Nurse programming heart monitor machine

The Physical and Mental Effects of Divorce

There are many studies to suggest that getting a divorce does not just affect your emotional state, but it can also take a toll on your physical health. If you are considering or have already gotten a divorce, make sure to watch out for these symptoms or to try and be proactive to counteract them. Getting a divorce can be one of the hardest things that people got through, but there are ways that you can counteract the negative physical and mental outcomes.

Mental
Just like with any long term stressful situation, it can wreak havoc on your long term health. Anxiety during a divorce is usually sky high, and it can cause you to have a myriad of other health problems. When you are stressed, your body releases adrenaline into your system that causes your “fight or flight” response. Over time, having adrenaline built up in your system manifests itself in many different ways. You can feel moody, irritable and nauseous. You might have trouble sleeping, gain or lose weight, lash out at people, have heart palpitations, weakened immune system, high blood pressure or IBS. There are a lot of symptoms that develop from anxiety and stress, so it is important to acknowledge if you start to notice them so you can stay on top of them right away. We live in a day and age where mental health is acknowledged and encouraged to be taken care of, so there are many healthy ways that you can deal with your anxiety that is proven to work.

Stressed Mature Woman With Laptop Working In Home Office

When going through a divorce, it is normal to feel betrayed, sad, insecure and angry. But once those feelings start to disappear and are replaced with a feeling of numbness, that could be a sign of depression. Anxiety and depression can only be treated and diagnosed by a medical professional, but there are some common signs that can indicate that you need to seek professional help. Many symptoms of anxiety and depression overlap, so it can be hard to know which one you have, but if you can’t sleep or experience excessive sleepiness, irritability, hopelessness, thoughts of suicide, lack of concentration, or repetitive thoughts, weight gain or loss, or apathy persistently, then you should see help right away. Therapy is always a good step in the right direction in helping you take steps for recovery.

Physical
In long term study released by the AHA academic journal, they found that women who had been through a divorce were 24% more likely to have a heart attack. Women who experienced multiple divorces were 77% more likely to have a heart attack. People who went through a divorce were also more likely to develop chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes and have mobility issues later in life.

While these are troubling statistics, the reality of the situation is that these are the side effects of long term stress, which can be caused by a number of things. Unfortunately, as humans, we will always be prone to stress and dealing with the aftermath. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to be strong enough to admit when you need help, surround yourself with friends and family, know that you are not alone, and understand that you deserve to be happy.

Happy attractive young woman in hat and glasses thinking and drinking coffee outdoors

Modern family values. Father addicted about using electronic devices tablet pc, while his wife and daughter unhappy sitting in a cafe.

Staying Together for the Kids

You have probably heard that phrase before, or maybe you tell it to yourself. It would have been easier to walk away from a bad relationship before there were children involved, but now there are a lot of factors to consider. Everyone wants what is best for their children, and staying in a miserable marriage to make sure that they are happy is a very tough decision to make that can have some negative consequences in the long run. Raising kids is very difficult and fulfilling work, but it can be terrifying to think that you would be doing it on your own. Here are some aspects to consider when thinking about staying together just until the kids have moved out.

Observation
One of the biggest risks, if not the biggest risk is that if kids grow up in a contentious household they will start to imitate those behaviors and will carry it with them for the rest of their life. Parents that are constantly bickering or putting each other down will be viewed as part of a normal relationship and they seek out relationships that mimic that. It is very true that we marry and date people that have similar traits as our parents, and if those traits are fighting, nitpicking, anger, and resentment, then children who grow up with that will gravitate towards that later on, starting the cycle all over again.

Black couple fighting and depressed

When parents are so wrapped up in their own problems either with work or with each other, it can have the unintended consequence of neglecting some aspects of their children’s lives. Maybe it is easier to go out to eat every night then to try and cook a healthy meal, or if one parent is going to an event the other won’t attend because it is easier to split. Children can still be raised in a home and given everything that they need but still feel emotionally neglected from their parents if their parents are emotionally distant from them.

