Relationships themselves can be complicated and, at times, even messy. On the other hand, divorce can bring even more chaos to a situation, even though it symbolizes the end of a relationship. However, many truths can be uncovered during a divorce, no matter how dramatic the problem is.
A group of recently-divorced men and women discussed this topic in an online forum. They assembled a list of a few crucial – and sometimes ugly – truths about getting divorced.
1. You’ll Realize Who Your Friends Are
There are two types of friends in your life: people who stand by your side post-divorce and people who disappear from your life completely. The truth is, some of your friends will sadly see you as broken – and for these people, it’s easier to walk away from a friendship than help you navigate one of the more challenging times in your life.
2. So Much Divorce Is Preventable
Like so many other major life events, divorce is preventable. You have to be able to spot the warning signs and make the necessary adjustments along the way. One of the most effective ways to do this is by reading books on the topic.
Multiple people cite specific books that helped them salvage their marriage – and one book, in particular, is mentioned more than once. “If couples applied the information in Gottman’s book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert, they would likely avoid a dump truck full of pain,” one woman professes.
“This book, among others, saved my marriage.” If something as simple as reading a book can help stave off divorce, it’s worth doing.
3. Only the Lawyers Win
In many cases, divorces are messy no-win affairs for either you or your ex. Unfortunately, divorce lawyers are the only ones who make it out the other side in a better position. They’re in it because the business of divorces makes them money – do not resent them for this fact.
To them, it’s not personal; it’s just business. Once you understand this truth, it’ll be easier to accept. Countless men and women have stories of wanting to “win” their side of the divorce, only to realize that both people lose in the end.
4. Kids Do Suffer
One of the toughest pills to swallow is realizing that despite both parents’ best efforts, kids will ultimately suffer after a divorce. All the best heart-to-heart talks with a child are no match for changing their lives irrevocably.
The best advice here is to answer your children’s questions, be present, and not sugarcoat anything. Remember, they’ll be just as confused, heartbroken, and anxious as you’ll be, if not more so. Their lives will be changing just as much as their parents, so accepting that your kids will have difficulty processing the divorce is a vital first step to making the transition smooth.
5. Even Divorce on Good Terms Is Heartbreaking
According to countless people, you can’t avoid the inevitable hurt. Granted, you can pretend it’s not there, it’s not a big deal, or you can compartmentalize it, but eventually, you will have to face the hurt head-on.
Of course, each person experiencing this specific brand of hurt deals with it uniquely – and sometimes, the most heartbreaking kind of hurt occurs after an amicable divorce.
6. It’s Difficult To Move On Without Therapy
While therapy has a negative connotation for many people, the truth is that therapy is one of the best ways to move on post-divorce. “I can’t imagine where I’d be without therapy,” one recently-divorced man admits. “I can’t recommend it enough for anyone going through a divorce.”
He’s not alone, either. In 2023, going to see a therapist – for many reasons – is no longer taboo like it was decades ago. So if you have trouble moving on past your divorce, sitting down and speaking with a professional is arguably your best course of action. Taking care of yourself post-divorce is just as crucial as any other time.
7. Divorce Is a Transaction
No amount of empathy, heartache, or love can help once divorce proceedings are underway. However, one man puts everything into perspective with a hauntingly honest truth. “The second you hear or say the word ‘divorce’ or even ‘separation,’ you have to force yourself to park any emotions and look at the other side like a business deal,” he explains.
“It takes a ton of patience, and you have to be able to control yourself, but it’s all about protecting yourself, your kids, and your assets from that point forward, and the other person is just a person you’re negotiating with. I ‘won’ in my divorce on all accounts because I stayed calm, documented everything, and never gave into any ugliness.”
This thread inspired this post.