In 2017, research indicated that one divorce occurred approximately every 13 seconds in the United States. Although each year statistics regarding divorce have been on the increase, rarely does a couple work on planning their wedding and marriage with the major goal being to stay married and avoid divorce. Although that may seem like a pessimistic way of entering into a marriage, it would be extremely wise given today’s statistics on divorce. Although reasons for divorce vary, some of the most common reasons are:
- Marrying even though the “red flags” were there all along
- Not having a shared vision for success
- Unmet expectations
- Inability to resolve conflicts,
- lack of communication, constant arguing
Ending a marriage may be one of the most painful experiences not only for yourself and your spouse, but surrounding family members and mostly your children. Although divorce seems to always come as a surprise, it should never be acted strictly out of emotion. It is important to approach a divorce in a highly mature manner to make it as painless as humanly possible.
Divorce is never an opportunity to get even with your spouse. Although you may be upset, angry or hurt by the failed marriage, it is necessary to approach the circumstances in a mature way. Selfishness must not have the upper reign. It is extremely important to move away from the disagreements between you and your spouse and focus on what the two of you can agree on. The divorce process will go faster according to how much you can agree on. You can also count on the fact that what you disagree on will resolve itself by the end of the settlement, as you will both have the same goal of closing the chapter on this painful time in your journeys.
You must stay united in the love you have for your children. Your children need is for both of their parents to be there for them and so do not ask them to take sides to attempt to poison their minds against their mother or their father. You must make the effort to have a conversation with your spouse to discuss how you can mutually and separately make the process as possible for your children. The most important things that both parents can do to help themselves and their children in the beginning stages of a divorce are:
- Keep yourself as healthy as possible-
- Speak with a therapist as necessary
- Manage your stress
- Find an attend a good support group
- Keep each parent involved in the children’s lives
- Do not have heated discussions, visible conflict or legal talk in front of the children
- Encourage honesty and them your children put their feelings into words
- Offer support in whatever way helps your child at the moment
- Leave all negativity and blame out of family discussions
In all divorces, decisions must be made regarding child custody. Divorce lawyers from the Annutto Law Office write, “There may be no other area of family law more emotional and life-altering than parenting and child support issues. The dynamics of any family dealing with child support issues is one that requires patience, compassion, and respect for the sensitive nature of the situation. “ Although sometimes the court can make a decision on child custody and visitation, it is always best to work with a qualified attorney in order to reach the best agreements on child custody.
Both parents should explain what is happening as simply as possible. Make sure you agree on what is going to be said ahead of time. Assure your children that they always have both parents’ love and explain how things will work. Let them know when they will be with Mommy and when they will be with Daddy. Writing it all on a calendar may reassure the children that they will be able to have time with both of their parents. Reassure them that the divorce is not their fault and that the adults made this decision apart from the children.
Discuss the kind of emotions that your children would normally feel. Let them know that sadness, anger, and confusion is normal and that you want them to talk to you about their feelings. In order to encourage our children to have an on-going, comfortable dialogue with you, make sure you demonstrate that you accept any feeling they have as they tell it to you. Make sure you ask your children how they are feeling as frequently as possible.
A parenting expert or family therapist who has experience with divorces will be able to give you guidance in handling tough situations. Many times children are helped by talking to a therapist on their own. Sometimes a child can express feelings to a therapist that they fear may hurt their parents.
As painful as divorce is, if both parents work to create a stable environment, focusing on making their children feel loved by the both of them, those children have a much better chance emerging as responsible adults. It takes hard work and maturity on the part of both parents, but with determination, it can be done.