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Divorce--When "Forever" Is Just Too Long

Are you unhappy with your spouse and your marriage? Are you seriously thinking about divorce? No matter how you deal with it, divorce is a messy process. When two people, who have taken a vow to stay together forever, decide that forever is much too long, hurt feelings, resentment and bitterness are to be expected. The first step is to remember that you are not the first couple to have marital problems--even Adam and Eve had some severe set backs.

According to U. S. government statistics, one out of every two marriages will end in divorce or annulment. Many problems can lead to the decision to divorce. Personal selfishness, adultery, disrespect of a spouse, inattentiveness in the relationship, being argumentative, dishonesty, money issues, or difficulties in raising the children-- all can be the catalyst which sparks a desire for separation.

It is possible that the seeds of divorce are sown even before a couple says "I do." Research shows that certain relationship skills, or lack of them, can help predict whether people are headed for happiness or a difficult dissolution. Research by Mari L. Clements, an assistant professor of clinical psychology at the Fuller Theological Institute in Pasadena, CA shows that "The ones who stayed happily married were likely to handle conflict constructively. Even in the midst of a difficult issue in their relationship, they were likely to treat each other with respect."

Grounds for divorce vary from couple to couple and from state to state. Marriage, realistically, is as much a legal contract as it is a personal relationship. Most states now offer some form of uncontested (no-fault) divorces which are popular because they are easy and inexpensive. There is no single reason for divorce. Sometimes, couples simply grow apart.

No matter what the cause of divorce, the key to a successful divorce is communication. This means removing your emotions. Many times, couples facing divorce allow their emotions rather than logic to dictate their discussions and their decisions. Think of divorce as a lesson in patience and endurance. The biggest divorce settlement tip--focus on the long-term outcome, not the small-time details. "Who gets Grandma's tea service?", is not nearly as important as "how do we raise our children?"

Most people looking for a divorce attorney are in a state of shock. They are in grief similar to what is felt with the death of a loved one; it is a death of sorts, the death of a marriage. Choosing the right lawyer can be a daunting task, but this one decision can determine the outcome of your divorce and, indeed, your future life. An uncontested, or no-fault divorce, can be dealt with quickly and cheaply if both partners agree to separate amicably. Unfortunately, this is seldom the case.

Many specifics of a divorce settlement are likely to get ugly. Child custody, visitation rights, property ownership, alimony, child support payments, attorney costs--all of these are going to be difficult roadblocks. Divorce is not easy for anyone. When you lose a limb, even when it is numb from nerve damage, it is still a difficult loss.

The dissolution of a marriage can often leave people in a state of confusion and despair. Often, people tend to make irrational and impartial decisions whether it be entering into a new relationship too soon, having a continual series of "one-night" stands, or making large financial purchases--like a new sports car or palatial home. Try to avoid alcohol and illegal drugs. Being in such an emotionally vulnerable state, it can be easy to fall victim to addictive behaviors.

Make a conscious effort to look forward, not backward. Do not be judgmental or angry at your ex-spouse or yourself. A divorce is not a sign of weakness or failure. It is the end of a relationship that simply did not work out. Let time heal the wounds as you begin to create a new life for yourself. None of the suggestions offered here will relieve your pain immediately, but they can help. Remember, tips only work if they are used.

About the Author
Larry Denton is a retired history teacher having taught 33 years at Hobson High in Hobson, Montana. He is currently Vice President of Elfin Enterprises, Inc., an Internet business dedicated to providing valuable information and resources on a variety of topics. For a court room full of additional information to guide you through this grueling and painful process please visit

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