It seems like every year a new study comes out announcing factors that can heighten your chances of getting divorced. Married young? Lived together beforehand? Have a low income? Not religious? According to science, you’re more likely to have a marriage end in divorce. Is it good marriage advice to listen to these risk factors? No! Everyone’s marriage is different. These factors are simply correlations. For example, those who have attended college are 13% less likely to get a divorce. Does this mean college graduates are inherently better at having a happy marriage? Of course not.
Still, it’s natural to ask yourself ‘where did we go wrong?’ when divorcing your significant other. You have a lot of feelings to process. What are some of the best ways to healthily work through your confusion? Here are three.
Counseling is not just for when you’re trying to save your marriage. Seeking out counseling during or after the divorce process can help keep you grounded and give you a lot of important perspectives. Going through a couple sessions of counseling together can make the divorce process smoother, especially if you have children or important mutual interests. And of course, attending counseling on your own is a smart form of self-care.
Try having your divorce mediated.
If counseling isn’t enough or just isn’t for you but you know you’ll need a little help communicating, mediation may be the answer. Having your divorce mediated can give you more autonomy over decisions than simply dealing with a judge, and a mediator is experienced in helping you compromise, communicate, and ultimately work together. Mediation can help stave off those bitter feelings that come from stressful and ‘unfair’ divorce proceedings.
Talk it out with a like-minded group.
It’s unfortunate that the divorce rate is so high overall, but there is a silver lining. When you have to go through an ordeal like divorcing your spouse, there are plenty of like-minded people who have gone through the same thing. Support groups abound in person and online. Talking out your frustrations, confusions, and experiences with others can help give you a sense of release and provide you with third-party insight.
The bottom line? When your divorce is leaving you feeling angry, sad, lonely, or just confused, seek out help. Whether it’s a counselor, mediator, support group, or friend, someone is willing to hear you out and help you make sense of this new experience.