Does the word marriage mean that we are never going to be that same person who laughs when they fall over or deals with serious situations in a fit of giggles? Does it mean that once we sign on the dotted line we give away a piece of ourselves, our souls, and agree to forever live as half with someone else rather than a full version of ourselves?
For some people these words ring truer than ever, for others they merely laugh at the fact that those thoughts could even be imagined, but each to their own as my granny liked to say.
Marriage in itself (the more dictionary version can be read about here https://www.brides.com/definition-of-marriage-2303011, as well as other variations depending on your mood and state of mind, might appeal to you) is an agreement by two individuals which bind them legally till either one wants out.
There are many reasons why couples break up, split, or decide to call it quits, some of which we will take a look at later, but no matter the reason for the ending, the main objective is to try to get through the divorce proceedings as smoothly and as amicably as possible. Even more so if there are children involved.
There are cultures, religions, and some very popular books that essentially ‘spit’ on any mention of the word, it is hailed so much of a sin that people fear the very act of entertaining the idea. But if we think about it, is it better to remain quiet for the rest of your living days internally unhappy, or change the course of your life the best way you see fit and file for a divorce?
Many believe it is determined by whether you have children. Staying in the relationship to ‘promote’ what society claims to be a normal lifestyle and happy home with a mom, dad, and 2 kids is just as bad as thinking the kids don’t know what is going on. Because they do.
They have a sixth sense and can immediately tell when there is a strained mood in the air no matter how well you think your acting skills are. So why then teach them to live a mediocre, unfulfilling life with someone you have grown apart from when being by yourself with your own rules could bring out the best in you. Is this not the role model you would prefer your children to grow up with, someone that stands up for themselves?
If divorce is so frowned upon why has it been written into the law and legal books for centuries? As early as 2000BC clay tablets have shown evidence of arrangements and dissolvements of marriages and have been edited or tweaked over the years and by different means within cultures, countries, and religions.
These days while it is a more common occurrence, it is also a more procedural affair where both parties are ideally, benefited.
When children are part of the equation
Divorce is never going to be easy unless you are one of the few percentiles where both parties are agreeing on all fronts and have been on the same page for a while now, and each is simply looking to close the door on this chapter and move on with their life.
It is particularly tricky if kids are in the picture, knowing who will have custody, the arrangements for visiting and lifestyle changes, and the effects this process will have on them. And trust me they will feel an impact as much as they claim everything is fine and they just want it to be done with.
This may be daunting for you, albeit that you want it, there is always a niggling feeling in the back of your mind and heart that can make you feel overwhelmed and sometimes second guess yourself.
What you want to do is to take a moment and look at the uncontested divorce decree without minor children Oklahoma process guide, it could answer questions you are nervous about asking, or help you to understand tricky legal jargon and processes that much easier. There is help out there for all situations, you just need to take a moment to do your research carefully and start on the right foot.
Your main prerogative is to keep the children emotionally and physically safe, you will bounce back, it is a survival instinct we sometimes may not believe is in us until the situation presents itself. And usually not in the way we think it would either.
While we pray that the kids won’t be affected there are signs we can look out for and try to manage or deal with as best we can. Mental and behavioral problems are the easiest and quickest drawbacks, children lash out, have an increased attitude, and you would most likely see deterioration in their school work or extra-curricular activities
The best options are to try to communicate peacefully with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, avoid at all costs putting your kids in the middle of a scenario, and above all maintain a healthy relationship. Let us not forget that they are still the other half of what created the kids and will be part of their lives forever.
Believe it or not, it can be done, and well too. A few meetings (or perhaps even only one if both parties have a mutual understanding of the arrangements and how to move forward amicably) with strong cups of coffee can make for a neutral setting to get to the nitty-gritty of the new lifestyle changes.
Thankfully, having not been the first nor will you be the last person to go through a divorce, there are a few documented points to take on board that will help with the finer details.
Available. Being there for your son or daughter during this adjustment period is crucial not just physically with the sports game attendances or bake sale volunteering, but more importantly the emotional aspect. Taking a genuine interest in what they like, what they enjoy, and getting involved if possible.
Make sure that they know that you are there for them, no matter what they need, it is a bond you are building, while not new but certainly different. You can also click here to read a more in-depth article on this subject, make a well-deserved cup of tea and take a moment for yourself.
Support. Stick to your routine as much as possible, keep play dates, as usual, maintain the family visits every Sunday for lunch, this way your child will feel surrounded by family members who support, care for, and love them.
Communication. Keeping the lines open between you and your ex is vital in co-parenting and will help make the transition that much easier for everyone involved and affected. Emails, phones calls, or texts are all great ways to keep the other party in the loop and you could agree to meet once a month or bi-weekly to further discuss in detail any upcoming events or holidays.
Talking. In combination with the previous note, make a point of sitting down and talking to your kids. Listen to what they have to say, how they feel, what they think is happening, or how it will all play out. Don’t be judgmental or cut them off before they have their say, you are trying to understand their feelings and take on the situation and you need to do it from their perspective.
Respect. In some cases, this could be tough, but try your best to be respectful towards the other parent and even more so in front of the kids, support them on decisions you have agreed on together previously, and show a united front in the quality of time they have with each parent.
There is no right or wrong way to go about these things, no standard set of boxes to tick off as you go along and earn points, but simply taking it one step at a time and day by day. We are only human after all.
Self-care after a divorce
During this period and finalizing the papers and arrangements can be exhausting and you don’t even realize it until you have a moment to put your feet up and suddenly it all hits you at once, it also means that you aren’t taking care of yourself amidst everyone else.
And we have all heard the safety information on planes where they tell you to put your mask on first before helping others, this rings true here too. If you are flat in bed with illness or exhaustion you will be no help to anyone, and especially not for the kids, you need to look after yourself, see here https://www.ourfamilywizard.com/blog/5-ways-improve-your-self-care-during-divorce for some quick ways to get started.
There are plenty of ways to rejuvenate, relax, and take your mind off of things. Take a daily stroll in the park before your morning coffee, the air is crisp and clear, the birds are just waking up with their soft humming, and as the sun stretches its arms to envelope the day you will feel revitalized and ready to tackle the day.
Sign up for a yoga class, some even have them at the park, or a meditation course to help refocus your energy in the right direction. Physical activity is usually advised as it gets the endorphins flowing which are essentially responsible for making you feel good, plus a good sweat is a great way to release built-up tension or frustration.
The main objective is to ensure that you are at your best physically, mentally, and emotionally, you will feel and look better, but more importantly, you can think clearly when the time comes for tough love and difficult decisions.
If speaking to others or talking about how you feel will help you process what is going on consider joining a support group, there are lots of people going through what you are feeling, and hearing how they cope with it will help give you some perspective and an outside opinion.
The last thought and advice we could all use from time to time are to try to make peace with the reality, there is no going back, no changing the past, and if you aren’t changing your expectations then it will be a slow climb to realization.
At the end of the day
It will never be all sunshine and rainbows when going through divorce proceedings, but unfortunately, these things happen and we take it as it comes. Take your time, don’t make rash decisions in the heat of the moment or when you are feeling vulnerable or not yourself.
Always remember that there are companies and professionals to help you get through this, heeding expert advice and guidance is sometimes the solution you needed all along.