases, there were warning signs or red flags that divorce was on the horizon. Rarely, is someone caught completely off-guard when their spouse wants to call it quits.
Whether you’ve been dreaming about getting a divorce and finally being single again or if you’re having a very hard time coming to terms with the end of your marriage, we want to discuss the emotions that you can expect to come in the next year. Because nothing and no amount of talking to divorced friends or family can fully prepare you for the whirlwind of emotions that you may experience in the months ahead.
In this article, we hope to shed light on the strong emotions experienced by spouses as they move through the divorce process so you can emotionally prepare for the future.
It Was Easier to Be Uncomfortable
With divorce being so socially acceptable these days, it’s easy for never married individuals to look at an unhappy married friend and say, “If you’re so unhappy, why don’t you just divorce already?” Yeah right, for most people that’s easier said than done.
When people get married, they have invested a lot. They may have poured a small fortune into a wedding, they may have bought a house together, bought cars together, taken vacations together, and started a family. These are not small things; they are very BIG things and they have a big impact on a person.
When you build a life with someone, you’ve developed relationships with in-laws, had your child’s birthday parties together, gone to the doctor together, gone grocery shopping together, walked the dog together – virtually every single aspect of your life involves your spouse. As such, it can be very difficult to cut ties with this other person who has played such a major role in your life.
Because so much of a person’s identity is intertwined with their spouse, it can be a lot easier to just stay in an unhappy marriage then file for divorce. Often, people in unhappy marriages simply find it easier to be uncomfortable than get a much-needed divorce. If you have felt this way before, know that you’re not alone.
It Can Be Hard for the Person Who Files
In life...it can be so tempting to change one’s mind. When you’re single, you can find yourself back in the arms of an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, not once, but several times. However, since you’re not financially tied to this person, it’s not as difficult to say goodbye as it is to a husband or wife.
But when you’re married and you initiate the divorce, it can be hard to stand your ground, especially when your spouse is begging you to come back or promising to finally change and do what you’ve been asking them to do all along.
If you’ve been unhappy for a long time and you are the one to finally pull the plug on the marriage, you may find yourself wavering because staying may seem like the route of least resistance. However, if your spouse has been physically or emotionally abusive or if they cheated on you, the decision to move forward with the divorce may not be hard. In any case, if you find yourself struggling to do what you know is right, which is to end an unhealthy marriage, know that you’re not alone.
If you’re struggling with your emotions and you know divorce is the right thing to do, stay strong and think with your head instead of your heart, especially if you’re in a toxic relationship that involves name-calling, stonewalling, emotional abuse, physical abuse, infidelity, persistent substance abuse, or any combination of the above.
Your Future Looks So Different Now
As half of a married couple, you probably thought you had your life mapped out, but once you realize you’re getting a divorce, suddenly that future takes a completely different course. It can be an odd feeling to realize that your life will never be the same. You can have the same job or career but now that you’re getting divorced, your life will take a different path and it’s a complete mystery.
While this can be frightening, it’s best to embrace it and instead of fearing the unknown, decide to feel excited about what the future now holds. Of course, it may take you some time to heal from the divorce itself, but at the same time realize the future is wide open and it’s what you make of it.
Next: 7 Pieces of Divorce Advice
If you’re looking for an experienced and compassionate divorce attorney, we invite you to contact Claery & Hammond, LLP for a free case evaluation.