Reducing the Stigma of Divorce

Divorce Shouldn’t Be Shameful

It’s often said that half of marriages end in divorce. However, just because you want to end your marriage doesn’t make you a failure. There are a number of valid and healthy reasons to end a relationship regardless of the label placed on doing so.

Prioritize Your Health and Safety

No one should be forced to remain in a relationship that is emotionally or physically abusive. Furthermore, it’s generally not wise to remain in a relationship for the sake of your kids or anyone else. In fact, staying with your spouse for the sake of your children could actually cause developmental problems for them. It may also cause other emotional issues that can follow them into adulthood.

You are the only one who can judge if a relationship is healthy and fulfilling, but you shouldn’t want to run at the first sign of trouble. Marriages often experience some level of conflict over the years, and there will be times when things are not flowing optimally.

However, if you don’t think that you can talk to your spouse without fear of retribution, it’s probably time to consider ending the relationship. If you are thinking about leaving your spouse, a divorce attorney may be able to help you determine what your next steps might be.

Tell Your Own Story

It’s common for people to associate divorce with a lack of morals or a lack of commitment to their families. It’s also common for people to assume that a divorced couple can’t get along with each other or do a good job raising their children.

While there are stories of families that fall apart after a divorce, this doesn’t have to be the case for everyone. You can help to reduce the stigma around divorce by sharing your own positive message about how you and your former spouse work together amicably. Whether this means raising your kids in a respectful way or simply just staying friends after the divorce, you can show your friends and family that there is life after the end of a marriage.

Even if you don’t have an amicable finish to your marriage, you can still show the benefits of doing so. For instance, you could talk about how a divorce gave you more control over your finances or gave you more time to focus on advancing in your career.

You could also talk about how leaving your spouse means that you don’t have to ask permission for anything or compromise yourself. Ultimately, when people see that you are happy or content without a spouse, they may start to shift their thinking about what it means to get a divorce.

Share What Helped You During Your Transition

A divorce can be difficult even if you know that doing so is the right thing for you. There are a number of resources available to those who are thinking about leaving their spouses.

For example, you could talk more about how you went to therapy before, during, and after the divorce process came to an end. You could also talk about how you leaned on your friends, family members, or others to help you when you felt sad, lonely, or anxious.

You can also talk more about the various processes available to end your marriage quickly and amicably. For instance, mediation allows you and your spouse to work together to come to a solution that works for all parties. You don’t have to drag out the process in a courtroom, which takes a long time and could result in hurt feelings.

It may also be a good idea to talk about some of the mistakes that you made to help others learn from your experience. Let’s say that you decided to throw yourself into your work to keep yourself from thinking about the end of your marriage. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it could result in career burnout or other negative consequences.

Therefore, you may want to recommend to others in your social circle to have a more balanced outlook on life. Instead of working 80 hours a week, it may have been better to take up a hobby as a way to relieve stress and meet new people.

Ultimately, your goal is to let others know that there is help for them if they need it. In fact, you could offer your services as a support person during a friend or family member’s divorce or as they gear up to end their own marriage.

Help Others During Their Divorces

The best way to help a friend or family member going through a divorce is to simply include them in your life. For instance, if you’re going out to a movie with your spouse, you can invite your friend or loved one to come too. Divorce doesn’t have to be the end of every connection made during the marriage, and even if your friend won’t ultimately come with you, people do like to be asked.

By not choosing sides, you can serve as a safe space for someone who is going through a stressful situation. Therefore, you can be a good friend simply by spending time with a divorcing individual even if you don’t spend any time talking about the situation. Sometimes, just knowing that someone is there can help a person through a tough time.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t serve as a sounding board or provide advice if needed. For instance, if your friend is trying to get out of an abusive relationship, you can provide the name of someone who might help with getting a restraining order. You can also talk more about shelters or other resources for those who are trying to rebuild after being victims of domestic violence.

You might also help by offering your friend a job or putting in a good word with your current employer. You might also choose to provide direct financial support, offer the extra room in your home, or offer other assistance to someone who needs help rebuilding after a divorce. Finally, you can share what you know about property division or alimony laws and how they can help a friend or loved one.

Taking these or other steps provides hope to someone who is seeking to end their marriage. Ultimately, it turns the process from an embarrassing one into one that can help to empower an individual close to you to take the next step in their life.

Choose Your Words Carefully

Finally, you can erase the stigma of a divorce by using encouraging or neutral language. This shows that you empathize with what the other person is going through even if you don’t necessarily agree with what is happening. Using neutral language may also help preserve the relationship with your divorcing friend or loved one after it becomes official.

If you are in need of a divorce attorney, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Office of Kelly Berton Rocco at your earliest convenience. You can do so by calling the Hackensack office at 201-343-0078 or by sending a note through the online contact form.

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