Getting married is a big decision, and so is getting divorced. Looking at the global divorce rates may lead you to believe that divorces are now happening less frequently. However, the decline in the global divorce rate is most likely due to the global decline in marriages. This doesn’t mean that you are alone in your choice to get divorced. Many couples split up and online counselling is here to help you cope with the challenges that come with this lifestyle adjustment. While you may feel overwhelmed by this decision (whether it be made by you or your spouse) it is still possible to keep the separation amicable as long as both of you are willing to work together. Especially if there are children involved. Experiencing this change in your life’s trajectory is tough, but it isn’t impossible to deal with.
There are 6 emotional thought stages to ending any marriage:
1. One person in the marriage feels unhappy
Often a person in a divorce may feel as though their partner has let them down in some way and not met certain expectations which they had. This may lead to feelings of fear, denial, anger, and depression. If nothing changes within the marriage and the very real problems remain unacknowledged then a rift may form between parties. Divorces don’t just happen over night
2. The dissatisfied party expresses their feelings
This is often the stage when the married couple will opt for in-person or online counselling to help them attempt to understand each other’s points of view and solve any problems that have previously been left alone. They may both put everything they have into their marriage in an attempt to give it one last try.
3. Deciding to get a divorce
One party has decided that even with the best counselling, the situation is not getting any better and that they can see no other course of action other than ending the marriage. This is what creates emotional distance between partners. This stage is one of the hardest stages as it involves a lot of blame, resentment, and guilt between everyone involved. This is normal. Try not to be too hard on yourself.
4. Beginning the legal divorce process
It is time to not only separate yourselves emotionally but also physically. You need to tell everyone involved in your life that this is happening and that there is a way forward. Reassure your children that just because their parents aren’t living together doesn’t make you less of a family and it doesn’t mean that you love them any less. Children will often feel some type of responsibility for their parents’ separation. It is important to reassure them that this is not the case.
5. Both parties begin to accept the decision
Over time both parties will begin to reflect on their marriage and understand that perhaps their marriage wasn’t as happy or fulfilling as it could have been. Everybody heals differently and at different rates but if you are still battling with negative emotions towards your ex-partner, it may be time to enlist some online counselling to help begin to see things from another perspective.
6. New beginnings
Both parties have moved on from the feelings of anger during the divorce process and they are now left only with mutual respect. They are both happily moving on in their respective journeys and have created a life for themselves outside of their life together as a married couple.
There are three things to get a handle on as soon as possible once the decision to get a divorce has been made:
The dividing of assets
If there was no pre-nuptial agreement signed at the beginning of your marriage then it is important to divide the assets (both financial and physical) between the two of you as equally and as fairly as possible. There is no need for resentment here. You can get the holiday house in Cancun and your ex-partner can get the house in the South of France. Fair is fair.
Prolonging the moving out process will only make the situation harder for everyone involved. It merely drags out the process when the decision to no longer be together has already been made. Whether you are moving to the other side of town or to a completely different country – make the move.
Figuring out a custody agreement if you have children
It is important to sort this out as quickly as possible so that your children still feel loved, secure, and safe with both of their parents during this time. Your kids do not need to be collateral in your divorce. Online counselling for the whole family will be useful to help come up with a game plan that not only suits you and your soon to be ex-partner – but also your kids too.
There are also certain guidelines to keep in mind when getting a divorce and there are children involved:
Don’t feel too sorry for yourself
We understand that going through a divorce will be hard and that the anger felt between two parties can lead to some heated moments. “She said this” and “He said that” situations. For the sake of the children, never express these negative emotions to them or put your emotional grievances towards your partner onto them. It is time to put all of that aside. But if you are struggling to do so then online counselling can help you do so in a constructive manner.
Learn to communicate
During a divorce, there are many negative emotions involved and generally a lot of hurt. It is important to put mind over matter and to keep the relationship between you and your ex as courteous and communicative as possible – especially when it comes to matters involving your children. No, we aren’t saying that you need to talk to your ex-partner about every basic decision such as what family movie you should watch on Sunday night, but talking to them about the children moving to a better school might be good to add to a conversation agenda. Especially if you are expecting that your ex-partner chips in for any extra financial implications this may have.
Leave your children out of it
It is important to speak directly to your ex-partner and not to talk through your children. Pick up the phone to tell your ex that you don’t appreciate that they let the kids stay up past their bedtime, don’t tell the kids to relay the message. If you are struggling to communicate to your ex-partner because your emotions keep getting in the way, then try to keep all your conversations centred around the children only.
Just because you’re getting divorced doesn’t mean you aren’t still a team
To co-parent successfully it is important to make big decisions together – especially ones that involve finances, medical issues and the children’s education. Keeping an open line of communication helps create the appearance of a united front when tackling any potential issues that may arise with the children – disciplinary or otherwise. Whether your children are staying with you or your ex, you are still equally as responsible for them.
Just because your children aren’t with you 24/7 doesn’t mean they don’t still need you. Always keep your phone on you so that if something goes wrong, or if your children just need to talk, you are there for them when they need you (virtual or in person). Luckily with the increased connectivity and technological advances, your children are just a phone call away.
Prioritise your children
Children will pick up on any unsaid emotions and dislike between their parents. It is important to keep yourself, your emotions, and your body language as neutral as possible when around your children and your ex. They need to feel safe in their separate spaces and loved by both of their parents. Your children need to feel as though they don’t have to pick sides or divide their loyalties between their parents.
It is important when going through a divorce to focus on self-care, to talk to people about what you are going through. Ask for the help you need, and take everything one day at a time. There is no need to rush the process. Do not feel as though you are dealing with this in the incorrect way. There is no correct way to go through a divorce. After all, every family is different and everyone heals differently, so every situation and solution are different too. If you are still struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel and can’t see a way forward to navigate through these times, then please feel free to set up an appointment with one of our psychologists for some online counselling. You can contact us on email@example.com or by completing the form: