Regardless of your prenuptial agreement, were you smart enough to make one – divorce changes everything in your life. The aftermath is something that can last for years, decades even and very few consider the casualties of divorce beyond that of their spouse. Often, the longer the marriage the more painful the unexpected side effects of divorce can be.
Obviously, if a couple has children – divorce changes the entire idea of parenting. No matter what sort of custody arrangement that you make, it means sharing the kids and trying to work out the intricacies of parenting on your own. For the children, the divorce can bring about an entirely new geography as well as the need for resiliency and adaptation. Mom and dad’s home will be vastly different from the home that they now know. Money, too changes with divorce. No matter if you are a two or one income household; the financial ramifications of divorce send many flailing into bankruptcy. Suddenly, there are two electrical bills where there used to be just one and groceries needed in two places – doubling the need. If one parent was not working before the divorce, chances are they will have to now, which creates a new and different life for the children and for your financial picture.
Your Finances will Change after a Divorce
Financial lending, credit cards, and even your insurance company will suddenly see you in a different light, classifying you as something risky and unstable – all because of a divorce. The PTA, the recreation center where you coach, may not see you as such a desirable interest. Inevitably, everything changes with divorce. The way you are perceived by the outside world is definitely one of those things.
These things are all expected. In fact, millions of people put of divorce or settle for less than a blissful marriage for years because they do not want to deal with the changes to their lifestyle or family. One of the number one reasons that people stay in an unhappy marriage is because of the kids. And money doesn’t hurt either. There are plenty of people who although unhappy, just cannot afford to divorce their spouse.
Some things however are not so expected. You assume that your life is your life when you are married and that the people that mean a lot to you, will always be there in your life. Then, you get divorced and you realize that blood really is thicker than water. Suddenly the annual summer vacation with the in-laws, the Christmas shopping with your sister in law and the golf trip with your brother in law are off limits for you. If you have been married a long time, there is a pretty good chance that divorce changes everything about how these people, once your family, will now treat you. They immediately feel that they have to choose sides and that siding with you, no matter how much they love you, feels like a betrayal to their own family member.
Consider how Christmas, Thanksgiving, and birthday arrangements will be made. It just doesn’t make sense for people on the in-law side of you family to invite you and their own flesh and blood. And whom should they be more loyal to? Most, will choose their blood relative. Likewise, how your family treats your ex after the divorce can have an impact on your relationship with them. Seeing your ex husband and father on a fishing excursion when you think your ex is the devil in disguise, will not do much for creating warm feelings for your dad.
Rituals, traditions, and other things that have been part of your life since you became married will have to be given up, much to the tune of divine chocolate. New traditions will have to replace these old ones, even with friends.
Your friends, his friends, or her friends – they too will change. Now that you are single, you may not fit into the neighborhood Poker tournament every Saturday night. You may be hard pressed to find your old married friends willing to escort you on evenings out that now pass the time for you. You will also find that some of your friends will also choose sides in the divorce. If you became great friends with your husband’s best friend’s wife – she too may now be off limits. And these things hurt. Truth be told, a lot of the people that you counted on for assistance and support throughout your life, who you have invested hard-core time and love in developing relationships with and who seem to make your life feel whole, may no longer be available. You might be forced to sit on the outskirts, hearing the updates and stories about your old friends through the experiences of your children. And this can hurt for a long time to come. It is essentially like starting over – with a whole lot of baggage and hurt feelings to carry around with you.
It is no wonder that so many people put off divorce and resist thinking about it out of convenience. Everything does change with divorce. There isn’t a relationship or an aspect of your life that won’t experience some sort of long-term transition. This doesn’t mean that all of the changes are necessarily negative; just that they exist. Even in the unhappiest of marriages, there are many parts of your life that came to into being because you decided to get married. If it was as easy as saying, “see you later,” with no real long lasting or infectious losses to come in the years ahead, even more people would be filing for divorce than there already is. Being prepared for the obvious changes in your life is easy, but the ones that you didn’t expect can truly hurt the most.