Ideally, marriage lasts a lifetime. Unfortunately, this is not an ideal world. People change, for better or worse. The changes we experience can have a profound impact on our relationships — even those we thought would last forever — and divorce may become a possibility we cannot ignore. If you’re currently struggling with this difficult decision or expect to be in the near future, accepting that you need to end your marriage is only the beginning. There will be a long period to come filled with legal, financial and emotional deliberations and determinations. Being prepared for this process is critical for maintaining your own well-being and helping those who depend on you. If you aren’t prepared, your divorce may be far more difficult to handle than you might expect.
For example, it is vitally important that you find a good attorney and are forthcoming with him or her throughout the divorce proceedings. Withholding information due to embarrassment or anger may hurt your case in court and lead to problems later. If you have children, you need to spend time with them and answer their questions honestly. Even if they seem to be handling the prospect of divorce well, there may be a great deal of emotional turmoil they’re not expressing.
Once the divorce is finalized and you’re ready to begin your new life, it’s time to focus on the healing process. Don’t feel pressured to rush into a new relationship until you truly believe you’re ready for the responsibility of being someone’s partner again. Try to avoid suppressing your feelings and stay away from people who will reopen old wounds.
Sadly, nothing lasts forever no matter how much we may wish it could. For more tips to help you manage one of the most difficult challenges of life, see the accompanying infographic.