According to the statistics of Divorces in Singapore, there were more than 28,000 marriages in Singapore in 2015. However, there were also about 7,500 divorces that same year. Divorce rates are also on the rise in Singapore year after year.
With those statistics in mind, we think it’s a good time to touch on divorce tips. Specifically, how to smoothen the divorce process.
Divorce is a legal and a psychological process. There is a strong relation between the psychological and legal aspects of divorce. If the divorce started off on a bad foot, there’s a higher chance it will end badly too. So it is important to be civil and try your best to make the process as smooth as possible. Divorce is an emotionally and financially difficult situation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it better. It is possible to have a healthy divorce and move on from it better than most people. You just have to make a conscious choice.
An important element of divorce is mutuality. This refers to the event whereby both parties agree amicably to a divorce as both feel that the marriage isn’t working. Unfortunately, this ideal situation is rather uncommon. Most parties in divorces do not have the same sentiments about the marriage at the same time. If they did, it would be so much easier to talk things out.
Problems usually happens over a period of time, whereby one party feels that he/she is not happy being in the marriage and is no longer able to withstand the discomfort, thus strongly considering a divorce. Such decisions are not made impulsively. Often, the initiator (person considering the divorce) has been reflecting and pondering about it for months or years.
The initiator has possibly thought of the alternative life after the divorce, and the emotional toll and process of the divorce. The initiator has probably even started meeting new people, engaging in activities he/she could not have done before, and even started making financial moves in anticipation of the divorce.
The divorce process unchains a plethora of emotions, but most notable anxiety, anger and fear. These feelings are normal and should be expected. However, the problem happens when the person lets these emotions cloud their judgements, leading to poor choices and may result in a worse off position when the divorce has been finalised.
How do you suppress these negative emotions? One way is to be kind to others. Yes, its that simple. Happiness and kindness are strongly correlated. Research has shown that when you are kind to others, it enhances your feelings of well-being, promotes natural flow of feel good endorphins, and elevates your mood.
The resulting happiness you receive from being kind to others can last even up to a month afterwards, so it’s definitely a good way to feel better in the midst of a divorce. Plus, being kind to others doesn’t cost anything.
Communication and Cooperation
Sitting down and talking to your partner may not be the first thing on your to-do list, but it has shown that sometimes just talking things out can improve the situation. It lets you and your partner let out your feelings, that may have been unknown to the other person previously. You can also get an understanding of their position, that may help clear up why the marriage isn’t working.
To facilitate open communication, talk to them when both of you are feeling calm and emotions are at a minimum. Next, prepare beforehand what it is you’d like to talk to them about.
As mentioned by Dale Carnegie in his book , try to look at things from the other party’s point of view. This will help you understand why they did what they did, and can give you broader perspectives on the issue at hand. Furthermore, when you look at things from the other person’s point of view, you are more likely to sympathise with them and understand their concerns better.
According to research, “80% of children adapt-well to divorces and see no lasting negative effects on their grades, social adjustment, or mental health.” Some other researches found that kids adjust within 2 years of the divorce.
However, the more important point to be stressed here is that kids experience more problems in high-conflict marriages. Ongoing parental conflict increases kids’ risk of psychological and social problems.
Planning on how to tell your kids and being honest with them is the best way forward. It’s also crucial to give them early notice of changes such as moving to a new home, as sudden change can negatively affect them. Minimal changes are helpful.
Allowing kids to have close contact and communication with both parents are also preferable, and is part of minimising change. It is also important to note that not all kids react to divorce the same. Some get angry and hostile, while others sympathise with their parents and are relatively calm.
Your own well-being
This has been covered in many divorce articles but it is important that you take care of yourself. Going out and meeting new people, volunteering (acts of kindness that leads to happiness) , taking part in activities you’ve always thought of doing are all ways to cope with the wave of emotions in a divorce.
Formal support groups such as the ones found on meetup.com can all be of tremendous help. New hobbies, eating right, and exercise are also building blocks to help you overcome the divorce process.
Saving the best for last, it is important to have the right mindset. Think positive. 99% of the things you worry about won’t happen anyway. “What you conceive, you achieve.”
When you think positively, your actions will reflect that.
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