Resources for Divorce

When and If to Get a Divorce

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Women and DivorceSome people have said that they waited too long before divorcing, but I have yet to hear someone say they jumped the gun and initiated one too soon. There are many factors involved in determining if and when a divorce ought to commence.  A main one seems to be regarding children and their ages. One man felt that he stayed seven years too long in his marriage, choosing to wait until the last child went off to uni. He stated that the love was gone and the marriage was dead – however he stayed because he wanted to see his kids every day. In hindsight, he thinks it harmed his sons witnessing coldness and disinterest between a married couple. Another stayed in an unhappy marriage since her husband was their sons’ Boy Scout troop leader. She thought the boys would feel more secure with both parents in the home. Eight years post-divorce her sons are still asking what took her so long to file for divorce.

When to Divorce

For those on the fence about whether to stay or go, The Divorce Magazine UK has a link to various resources that are invaluable in the pre-divorce period too. Maypole Women has resources as well for women and children in a potential divorce situation. Relate and Retrouvaille do marital counselling to see if the relationship can be repaired. The admission of an affair brings on the death of a marriage. The betrayed spouse may not want to bestow another chance on the guilty party, so proceeds with filing for a divorce.

When there is abuse – get yourself, the youngsters and pets out of the house. That does not automatically mean a divorce is imminent – just that safety is the top priority. Sometimes with therapy and anger management classes, the abuser can be rehabilitated and the marriage is salvageable.   One criteria for deciding upon divorce is how much inappropriate behaviour is witnessed or directed at the children. When one parent is knocking around the other one – that is detrimental for the kids to see.

It is hard to watch a spouse self-destruct via alcohol or drugs. One may be supportive, but wonder when enough is enough. Consider getting therapy or joining Al-Anon. “Al-Anon Family Groups provide support to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else’s drinking, regardless of whether that person is still drinking or not. For some of our members, the wounds still run deep, even if their loved one may no longer be a part of their lives or have died.”  Some people have included in the parenting plan that the impaired parent is not allowed to drive the children anywhere. Visitation can be at a relative’s or at a Children’s Contact Centre.

A couple can drift along in different directions and find themselves without much in common. This can happen when facing an Empty Nest. What some couples have done was to take up a new project, such as buying a fixer-upper cottage in the UK or abroad. This injected a new vitality, passion and focus to their lives and relationship, plus gave them something to talk about. Several couples took up a sport or hobby, such as golf. They hit the links at home as well as in exotic locales. Others discovered a shared interest and became certified in scuba diving or volunteered with EarthWatch.

When boundaries are violated or a spouse is disrespectful and belittling, that is I when have seen couples getting divorced. Relationships may limp along until one or both decide to put it out of its misery with a divorce. The opposite of love is not hate, but rather it is indifference.

Originally published in The Divorce Magazine  thedivorcemagazine.co.uk

 

 

 

Resources during Divorce

Your spouse suddenly walked out and now you are in shock. Where do you turn when you are about to lose your mind? You see the future as bleak and you require assistance in navigating your way around the divorce circus. Family can be very supportive. However, they may have to process their own feelings first before coming to your aid. Family may have mixed emotions, knowing you are in trouble, yet having long-term loving feelings towards your spouse.

Here are  places to turn when you need support:

1. Call United Way. They know what services and non-profit organizations are in your area. I was in a panic when I called and they gave me several good leads, in a calm manner. One was a particularly helpful women’s class at our community college.

2. Find a “Women in Transition” class which runs once a week for approximately six to eight weeks. They are taught at community colleges and elsewhere across the country. Speakers are brought in to discuss such topics as finance, mental or physical well-being, and moving on through a life transition. They give practical advice as how to bump up your credit score or strategies on calming yourself in court.

3. Check out MeetUp.com. There are specific divorce and single parenting groups, plus so many more like hiking, movies, and crafts. Go to the MeetUp.com web site and put in your city and interests. I am in a national women’s transition group through Meetup.com. My divorced pal goes hiking with them every week and to occasional movies. One can have support, camaraderie and try new activities. Snowshoeing anyone?

Divorce angst: 8 places to turn when you need support ow.ly/Jnypt @WendiSchuller

 

Global Charities to Help with Divorce

During divorce there are online and offline groups to help one get through this life changing transition. In the States, it is common for a judge, interim psychologist, or the solicitors to mandate that the spouses take a co-parenting class (separately). However, after divorce, when I particularly wanted assistance for myself, it was scarcer. Of course I could have gone to a life coach, which is helpful, but I wanted the type of interaction only found in group setting. In the UK today, there are several organisations in the UK that provide post-divorce support and guidance in such a setting.

The charity Divorce Recovery Workshops (DRW) is mainly staffed by volunteers who have gone through divorce themselves. Their six sessions are around two hours and cover such topics as “Coping with your ex-spouse”, “Letting Go and Forgiveness” and “Thinking about new relationships.” A video is shown first, followed by a discussion and sharing of experiences. The participants realize that others are going through the same problems and “recovery from traumatic experiences can bring opportunities for personal growth.” DWR has quarterly weekend retreats in lovely country hotels from Friday evening to after Sunday lunch. Since they are a non-profit organization, fees are kept reasonable. Go online to find a workshop near your area www.drw.org.uk

Divorce Care is a global organization that has branches in the UK and elsewhere. I tested this by selecting the various cites of London, Cape Town, Auckland, New South Wales, Australia, Cincinnati (USA) and Chicago and yes there were groups in these places. Divorce Care meets weekly and shows a “video seminar” first and then there is a discussion and sharing of the participants’ lives. People learn practical tips that help them recover from divorce. Some Divorce Care participants have stated that it is like becoming part of a family. Divorce Care shows “ways to restore your hope and rebuild your life.” Some branches of this organization have kids groups for those aged 5-12 and are called Divorce Care for Kids (DC4K). Divorce Care’s web site is www.divorce.org
http://www.thedivorcemagazine.co.uk/divorce-support-groups/