October 23, 2015

Life after Divorce: Forgiving Yourself the “Failure” of Divorce


Dealing with divorce is difficult — not least of which because of the social challenges that accompany it. Depending on how old you are, and how many social commitments and friends you have at the point of your divorce, going through a divorce can be a very lonely time.

You’ll need to relearn how to be alone, how to meet new people, and how to make plans with people other than your significant other. No longer will your weekends be filled with default plans with your spouse. No longer will you consistently have someone with whom to have dinner, or to help you with the errands. Divorce comes with serious complicated legal issues, such as custody arrangements and property division, but it is often these smaller moments in which divorce is really felt.

These are most likely the reasons that many people feel divorce is a failure, and then have to sort through the complex psychological fallout at having “failed” at something so integral to everyday life. Yet many psychologists believe that divorce is, in many cases, far less a failure than an adult decision made by two people who were in tune enough with themselves — and with each other — to make the choice to move on. While marriage was traditionally seen as a lifelong commitment (‘til death do us part), this is rarely the attitude in modern America. As one psychologist puts it: No one goes into a marriage expecting to get divorced, but everyone knows it is a possibility.

Divorce is also sometimes seen as a “failure” because of the emotional carnage it leaves in its wake. Yet some studies have shown that less than 20 percent of divorcees fare badly — at least in psychological terms — following a divorce. Most of these people already had psychological issues that they were dealing with, which were exacerbated, but not caused, by the divorce.

Forgiving yourself the stigma of failure when approaching divorce can help you to get through the most difficult aspects of it. So can working with an experienced legal professional. If you are considering divorce, do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney today.