Mr. Rebates

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Divorce Trap

Feb 25, 2010

Various studies show with great consistency that divorced individuals fail to anticipate the real world of post married life, and often regret their decision to divorce. This regret, as you might expect, occurs over time and in a variety of different lifestyle expectations. Additionally, in spite of the ever improving levels of equality for women in society, research makes it apparent that in 2010 the burden of divorce still falls more heavily on a woman.
When you consider the anger and bitterness marriages that end in divorce often generate, it is not surprising that after that anger has dissipated many wonder if there might have been a better resolution to their marital woes. Here are some of the facts that make divorce far less attractive after the fact than before.
Lenore Weitzman, a sociologist who has done  detailed research on the lives of divorced families, wrote in her book The Divorce Revolution that a year after divorce, a woman’s standard of living decreases on average an astounding 73 percent while a man’s increases 42 percent. Additionally, it has become increasingly common to discover that alimony is a thing of the past. Women often are not awarded alimony. As Weitzman writes: “These apparently simple statistics have far-reaching social and economic consequences. For most women and children, divorce means a precipitous downward mobility – both economically and socially. The reduction in income brings residential moves and inferior housing, drastically diminished or nonexistent funds for recreation and leisure, and intense pressures due to inadequate time and money.”
In planning for life after divorce, quite often, as we previously indicated, emotional issues blind us to such hard facts as these types of financial realities. Realities are minimized or denied and focus is placed on the life one will have once “liberated” from the bonds of marriage. And of course, the question after divorce for many becomes: “Where will I find my true soul mate?”
For many the simple answer to that question is: You will not! Forty percent of the women who divorce after age thirty simply do not remarry. A portion of those who do not remarry may do so by choice. Many, however, say that the pool of marriage-minded men available to divorced women has been shrinking. At the same time it appears that many men in similar age brackets are actually marrying younger women.
While we’re in the mode of anticipating being free of a marriage we have come to think of as unhappy, we often forget the tricky waters we must navigate in order to find love again. From sexually transmitted diseases to adjusting to the inevitable personality quirks of a new partner, re-coupling, for the most part, can be difficult at best.
Regardless of how much any individual may want a divorce, there are usually feelings of regret and loss over a relationship that has ended. This is especially true for couples who have been married for many years, and or have raised a family together. Even those who were most determined to divorce will later speak of a sense of sadness over what John Gray in his book Mars and Venus Starting Over has called the loss of what might have been .
The divorce trap quite simply is that the emotions that pull us into walking away from a marriage can be overpowering; often blinding us to the realities of what life may look like after divorce. Individuals often moving toward divorce will reject the idea of marital counseling, disdaining the time and cost involved in the process. When one considers, however, the often difficult realities of life after divorce, it may be the wisest investment in the future that any one or two individuals ever makes.

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