People often say that the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, and a divorce are the three most stressful things a person can go through. Though these challenges are never enjoyable, there are ways to cope. This is particularly true when it comes to divorce; it may be the end of something, but it may be the beginning of something else.
The Incidence of Divorce in the United States
It is a common belief that one in two marriages will end in divorce. The actual statistics give some credence to this conception: per the American Psychological Association, approximately 40 to 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce; the number is higher for subsequent marriages.
There are a number of factors that lead to divorce, including the age of the couple when wed and their level of education.
The Future of Divorce
While the high rate of divorce may seem alarming, it doesn’t appear to be waning anytime soon. As reported by the Huffington Post, a survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that 63 percent of divorce attorneys have seen an increase in prenuptial agreements over the past three years. This can be viewed simply as people proactively protecting their finances, but it can also be ominously viewed as people losing more faith in the sanctity of marriage.
Coping With Divorce
For people who are going through divorce, there are steps that can be taken to help with coping. These include:
Joining a Support Group: The old adage “misery loves company” is true in many situations. But it’s not because people inherently want bad things to happen to others; instead, people inherently want to know that bad things don’t happen to only them. A support group can show you that there are others going through the same situation.
According to Web MD, support groups can go a long way toward helping you heal. They give people a chance to share their feelings, learn from others, and meet people with whom they share commonalities.
Look at it as a New Beginning: Anyone who sees themselves wrapped up in or defined by an ex-spouse will have a difficult time moving on. Instead, looking at divorce as a new beginning and a chance to redefine yourself can help the road seem a little shorter and the load a little lighter.
You may do this by finding a new hobby, exploring a long-dormant interest, redecorating your home, getting a makeover, starting a book club, or doing something you’d never imagined before, such as visiting Europe or taking a singles cruise.
Help Your Children: Divorce can be especially hard for children; they often believe they are to blame. If you have children, remember to help them cope as you cope. You can do this by being understanding of their regressive or rebellious behavior, never asking them to take sides, and never using them as a way to get underneath the skin of your ex-spouse.
Be Open to New Possibilities: Divorce has a way of leaving you sour on the idea of marriage. This is perfectly natural. But keeping the sour taste in your mouth for too long might leave you missing out on something sweet. It’s always a good idea to keep at least part of yourself open to new possibilities; you just never know when something good might come along.
Randall Marbury, a former divorce attorney, is currently a freelance blogger and writer who contributes material on family law issues such as divorce, child custody, mediation and so forth.