Tag: misery

Does it take time to move on after a midlife divorce?

For most people, generally yes. However one may define “move on,” the longer one is married (especially when the couple has lived together for the duration of the marriage and has had children), a divorce is a major upheaval in one’s life. Divorce after a long marriage brings with it changes in your life you may have expected, but many changes that you did not. With extraordinarily rare exception, there are adjustments to be made, it takes time to process its occurrence and effects. Some people are surprised to find out how hard it is to confront and adjust to divorce. 

A long but miserable marriage is one to which most people make many and many shocking subconscious accommodations. Like an addict, they suffer “withdrawal symptoms” as they detoxify, going through periods of doubt, regret, loss, grief, etc., even when they know in their heads that the divorce is the part of the “treatment,” some of the “medicine” they need to be healthy and whole again. 

Many people who divorce after a long marriage may be shocked to learn that their spouses and/or marriages were not the source or an aggravating factor regarding the malaise, dissatisfaction, or depression they are experiencing. It’s gut wrenchingly tragic when people divorce in the false/mistaken belief that divorce is the cure when their loving, supportive spouses were one of the best, if not the best, things they had going them. Fortunately, even those who foolishly, needlessly divorce can recover. Some people are fortunate enough to remarry their ex-spouse. Regardless, we all make mistakes in this life. Some big, some minor. But most are not wholly irreparable, thank goodness. Divorce need not be an exception. 

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277  

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Should I be nice to my spouse during a divorce?

That depends on what you mean by “nice”.

Do you mean “with kindness”? Not necessarily kindness, but certainly decency. You are morally obligated to treat your spouse with decency, but you don’t have to go out of your way to make the spouse you are divorcing happy. You don’t have to capitulate to your spouse’s unfair or unreasonable demands.

Do you mean “with honesty and fairness”? If so, then yes: you are morally obligated to be honest and fair with everyone, but again aren’t obligated to capitulate to your spouse’s unfair or unreasonable demands, nor are you in any way obligated to tolerate being treated unfairly by your spouse.

Do you mean “forgiving”? If so, then yes: you are morally obligated to forgive your spouse for the wrong’s he/she did you, but forgiveness does not mean “acceptance”. Forgiving the people who have deceived or betrayed me in the past does not require me to trust them in the future. I forgive them so that I don’t dwell on the hurt done to me, so that I don’t let the injury continue to harm me, so that the one who did me wrong is shown the mercy needed to give him/her the best opportunity to change for the better without eternal regret or shame hampering the repentance process.

Fighting fire with fire will only intensify the pain and misery. Being the better man (or woman, as the case may be), living up to your virtuous values and standards of conduct is the only way to move on with peace and happiness (and you can get back there). Easier said than done, yes, but the only way.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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