While we all dream and hope for our own version of "happily ever after," there are times when our lives don't work out like how things do in fairy tales.
Divorce is ranked as one of the topmost emotionally disruptive events of someone's life.
So many things change – your sense of normalcy, your foundation, and your routine will be put into disarray. The future becomes bleak, and the doubts you thought you would never have to face again are at the forefront of your mind once more.
Without losing all hope when the "D" word has been mentioned in a marriage, let's take a look at some ways to avoid or turn around for the better this disruptive event.
Stages Of Divorce Process Explained
On the legal side, there are quite a few steps in processing a divorce. The movies make it simple wherein one partner says they want a divorce, a lawyer is contacted, papers are signed, and it's done. In reality, one or both of the partners:
-Files a petition to get a divorce
-Asks the court for temporary orders for support and custody in terms of finances or the kids involved
-Files proof of service of process (the one who files for divorce)
-Files a response to the petition
-Undergoes a negotiation period
-Goes to trial for any issues unresolved
-Processes the order of dissolution which ends the marriage
What was mentioned above is the general divorce process but could change depending on your location's laws and standards?
On the emotional side, there are five generally accepted stages of divorce:
1. Cognitive separation
This stage is the beginning of the divorce process that happens long before you make that decision to end things with your partner. The partner choosing to get a divorce undergoes a period of separation, wherein he or she loses their intention to make the marriage work.
The spouse being left behind is less prepared and will usually experience more anger, depression, and other emotions, while the one leaving will feel guilty.
2. Emotional divorce
Once the mind has decided on the divorce, emotions, and feelings will follow. This stage involved the unraveling of romantic feelings the spouse have for each other and other dependent aspects of the relationship. This stage will prove to be a significant transformation for everyone involved, where roles, expectations, and responsibilities are changed.
This stage is something that must be laid out clearly and passed through thoroughly to avoid any ties that could remain and hinder any growth for both spouses moving forward.
3. Physical separation
The next step is to physically separate. One moves out or both transfer to a new location. Some couples would continue to see each other if children are involved, and visitation is permitted.
4. Legal dissolution
This stage is the socio-economic and cultural separation between the spouses. It can be a long and tedious process full of arguments and unresolved conflicts.
5. Spiritual connection
When a divorce has been settled, the lives of the two partners could be separated, and both never see each other again, or the complete opposite could happen, and the ex-husband and wife occasionally cross paths due to the children or other obligations. There remains a connection between the two, although not through intense emotions and romance but a sense of acceptance, unconditional love or understanding towards the other person.
Could You Prevent Parent's Divorce As A Kid?
While a child can technically do nothing to prevent a divorce, especially if both parents have it figured out and things have been planned out regarding the family. However, the most crucial aspect must be reiterated – it is never the fault of the child or children that divorce happens. It has taken the parents much thought and consideration, exhausting all options possible before deciding on the last option.
You, as a child, can try to guilt your parents into staying together, or devise some plan to make them fall in love with each other again; however, it really is not up to you. The responsibility does not fall into your shoulder, and you should not feel any pressure to try and prevent or fix things. Just keep in mind that you are the top priority your parents are considering in their decision.
Children are a blessing and a treasure, never a cause for a marriage to end. While they can't do anything, per se, to prevent a divorce, they play a significant role in the relationship after the separation. The best thing to do now is, to be honest with your parents and let them know what you feel, wait, and extend your support in whatever decision they make.
Is It Too Late To Save Your Marriage After Separation, Or Even After Filing For Divorce?
People always say that love moves in mysterious ways. There are instances when those that have separated get back together after realizing they were better off as a couple. Even marriages that include affairs, bitterness, and a falling out of love could still be saved.
According to marriage and relationship coach Jack Ito, there are only two scenarios wherein you cannot salvage your relationship in this case: when you two have no more contact whatsoever and when your ex-spouse has already committed to someone else.
8 Strong Steps To Stop A Divorce And Save Marriage
Now for some concrete ways to stop an impending divorce and save your marriage.
1. Work on the issues
A divorce is the last option taken when all others have been exhausted. Options are being looked at because of the issues, problems, fights, and arguments that do not get resolved. Instead of giving up and wallowing in the possibility of divorce, why not do the opposite and get yourself together?
More often than not, it has been repeated many times whose fault it is or what it is about one spouse that the other hates. You can take a look at those you can control and do something about it.
If you do not know where to start, grab a piece of paper and pen and jot down all the negative instances you've encountered in the last few months. Your partner hates your nagging, how you forget important dates, your quick temper, lack of wisdom on finances, drinking-problem, anything. From the small things to the more significant issues, write them down. Keep the list with you so you can add more as they pop up to remembrance randomly.
2. Talk it out
For the issues that involve you and your partner, it must be talked out. Do not play the victim nor point fingers. This is a civil discussion where you lay everything out on the table in neutrality. Give each other moments to talk without butting in. You would be surprised at how effective communication in this case.
3. Romance it up
For those who feel like they no longer know their partner but do not want to cut ties with them and go separate ways, creating a spark on your romance is one way to avoid the D-word. You, of all people, know your partner the best – what he or she likes, her favorite flowers, his favorite date spot, and the like. Relive the glory days when you were young and so in love and use that as a starting point for starting the spark. Always believe that romance is not dead.
4. Love yourself
Believe it or not, but looking your best will do wonders in saving a marriage. It is understandable how each partner could have let themselves go along the marriage and stopped paying attention to their appearance.
Exercise, lose weight, change your hairstyle, get a closet makeover, and remind your partner how you looked when you first met, but this time you share all the love and warmth in between. Taking time to pamper and love yourself will not only make you feel good but will also be beneficial for your spouse.
Take marriage therapy sessions together. You don't need to commit to a couple, just one. Try it out if it is for you and your spouse. You would be surprised at all the practical ways you can save your marriage.
If a therapist is out of the question, there are many marriage counseling books you and your partner could read for some much-needed insights.
6. Go on vacation
If an issue you have pinpointed involves the lack of communication, affection, and time you both have towards each other, then that is a sign that a vacation is long overdue. By simply booking a trip away from your daily schedules, you can reconnect once again with your spouse. Take this opportunity to talk things out as well. Vacations are a must for every family and should not be neglected.
7. Spend time alone
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. Some couples are always with each other and could eventually feel fed up with the other. Taking some time off from each other is another concrete step you can take to gauge certain things.
Being away from your partner gives you the chance to think about what you genuinely want, expect, and would fight for. A clear head makes a wise person.
Most of the time, a divorce happens when the problems pile up and become unbearable. However, that mountain of problems is made up of tiny issues – all of which could be addressed, forgiven, and forgotten. It won't be easy, but the first step is to forgive yourself and your partner and start on a clean slate. You will be surprised at the wonders this simple step could do to your marriage.
Dealing with the possibility of a divorce, you do not want forces you to take action and starting changes in your relationship for the better. There are many ways to prevent a divorce which you can try one by one or go for the one you know would work; because at the end of the day, you know that the foundation of your marriage is based on love and that makes everything worth fighting for.