Coparenting
Parents are a team. You and your spouse should feel united in your common cause to make sure that your children are raised happy and healthy. Once that team falls apart it can be hard if not impossible to fake it for the kids. Communicating becomes harder, parenting styles differ, and chaos starts to take over. It can be hard to imagine not having someone around to help with day to day tasks, but it can be as equally hard having someone around that is questioning all of your decisions. There are a lot of parents that are great co-parents either before, during, or after a divorce, but if that doesn’t work for you and your spouse, don’t feel guilty. Human emotions are complicated and even though your love for your children will unite parents, sometimes it’s not enough to keep them together.

When deciding to stay together for the kids, it’s important to understand that kids are only as happy as their parents. If that means separating, it will be better in the long run. If there is still love in the marriage and you believe that it can be salvaged, then working through your problems might be beneficial and you will be happy that stayed for the kids to show them that even though marriage is tough, it is important to solve your problems. If there is ever a case of abuse, then there are available resources to you and your children so you can get out safely. Divorce is never easy, especially when there are kids involved, but if the only thing keeping you from separating is because you want to fake it for the kids, then maybe it is time to evaluate your options and speak with professionals.

Movie night at home with divorced mother, daughter and son. Modern family watching television and eating popcorn, sitting on sofa at home. They laugh while watching comedy show on TV

Young man holding hand of wrong girl on a summers day

Adultery and Divorce

No one wants to believe that their spouse would cheat on them, especially after being married for a while. But unfortunately, it does happen. Maybe it came as a surprise, maybe it didn’t. But how do you move forward from a betrayal like that? Should you race and get a divorce lawyer as fast as you can? Should you wait it out and see if your marriage can be fixed? Do you cheat on them to get revenge? Despite what rom-coms tell you, cheating in a relationship isn’t as glamorous as it sounds. More often than not, one or both people get hurt and it can’t be easily fixed. It is difficult to know how you should proceed, but there are some steps you can take. 

Therapy

Either it’s for you or you and your spouse, you probably want some outside professional guidance. Being cheated on can make you feel angry, betrayed, insecure, depressed, and vengeful but these feelings are normal. It’s how you handle those feelings that can make all the difference. You are not the first person who has been cheated on and you won’t be the last, so a good therapist knows how to guide those feelings of resentment to a healthy outlet that won’t lead you to any rash decisions that you will regret later. If you believe that your marriage can be saved or if you need a mediator to talk between you two, couples therapy might be the way to go. It can be very beneficial for both of you, or it can be the push you need to make the final decision to divorce them. 

Unrecognizable couple reconciling at therapy session in psychotherapists office, therapist writing in blank notepad, copy space

Support

Everyone’s relationship is a private matter, but it can be cathartic to talk about it with people that love and support you. Sometimes you won’t want to tell anyone what happened out of shame, or you’ll want to post it all over social media to expose what a liar they are. Both of these are a bad idea. If you never confide in anyone and bottle up all your emotions, your resentment will grow and your marriage will fall apart faster than it already has. If you tell everyone, it invites everyone to have an opinion on your relationship, even if you didn’t ask for it. Having someone that you can turn to in this time of emotional distress will help you personally heal. 

Understand

Understand that you are still loved and infidelity is not a reflection on your character,  it is a reflection on theirs. You don’t have to understand their motives or support them or even forgive them, but you should understand the whole truth. Don’t try and excuse their behavior, but the more honest and open you are with each other will determine if you can move on together or if you should move on without them. 

Divorce

If you, or both of you, decide that the relationship cannot go on any longer, a divorce is the right step. Maybe this was the last straw or the only straw, but you have to do what you know is right for you. Legally, there are few situations where cheating affects the settlement of a divorce case unless one spouse uses funds from the shared accounts to support cheating. There are also consequences if the cheating spouse exposed the children to the relationship or other unsafe practices.  Getting a divorce from an unloyal spouse can be both empowering and heartbreaking, so it is always important to put your mental and physical health first. 

