When a spouse experiences serious physical or emotional abuse, life after divorce may seem like a breeze even if it turns his/her home finances and daily routine upside down. However, for spouses who were in a normal marriage, life after divorce can be tough because they now have to cope with the following disruptions:
- Starting a new life
- Emotionally disturbed children
- Severed ties
- Loneliness at home
- Feeling of rejection
- Embracing a new identity
1. Starting A New Life
Divorce has a dramatic impact on your life. Even though you may have been planning a divorce for a long time, you may find the new reality (no spouse, a half-empty home, lower income to meet the daily expenses, no more together time, the new normal, etc.) somewhat upsetting, and chances are that you will take some time to get used to it.
Most spouses get dragged out of their comfort zone after divorce and are forced to accept the emotional, lifestyle, and financial changes, no matter how harsh they may be. There’s no other option but to accept them and move on.
Experienced divorce attorneys are networked with reliable and trusted counselors who can help such spouses rebuild their future. Take their help if you find the going tough.
2. Emotionally Disturbed Children
Adults can handle shocks over the long run – and even if they cannot, they may have already lived over 50% of their life until divorce landed. It is the children who the divorced parents have to worry about. After divorce, both parents may be too hassled coping with the new life, and their child-upbringing skills may be put to the test.
A parent may badmouth the other parent to the children or not pay adequate attention to them – and this could lead to a negative fallout. Psychologists have discovered that a divorce can impact some children so badly that they can perform poorly in academics, lose interest in social activities, become overly sensitive, feel angry or guilty or both, lose faith in the institution of marriage, and develop poor eating habits, leading to ill health. These are some effects that a divorce may leave on children – if, on top of this, parents further infuse negativity into the children’s minds or neglect them because their post-divorce life is tougher, then the children are likely to get even more emotionally disturbed.
3. Severed Ties
Friends and families are loyal and they take sides. Those whom you have considered friends may start avoiding you or keep you at arm’s length despite your friendly overtures. You also may lose contact or experience coldness from the other spouse’s family.
The growing distance between friends and the other spouse’s family may hurt and deeply disturb you, especially at a time when you are starting all over again and need emotional support to fall back on.
4. Loneliness At Home
Home does not feel the same again after a divorce. It’s not business as usual, there is a lack of togetherness, the purposefulness is missing, the nostalgia is overpowering, and the silence can be deafening. So, yeah, living a lonely life at home that was once buzzing with family life can get overwhelming and it can lead to depression, especially for spouses who are unable to get over the divorce.
5. Feeling Of Rejection
While married, you may have felt indispensable, and rightly so. After divorce, you may feel totally rejected and isolated – to top that, you may find you have been replaced by someone else. This sudden and rapid journey from indispensable to rejected/replaced can take a toll on your emotional health.
You may tell yourself that it’s time to move on, but our research suggests that spouses take a long time to get over their broken marriage. If you haven’t gotten over your marriage, you should consider consulting a therapist.
After divorce, spouses are faced with a whole lot of uncertainty. How and when will they find a new partner? How will the children cope? Has the divorce spoiled the children’s future? How will retirement pan out? How fast can they let go of the link that connects you with your marriage? When will the grieving stop?
The uncertainty surrounding the future can be unsettling. Taking control of your happiness depends on how determined you are to move on to a happier future.
7. Embracing A New Identity
Psychologists believe that spouses derive an identity during marriage because of their marital status and their sense of responsibility towards the other spouse and the children. Divorce tears into this carefully developed identity and forces spouses to look at themselves differently after divorce, and try and change the identity that they had enveloped themselves with during the marriage.
The transitory period from “broken identity” to “new identity” can be bridged by participating in communal orientation activities.
Every person is made differently and the degree of stress, dissatisfaction, uncertainty, and unhappiness that one can absorb depends on his/her mental makeup. Ultimately, divorce is a life-changing event and it’s a no-brainer that it may make life tough in the short to medium term (unless it comes as a major relief). However, spouses need to get over it and move on to a happier future.