Divorce after a long marriage
Divorce after a long marriage often comes about after many years of small defining moments, sometimes big moments that have added up and connected together like a jigsaw puzzle. The final picture is two people facing away, back to back. Often, the background of the scene is family and friends and sometimes a business, property and finances, complications that need to be dealt with but not without causing a great deal of sadness. You know it’s inevitable, but how can you continue? You cling to your edge of the bed perhaps, trying not to touch legs, going on holidays with fake smiles hoping the family won’t notice, maybe sleeping in separate rooms or going to bed at different times, staying late at work. You thought it was just your marriage, but it’s not, it’s happening to many couples, some continue to live like this and some take the decision to make the break.
Often, divorce comes about due to affairs or just a feeling that there are fewer years ahead of you than when you first got together and it’s a now or never feeling. Perhaps you want more from life, your spouse is happy to stay home and watch TV but you want to experience more, travel, learn new hobbies, meet new people. What happens next you probably ask? How can I make this happen? If your partner is adamant that life is just fine, what can you do? You can stay as you are, unfulfilled but not wanting to rock the boat, upset the family or to even be accused of selfishness and seeing the grass as greener, having a mid-life crisis, but what’s actually wrong with a mid-life crisis? A crisis is defined as a time of intense difficulty or danger. If you have an agreeable divorce, the chances are you will still have difficulty adjusting, living apart from the person you have loved for so long, the loss of an intimate relationship, there is the danger that your ex will meet someone else and this can be difficult also.
Divorce can be quick, especially so if it is a mutual decision and if you both agree you are not the people you once were and can remain on good terms, coming together with children and grandchildren for special events such as birthdays, graduations and Christmas.
It won’t be quick if finances cannot be agreed despite the decision to break up being a mutual one and often, this is where bad feelings can surface.
Offloading all of your options and feelings can be helpful in making the right decision for you, a counsellor will listen and not judge you, they may challenge you but without bias. It’s good to have someone walk by your side on this journey.
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About Beverley Brough
Qualified integrative counsellor.