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New Hobbies, New You

If you are going through a divorce, it is no secret that your life is going to be turbulent for the foreseeable future. One way that you can combat the stress and anger of a divorce is to find new hobbies that you enjoy. It is important to find hobbies that will help you grow and change as a person and not ones that leave you in a self-destructive rut. Finding the time and motivation to learn something new can be difficult when all you want to do is wallow in sadness, but I promise you that if you take your pent up emotions and put them towards something productive you will be able to cope with all the changes that your life is going through. Here is a list of hobbies that you may have always wanted to try or you could get back into.

Exercise Classes

This one is great because exercise alone will help you in more ways than one. Exercising produces endorphins, relieves stress, lowers anxiety, makes you look and feel your best. But many people hate how boring and hard the gym can be, so by joining a class you can make it fun and learn a new skill! Joining a class or taking private lessons will hold you accountable, let you meet new people and can make exercising feel like a game.  Maybe it’s time to pull out the old tennis racket, cinch on a martial arts belt, or put on some dancing shoes and break out of your comfort zone. Learning a new sport can be just the thing that helps you cope with your divorce in a healthy way and it creates positive habits for the rest of your life.

Cooking Classes

Maybe you did all of the cooking in your last marriage, maybe you did none of it or maybe you split it evenly. Either way, improving your skills is an enjoyable pastime with a yummy outcome. Now that you are cooking for yourself, you can focus on the cuisine that you really enjoy. What you don’t want to do is start eating cheap and easy junk food, because let’s face it, most of us stress eat. Taking cooking classes will keep you eating healthy, help you socialize, and may help you discover a hidden talent you didn’t know you had.

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Creative Endeavors

No one said that you had to be a creative genius to pick up a paintbrush. The best thing about being creative is that it allows you to express yourself at your own pace. Maybe you don’t want to spend the money to take personalized classes (they can be very expensive) but writing, painting, reading, and crafts are all relatively cheap options.  Writing can be a great tool for self-guided therapy and it is very cathartic. Whether it is short stories, journal entries, poetry, or even just getting your confused thoughts on a page, writing has proven positive benefits for mental health. Quiet creativity is a powerful tool to turn to when you are feeling down or nervous, and it provides a personal outlet for stress.  No one has to see your work until you want them too, so you can do something for you that you feel proud of. There are hundreds of thousands of tutorials online that teach you to do almost anything that you would want for free!

 

Going through a divorce can be hard, but the fall out can be even harder. Make sure to surround yourself with friends and family, dance to your favorite music, watch your favorite movies and just know that it is only a roadblock, not a permanent destination. Picking up a new hobby is something that will create a positive and much-needed distraction, and will help you on your journey of healing.

Divorce and child custody scissors cutting family apart

Getting Married as a Child of Divorce

 

If you are the child of divorced parents,  you might think about marriage differently than your peers growing up. The divorce rate hit an all-time in the 1980s when it was almost 50%. But now that Millennials, who were born between 1980-1996, are products of that statistic, they view marriage differently than their parents. The divorce rate is now decreasing and it is hovering around 40% thanks mostly in part to Millennials and their marrying habits.  Millennials are getting divorced less because less of them are getting married. There is a reason chick flicks and rom-coms are so popular, and it’s because we want to believe in the possibility that true love exists. But in reality, growing up with divorced parents can make you behave differently in relationships. Many thought pieces have been written about how children of divorced parents approach relationships, but here are some of the common traits:

Overly Cautious

While some people love to throw themselves into a whirlwind relationship, children who grew up with divorced parents might hold onto caution and not throw it to the wind. They are wary about who they date, who they say “I love you” to and who they get into long term relationships with. Because they don’t believe that relationships will end in happy ever after, they can’t just sit on the sideline and let the relationship take its course, they tend to overanalyze everything. The benefit is that they have realistic expectations of love. They know that it takes effort between two people, and they are willing to wait to marry the person they are sure is right for them.

Separation Anxiety

While this is a generalization, it is worth noting that some people may experience some form of separation anxiety as a result of their parent’s divorce. This may result that they overly clingy with partners or they may seem very aloof in order not to get attached. This can be particularly hard especially when just dating around, but with therapy and self-reflection, people can recognize negative behaviors that can be acknowledged and changed over time.

