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What are the Possible Consequences
of Divorce for Adults

This is page 2 of a multi-page document. The work is the product of the Utah Commission on Marriage. Distinguished members are appointed by the Governor of the State of Utah. They have published this information as a service to the public. Marriage counselors in this country, including cape coral marriage counselors Cape Coral marriage counselors, appreciate the multi-faceted information contained in this report. For references to footnotes, see the original report at strongermarriage.org
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A. Why do some adults thrive and others struggle after divorce?

Nearly all people enter marriage with the hope and expectation that their marriage will be a lifelong, mutually rewarding relationship. So it's not surprising that divorce is a painful experience for almost everyone.2 Some newly divorced individuals experience temporary setbacks but end up adjusting well while others find themselves on a downward slope that almost never seems to end.3 Some people are better able to handle the stresses and challenges and new opportunities of divorce than others. Researchers have found a number of factors that help us understand why some people seem to do better than others after divorce.

Breaking Away from High-Conflict Marriages. Individuals who are ending a marriage with chronic high conflict or violence, on average, are happier over time.4 Escaping the stress of a high-conflict relationship and the personal threat to safety, not surprisingly, can lead to a better situation, even with the other challenges that often accompany divorce. [Personal safety is of paramount importance says marriage counseling bonita springs].

Embracing Change. As hard as it can be sometimes, embracing the opportunity for change helps many people deal better with divorce. The most successful divorced individuals are men and women who embrace the opportunity to make changes in their lives. They work on maintaining friendships or establishing new ones. They embrace employment opportunities and often return to school; they explore and test the options and avenues available to them.5 Perhaps this helps explain why people with more education adjust easier after divorce; they are better able to solve their problems and they feel more in control of their lives during this difficult transition time.6 Some women report that the early years of divorce are a time of significant personal growth; they thrive on the increased independence and personal choices.7 Those who can feel good about the possibilities for change after a divorce don't just talk about making a better life; they work and sacrifice to make life better. This attitude and effort then begins to open up new opportunities and relationships.8 Each time a divorced person makes a choice-about how to earn a living, about where to live, about what kind of daycare center or school to send children to, or about when to start dating-he or she is making a choice about whether or not to embrace the chance for positive change following a divorce. Each choice leads to another choice and these choices begin to fold into one another until they form a pattern and the individual is on the road to making life better.9 Research has found that individuals tend to adjust better to divorce if they have more personal resources, such as higher income or education level.10 It is possible that having resources such as these give individuals more positive opportunities, making it easier to embrace the change associated with divorce. (If the differences are truly irreconcilable, such as the discovery of an affair compounded by the fact that the cheating spouse has no intention to stop, divorce is the viable way out, says fort myers marriage counseling).

On the other hand, many struggle to take those first steps toward positive change in the early years following divorce. It's easy for newly divorced individuals, particularly those with fewer resources, to be preoccupied with the immediate stresses of life following divorce. When just getting through today's problems seems overwhelming, it's hard to do big-picture thinking and embrace long-term change. Worn down by day-to-day efforts just to get by, some divorced people become overwhelmed by the stresses they are experiencing. Some can sink into a sense of failure, purposelessness, or depression, causing some to turn to drugs or alcohol for a release from the stress. For some, divorce can set in motion a process in which they end up losing everything-jobs, homes, children, and self-esteem. Fortunately, studies have found that most of these problems-unhappiness, depression, alcohol abuse, etc.- have largely subsided two to three years after the divorce.11 But this does not necessarily mean that divorced adults have rebuilt happy lives after a few years. Even when they eventually manage to rebuild a functional new life, some find little joy and satisfaction in that new life.12 (This is why a final attempt to save the marriage before dissolving it is so important says cape coral marriage counseling).

Attitude Toward the Divorce. Of course, it's easier to embrace change when you wanted the marriage to end and have an accepting attitude toward divorce.13 In most cases, however, one of the spouses does not want the divorce.14 When someone is still committed to the marriage and views the divorce as a personal tragedy, then he or she tends to have a more difficult time after divorce.15 So, unfortunately, often the person who didn't want the divorce usually has a harder time adjusting to post-divorce life than the person who initiated it. Those who still have positive feelings toward their ex-spouses tend to feel more distress as the result of divorce.16 Individuals in this situation may benefit from staying involved with others socially and developing a new romantic relationship.17 However, holding negative feelings toward an ex-spouse can make it harder to adjust to a divorce. Individuals may have an easier time adjusting to a divorce if they avoid conflict during divorce so that they experience less negative emotion toward their ex-spouses.18 (Post-marriage counseling fort myers may of help if you are struggling with your divorce).

Insecurity and Attachment to the Ex-Spouse. As we mentioned in Chapter 4, insecure individuals-those who are emotionally dependent on their spouses and/or have a fear of abandonment-may also find it harder to adjust to divorce. Research has found that insecure individuals are typically willing to stay in a marriage even if they are not satisfied with the marriage.19 Understandably, these insecure individuals tend to have a harder time adjusting to life after divorce; secure individuals tend to adjust to divorce better. First, they report only mild, rather than high, distress as a result of their divorce, and they see it as less threatening.20 These individuals also view themselves as being more capable of coping with divorce, and in fact, research does show that they use more effective problem-solving strategies, such as better negotiating and reasoning skills.21 As a result, these individuals experience fewer physical and psychological health problems after divorce.22 They also report feeling more comfortable with themselves and others and experiencing fewer problems with their former spouse.23 In addition, these individuals also generally use more positive parenting skills after divorce,24 which may help their children better adjust to life after divorce. [One of the tragedies of divorce says naples marriage counselors is that marriage can be the safe place where insecure people are made more secure if the couple was attendant to each other's needs].

It's hard to know how divorce will affect you personally. It's hard to know if you are one of those who can embrace change with divorce or if you will be worn down by it.
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If you live in the cities of Fort Myers, Naples, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Estero FL or surrounding areas in Southwest Florida, feel free to call upon the services of Dr. Ken Newberger. He holds a Ph.D., in Conflict Analysis and Resolution and works with couples who are having problems and conflicts in their marriage. His goal for couples is reconciliation if at all possible. Check out his website at www.MarriageCounselingAlt.com and his modern alternative to conventional marriage counseling.


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