Family therapists everywhere have a number of differing views on the effects of divorce, but one truth they collectively agree on is that the experience is both complex and unique for everyone. Some spouses experience a roller coaster of highs and lows or episodes of intense emotional trauma, while others feel a great sense of relief and waves of elation as they rediscover and reclaim the identity they feel they lost throughout their marriage. Wherever you fall on the emotional scale of divorce, one thing is certain: the journey is a complicated emotional process, and its aftermath will inevitably take a toll on you to some degree.
It is natural to have limited ability to predict and look ahead at your life post-divorce. It can be very difficult to anticipate how the changes that come with the end of your marriage will make you feel or what they will look like until you are actually facing them head-on. While not everyone experiences a negative, turbulent divorce, even those who undergo a mutual, peaceful split still come face-to-face with forms of grief they may have not considered in the early stages of the separation. You may underestimate the magnitude of the following losses after your divorce because you simply cannot fully prepare for the results:
Loss of mutual friends and shared social structures - Changes in your social circles and within your immediate and extended family may begin to happen even before your divorce is finalized. Mutual friends of you and your spouse, as well as close family members, often feel they must take sides or stay out of your business, which can sometimes lead to the complete severing of a relationship you once valued. This can be especially devastating if you have worked hard to cultivate special friendships over a long period of time. One way to address this is to talk to your shared friends during the divorce process, and if possible, discuss the topic with your spouse, so you can all work together to create a game plan that allows everyone to remain involved without animosity or awkwardness moving forward.
Loss of dynamic and routine with your children - Another massive change that may take you by surprise is the shift in parenting dynamics with your children. Not only are your daily routines disrupted, but the way you interact with one another can also change completely. This can register as a major loss and cause of significant emotional pain for both parents and children. A helpful approach to this form of loss is to be proactive - just as you would with your circle of friends - and develop strategies early on to help both your child and yourself adjust and create new routines, traditions, and memories together.
Loss of your best friend - This is often one of the hardest pills to swallow after divorce. As is true for many spouses, you may feel that your partner was your best friend. When your spouse used to be your go-to person and ultimate confidante, the loss of that role in your life can be life-altering. In some cases, you may be able to remain friends after the end of your marriage, but this type of friendship can be confusing and difficult to navigate. If you and your spouse are on good terms after the divorce, consider discussing healthy boundaries and ways you can still be friends to one another, which may make the loss feel less permanent or traumatic. If this is not possible, slowly begin investing your energy into your other friendships, look for opportunities to find new ones, and talk with a counselor or seek out a support group for extra guidance and encouragement as you grieve the loss of your best friend and spouse.
Processing the intricate losses brought on by divorce is overwhelming, and in many cases, disheartening. However, you do not have to walk the road to recovery alone. Seek out a skilled, competent Bloomingdale divorce attorney who can provide you with the legal assistance you need throughout your divorce, allowing you to focus on healing. Call Mevorah Law Offices LLC today at 630-529-4761 and schedule your private consultation.
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