Relationship crisis in bed with feeling of guilt

Fall in Love with their Parents

If the only example they had growing up of a relationship was a tumultuous one, there is a very high likelihood that they will fall in love with someone who can give them that same relationship. As humans, we learn the meaning of love from our parents, so if our parent’s love comes with conditions, then we will tend to look for those same conditions in our partners. If, for instance, you have a loving father but he is very needy, then you will grow up believing that someone expresses love by needing you all the time even if you didn’t like that trait in your father. It can be hard to recognize the same flaws in your potential partner that are similar to your parents, and sometimes they aren’t there at all, but they can cause long term problems.

Humans will always be flawed, its in our nature. Having a high divorce rate or a low divorce rate does not mean that one generation is better than the other, or that couples are doomed from the start. But if you did grow up with divorced parents, you might notice that you don’t relate to hopeless romantics as much as you would like to.  Love and relationship have been studied by psychologists for a very long time, but people’s individual needs and wants will always vary from relationship to relationship.

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Unhappy married couple on verge of divorce due to impotence and jealousy

Steps to Take Before Divorce

Steps to Take Before Divorce

If there is one thing that almost everyone can agree on, it’s that human relationships are complicated. If only we could live in a fairytale, where after we marry someone, we can ride off into the sunset together. But the truth,  is a lot of people get divorced for many different reasons. These reasons can be deeply personal or glaringly obvious, but in the end, it is the couple’s choice. But in some cases how do you know if getting a divorce will solve your problems? There are steps you can take before signing the divorce papers that might save your marriage or will help you solidify the decision to end it.

Identify Problems to Find Solutions

Sit down and write down all the frustrations you have about your spouse. They can be as petty or as deep as you want them to be, just take some time out of your day to gather your thoughts. If you immediately take them to your spouse, chances are going to cause more harm than good.  So journal your thoughts and feelings and ruminate on them for a couple of days. Thinking through some of your problems and researching the solutions can be a helpful start to fixing your marriage. Maybe the cracks in your marriage were not as big as you thought, but you won’t know until you have a clear idea of what is going wrong.

Couples Counseling

I know it is cliche, but it works. Just like having a mediator in a divorce case can help you navigate through your problems, being able to talk to a trained professional will be very beneficial to both you and your spouse, especially if every conversation leads to a fight. The catch with couples therapy is that you have to be willing to put in the work that is assigned to you, not to just show up and say that you tried. It can be very difficult to open up to a stranger, but choosing a professionally licensed therapist with lots of experience will give you the tools you need to have a healthier, happier life. But going to therapy is not always about saving your marriage, sometimes it will help you see that you don’t want to be married anymore and that can be the better option.

 

 

Relationship psychologist mediating young marriage thinking about divorce

 

Taking a Moment

This can mean a couple of different things. Maybe take a moment for yourself to get away from the stress, or you can take a moment together and see if you can work out your problems in a different environment. Probably the last thing you want to do is go on a romantic getaway with your spouse, but if it will help you rekindle the spark that you once felt for each other, it will be worth it. It does not have to be anything fancy, it can even be a staycation just for a weekend, but getting out of the house, away from friends, kids, parents, and jobs might help you see if that maybe your marriage isn’t falling apart, instead it is just outside stress that is causing you to fight amongst yourselves.

Couple romancing in a car at countryside

Getting married is a hard decision, staying married is a hard decision, and getting divorced is a hard decision. There is no guarantee that one choice will make you the happiest. In most cases, if a couple decides to get a divorce, they probably have already gone to through

Wooden judge gavel and golden rings,  divorce concept

Small Business and Divorce

 

Splitting assets in a divorce is a complicated and lengthy process. But what about a business? Depending on who owns the business and how much it is worth, even more complicated. All the details of separating a  business cannot be covered in one blog post, but it can cover some general questions that people may have about the future of their business.

