3 Things to Consider Before Divorce: 3. The Emotional Toll Often overlooked, many couples considering divorce do not take into account the idea of being alone and the difficulties it brings. BY LYNNE Z. GOLD-BIKIN
Breaking up is hard to do. Don't underestimate the emotional toll it will take.
When people think of divorce they never fully consider the emotions that will occur if they proceed. As children we hear fairytales, all of which end with, "And they lived happily ever after." Of course, that is really the beginning of the story not the end. But the concept lives on in all of us as we contemplate what to expect from our very own marriages.
Unfortunately, marriage is not always perfect. It has its ups and downs. It is not always a 50/50 proposition. At times it may be more like a 90/10 proposition. Marriage and maintaining a relationship requires work every single day. The emotions incumbent during and after divorce must be balanced against the unpleasantness of working through the rough spots.
The first emotion that people often feel when a marriage ends is a sense of failure, especially for women. After starting the marriage with such high hopes, when it does not work out there is a sense of having done something wrong which led to this result. It makes sense, therefore, to really explore all avenues of making the relationship work. This is provided, of course, that there is no abuse, cheating or alcoholism in the relationship.
Another emotion you may experience is loneliness. Most people, when they get out of their marriage, are by themselves or alone with their children. Since we live in a world of couples, many of your friends may no longer include you in their plans. You may feel guilty asking a friend to leave their spouse to spend time with you. Having been married for a while, you may not be used to doing things alone and, while this feeling will fade, there is the loss of having someone with whom to share your life.
As a single parent, you may no longer have time for a social life. In addition to being solely or primarily responsible for all of the childcare activities, dating with children is a problem, especially if babysitting is an issue. And it is certainly not helpful to children to expose them to a series of relationships, which may not be permanent. This may create another trauma for the child while they are still trying to deal with the loss of the security of a "two parent family." No matter how often you tell the children it is not their fault and they still have two parents, they will suffer.
Since there are so many things to think about before taking the first step toward divorce, considering the emotions of it is often put on the back burner. It should not be. Many people seek out therapy after divorce because frankly, the end of a marriage is like a death. And it should be recognized as such.