She left him, so he left himself. It’s as if he became someone else. The shock of her betrayal ran through him like a poison, infecting his body and mind. He was sure that because she was the guilty party, she would be punished, that the world would understand and join him in his crusade for righteousness. But his demands became more than just unreasonable, they were beyond the pale. He wanted everything – the house, the kids, the assets…
It is difficult to pinpoint the exact causes of divorce or separation. Every couple has their own dynamics. The decision to terminate one of the most important voluntary relationships of life is not easy. Things must have worsened to the stage where living with the spouse becomes too emotionally demanding.
The feelings of unhappiness, helplessness and guilt are often two very devastating emotional crisis of the stage. People try to minimize helplessness and unhappiness by taking the extreme step of legal dissolution of marriage. This step rectifies the feelings to varying level. However, feeling of guilt is one feeling that continues for several years after the final decree of divorce. The guilt over a relationship that could not be and over lost time is something that people take years to come over.
Mediation VS Litigation
Consider this: A couple battles it out in court for over 8 years. They spend over $100,000 each and do not reach a resolution. They appear in court on many occasions but nothing is truly settled. The court suggests that they leave parenting up to the "experts" along with child support. The case remains unsettled after 8 long stressful years. Their relationships suffer, their bank accounts suffer and their children suffer.
“ That *******, that total *******. I can’t believe what he is doing. Do you know what he is doing?! I’ll TELL you what he’s doing. He’s sleeping with his secretary – that little tart, what a TART. He is SUCH an a*****, god, I could JUST …”
I am not sure exactly what this means however, Gwenth Paltrow has used this term to capture the ending of her marriage. Recent posts on Huffington suggest that this term has been used through out history in different contexts to suggest a mutual parting of the ways. While I do not mind the look and feel of these words, I wonder if this is not another way to camouflage the heartache of a sad, difficult ending. There is a fine line between putting forward a brave face and denial. If conscious uncoupling is the result of a number of years of mutual support concluding that parting ways is in their soul evolution’s best interest – then great. If, on the other hand, it is just a way of putting off deep introspection and avoiding the hard work of making a marriage great regardless of the obstacles of life – then I say that conscious uncoupling is another term for giving up.
Research has now concluded that what we think – is what we create. The “Spindrift Experiments” measured the power of positive prayer. In one of the experiments, they planted two groups of seeds, ensuring that all variables were the same and controlled. What they intended to try and measure was the impact of positive prayer directed towards one grouping, while the other was ignored. After a bit of time, the results were conclusive. The group of seeds that were intentionally prayed for, were sprouting substantially more then those that were ignored. Other experiments in different parts of the world have concluded the same thing –our thoughts create outcomes and the power of positive thought is measureable. Consider the implication of this. Consider the impact your thoughts have on those close to you. Consider that your thoughts directly affect the wellbeing of those you direct your thoughts toward. You actually can harm another human being simply by thinking “bad” thoughts, and conversely, you can nurture and create wellbeing with positive thoughts and intentions. Also, take it one step further, and know that if you think negative thoughts, the intention behind those thoughts, come right back at you. So today, be more conscious and aware of your thoughts, do everything in your power to keep them positive and your life will soon be a reflection of these positive thoughts.
Stats we should not ignore:
- One in three marriages end in Divorce
- Almost 40% of North American children will grow up in a single family home
- The amount of unpaid Child Support in Canada totals more than 2.5 billion
- 1.2 million annual US divorces cost taxpayers an estimated 30 billion in federal and state expenditures (Schramm, 2006)
- Estimate of 6 billion is lost by North American businesses due to decreased productivity stemming from marriage and relationship difficulties (Forthofer, Markham, Cox, Stanley and Kessler, 1996)
- Divorce can disrupt productivity of the worker for more than 3 years (Lavy, 2002)
- In a year of divorce, employees lose an average of 168 hours of work time
- A litigated divorce will likely last more than 3 years and will include time off to see lawyers, attend case conferences, court appearances etc.
Regardless of circumstances, divorce will normally require us to evaluate who we are and what we want out of life. It can be a little bit like looking in the mirror. Unfortunately, sometimes when we wake up and look in the mirror we discover our hair is messy and we don’t like what we see. When we look in the mirror and don’t like what we see, we have three options:
I don’t like what I see and I can’t handle it right now and so I take the mirror off the wall and put it in the closet. My issue seems overwhelming and for whatever reason I can’t deal with it right now. Perhaps it’s too painful and I can’t face it and it is easier to avoid my problem. Whatever the reason, I put the mirror in the closet and go through the day hoping that my hair will simply fix itself.
Does struggling with emotions make you less of a man?
I would argue that it makes you human. No matter how you look at it, divorce is an emotional journey and while it’s nothing for us to be ashamed of or embarrassed about, men have a hard time navigating through it. Guys spend much of their time and energy thinking about what went wrong, how life sucks and what to tell their friends and family. They often blame their ex for the breakdown of the marriage, or at times blame themselves for what happened. Many emotional scars are inflicted along the journey and it can be mentally draining and exhausting for everyone.
For some time, I struggled in dealing with my emotions. One day I felt great, the next I would lie in bed all day with no energy to do anything. At times I was happy, then the next hour I was on the brink of tears.
A recent article quoting basic statistics suggested that the filing of divorce papers increases around Valentine's Day. This is due to people starting to question their relationships and the true meaning of love. I suppose that the thought of a romantic dinner with someone who you no longer want to share time with might be the trigger to take that dreaded next step. The article also refers to the increase in security company business, as suspicious partners endeavor to find out if there is another love interest involved. How sad is this?
Yes, life after divorce can be good, and for many, there just didn't seem that there was any other option.