Establishing Who Owns It

In a divorce case, in order to split up assets equally, it has to be established what is separate and what is marital. Separate means that it was owned by one person before the marriage and therefore will be retained by that same person, or if it was bought after the couple was married and therefore it needs to be split evenly. If a couple started a business after they were married, then the business interest will belong to both people evenly, and you must go from there. But in more complicated situations, sometimes a business can be started by a spouse ten years prior to getting married, but after the couple is married and they share finances, then whatever money was invested into the business from the personal savings can be given to the other spouse in court.  For instance, let’s say that Mark owns a business ten years before he met Jessica. While married, Mark invests $10,000 of their personal savings into his business and it grows exponentially. Now when they are getting divorced, Jessica is entitled to half $10,000 even if she doesn’t own the business itself.

Retro image of lawyer signing important legal document on black desk. Over black background.

Splitting Up Assets

There is a reason that a lawyer is needed to help with the divorce process. Trying to value and split assets can almost be impossible without financial and legal help. The husband may be a partial owner of a company and then when he gets divorced, the judge might order him to pay out for all their personal assets including half of his worth in the company. Now, what if the husband knew that the company was going to be sold soon and he knew that his shares of the company were going to be much more valuable in the near future. If the divorce goes through before the company sells and the wife didn’t know about it, she might have a reason to sue.

Trying to value what a  company is worth is also a hassle. How much is a desk worth? Or the tables and chairs? How do you account for the fact that it has depreciated over time? Who gets to own the business after the divorce is settled? All these questions can only be answered by a lawyer on a case by case basis with a thorough dive into all the couples finances. These legal proceedings take time and money but it is better for everyone if they are done properly. The truth is there is no short cut to getting a divorce, but getting an experienced lawyer to walk you through the steps and will fight for what is yours will help expedite the process.

Attorney with scale on the table

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How to Tell People You Are Getting Divorced

 

Your relationship with your spouse is a fairly private affair, but once you get a divorce it sometimes feels like all of your dirty laundry is aired in public. Close friends and family should be supportive and understanding, but what about co-workers? Or your children’s friend’s parents? Or even extended family members? Do you owe them an explanation as to why your spouse is no longer attending parties with you? It can be hard to talk about a divorce, especially when it is still painfully recent. Here are some tips that help you break the news to others while still allowing yourself to have boundaries.

Who Should Speak First?

Do you go to friends and family and tell them first? Do you wait until they approach you to avoid starting an awkward conversation? The truth is, people are going to talk no matter what. You can get ahead of the gossip by telling people how you want the discussion to go. It will help your family and friends if they hear it directly from you first, but you are not obligated to go into details right away. There are multiple ways that you can spread the news that doesn’t require you to speak with people face to face. Sending out a text message might be a little too cold, but an email or a letter will allow you to organize your thoughts without having a barrage of questions thrown at you. It will also give people time to craft their own response that is more thoughtful. When it comes to extended friends, family and acquaintances, it is best to have a pre-thought out response. News travels fast, and people you haven’t talked to in a long time are bound to hear about it even if you didn’t want them to.

If you have an automatic response, it will be easier to avoid unwanted advice or questions if you say something to the effect of “X and I are getting a divorce. I appreciate your concern but this is something that is I need to work through and it is very private so I don’t care to go into any more detail right now.” Most people are very understanding but if someone keeps pressing for details you have a right to let them know that they are being rude.

What You Shouldn’t Do

You will probably experience a lot of pain an emotion leading up to the divorce, so you may want to take that out on your ex-spouse. You will regret dragging people into your divorce if you tell them all the details right away. Posting a message on social media for everyone to see can create unwanted attention that you might not have the emotional ability to handle right now. Bashing your ex-spouse in public will create more problems than solutions and it can be used against you in court. If you feel like you have to talk to someone then a therapist, who provides an unbiased opinion, will be a great option for you and they can help guide you through your grief. People mean well when they give you unsolicited advice and want you to talk to them, but they are not trained professionals that are contractually obligated to secrecy.

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There is no right way to talk about a divorce. Both parties will say and do things that they will regret later on, or tell people secrets that they wished they hadn’t. There is no way that you are going to avoid the rumors, but you can stay on top of them. Telling people exactly what details you deem important enough and ignoring all the gossip that surrounds it will help you navigate your divorce until you get to the other side. The truth is, people will care about your divorce for only a short time and then move on with their own lives. The best thing you can do for yourself is to surround yourself with close friends and family and try and move on as well.

family, parenthood and people concept - happy father and little baby boy with book at home

Divorce After Adoption

For most children, divorce will be a confusing and traumatic time. But if they are adopted, it might make the situation even more difficult.  Children might experience attachment issues, anger issues or even lash out in unpredictable ways. The laws surrounding custody of adoption cases are pretty straightforward but the emotional turmoil that is can cause won’t be.  There are many resources out there that can help you and your family get through this trying time, especially for children.

Custody laws for Adoption

If a child is legally adopted by both parents, then in the court of law, they are treated the same way as a biological parent. Both parents will be eligible to get full or partial custody of the children and they will receive visitation rights. If only one parent is the adoptive parent and the other if the biological parent, then it will be much more difficult for an adoptive parent to get full custody unless they can prove that the children are much better off without the biological parent. The best course of action in a divorce is to always have a lawyer mediate, especially with custody battles because they will be the ones to help you get the most rights to see your children.

How to Help Children

Moving forward,  your main concern should be helping your kids cope. There are many ways that you and your ex-spouse can create a working co-parenting system. If you both have your children wellbeing in mind, then you and your spouse will still create a loving home that your children will still feel loved and welcome.

Always reassure the children that it is not their fault. They might be feeling abandoned, and those feelings might be compounded by the fact that they are adopted. Children are much more perceptive than people realize and so talking bad about ex-spouse can create tension that your children don’t want to be in the middle of. Consider getting professional therapy to help your kids deal with the transition of having divorced parents, and to help them cope with their emotions. Sometimes children who are adopted might feel like their mothers did not “want them” so divorce can make them feel like it is their fault. If you and your ex-spouse diligently work with your children to let them know that they are not to blame, it can help them cope with negative emotions. If they are switching houses back and forth, their everyday routine is thrown into chaos and it will add more stress in their lives. Helping them understand their new routine, and trying to keep as much of their old life in a place as possible will help ground them. Try and create new happy memories with your children to let them know that you can still have a happy home even after divorce.

House concepts,Father and daughter  hold hands model home,White house model with red roof.

Black couple fighting and depressed

The Strangest Reasons People Have Gotten Divorced

The Strangest Reasons People Have Gotten Divorced

Divorce is no laughing matter and can be very devasting to a lot of families, but some people’s divorce stories are less heartbreaking and more ridiculous than others. Maybe some people were never meant to get married in the first place because of the reasons they cited for divorce are questionable at best.  These are some of the most ridiculous reasons that people have gotten a divorce.

Makeup or Break Up

An Arab man divorced his bride after he saw for the first time with no makeup after their wedding. He claimed that she lied to him and by using makeup and false eyelashes and after they went swimming and he saw her for the first time without it. They were engaged for six months before they split, and he refused any attempts for them to reconcile. Love isn’t totally blind.

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Losing the Lottery

After 22 years of marriage, a woman filed for divorce out of the blue from her otherwise happy marriage. Two years later it came out that she had won the California lottery and didn’t want to split the proceeds with her husband, so she instantly divorced him instead. A judge later ruled that because she violated the terms of their divorce by not declaring all of her assets, she had to give all of her winnings to ex.

Pillow Talk

A woman in 2012 divorced her husband because he was too talkative. Not only that, but he couldn’t keep any secrets to himself. She claimed that he would tell his family and friends everything that she wanted to keep between them. She later said that he didn’t trust her and that is where many of their issues arose.

Dirty Secrets

A woman in Egypt had to file for divorce after her husband would not shower for over eight weeks. He claimed that a skin condition would not let him shower because he was allergic to water. The skin condition was later confirmed by a doctor but the doctor said that the husband wasn’t allergic to water.  The woman was denied divorce the first time by the courts but then she filed for Khol’a – a law in Islam that allows women to get divorced after giving up some of their financial assets.