Dealing with Divorce

The dissolution of a marriage is almost always an unhappy event, at the very least marked by disappointment and the loss of dreams and expectations. In addition, there are usually many legal, financial, parental, emotional, and practical aspects that requires changes in responsibilities and routines, and it can take people years to regain equilibrium. Nevertheless, divorce serves an important function in legally—and emotionally—freeing people to form a more stable relationship.

One of the most significant events of the 20th century was the changing role and improving status of women in private and public life, along with greater expectations for happiness. Those same changes brought about a much talked-about rise in divorce rates and liberalization of divorce laws. Infidelity and financial upheavals are significant causes of divorce, but the major causes are emotional; partners grow emotionally distant, experience disappointments because of unmet (and often unrealistic) expectations, or develop separate visions of life.

The liberalization of divorce laws has fueled non-adversarial approaches to marital dissolution, such as negotiation and mediation. Such practices are especially beneficial for children, for whom divorce is almost always deeply distressing and whose needs are often overlooked in the process.

It is commonly believed that 50 percent of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, but that is not the case. It is now estimated that only a third of marriages will face dissolution over time. Divorce is on the decline especially among the most educated. Experts believe that is because the educated marry later, when they are more mature and have had some relationship experience.

With marriage now deeply rooted in personal choice, people need an array of skills to work out the inevitable difficulties and disappointments that arise and lead to divorce.

Recent posts on Divorce

Donald Trump and Addictive Behaviors, Part II

By Stanton Peele on March 24, 2017 in Addiction in Society
Donald Trump's behavior in the aftermath of defeat is even more worrying than his bullying and gloating in victory.

Are You In A Toxic Relationship?

If a pattern of toxic love describes your relationship, there is a way out of this spiral. Here are four signs that suggest your relationship very well may be toxic.

Movies That Tell Us Life Is Livable, Even If It's Imperfect

By Stanton Peele on March 18, 2017 in Addiction in Society
Two new movies tell us that life is worth living, and love worth pursuing, even as it carries bitter disappointments.

Grandparents Affected by Adult Child Divorce

One of the lesser-mentioned advantages of co-parenting after divorce is that it can strengthen children's relationships with both sets of grandparents.

Thinking About Divorce or Suicide? Stop it! For 6 Months

By Karen L Smith MSS, LCSW on March 14, 2017 in Full Living
Neither divorce nor suicidality is the easy way out, but first we must consider every vehicle, every effort, every courageous act to save what is most precious.

Starting Places for Learning About Good Divorce

By Wendy Paris on March 14, 2017 in Splitopia
From apps to websites to books to classes: my top picks for getting through divorce and managing co-parenting.

Five Forgiveness Exercises for Couples

Do you want a stronger relationship with your partner? If so, you might try these five forgiveness exercises.

21 Simple Things You Can Do to Feel Better Right Now

I know what it feels like to be really miserable. I’ve been there. So I made you a list of 21 simple things you can do to feel better right here, right now.

How to Stop the Break Up-Make Up Cycle

The pain of ending a meaningful relationship can be so great that many go back again and again to the same partner. Here are four ways to stop the break up-make up cycle.

Stress in a House Divided: As in Our Country, So at Home

By Stan Tatkin Psy.D. on March 06, 2017 in The Puzzle of Love
When spouses are split because of one partner’s support for Trump, they have to decide if it is in fact a deal breaker. And it well may be.

Aging in Polyamorous Families Part Two

Explore friendship, sexuality, resilience, and relationship insights among aging polyamorous people involved in a 20-year research study.

Breakup Coping Strategy: Party Like It's 1999

By Wendy Paris on March 03, 2017 in Splitopia
As the now-classic experiment from Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer shows, age is relative to your environment.
(c) 4774344sean www.fotosearch.com

Need Help Coping With a Tough Marriage? A Painful Divorce?

Are coping with a tough marriage, or getting through a divorce, inevitably painful? Here's two factors that can alleviate much of the sting.

Divorcing and Coparenting With the Sociopath

There are ways to keep you and your children safe when divorcing a sociopath. Here are 5 things you must do in the face of a personality disordered ex.

The Trader

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on February 25, 2017 in How To Do Life
Sex, money, religion, and politics and your relationship.

7 Secrets to a Successful Relationship

Lasting love is hard to come by - how do successful couples make their relationships work?

Feeling Friendless After Separation

By Irene S Levine Ph.D. on February 15, 2017 in The Friendship Doctor
Advice on dealing with separation from a long-time partner.

What To Get Your Ex For Valentine's Day

By Wendy Paris on February 14, 2017 in Splitopia
Valentine's Day is a chance to celebrate all the people in our lives—including our ex. 

Divorce in Middle Age

The dissolution of a marriage is usually a major life stressor. Yet, it's up to you whether your new life is aimed toward fulfillment and growth or one of regret and stagnation.

Women Who Stay Single or Get Divorced Are Healthiest

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on February 11, 2017 in Living Single
Women 50+ who got married got fatter, drank more, and had higher blood pressure than when they were single. Women who divorced got healthier than they were when they were married.
freestocks.org, used with permission

Men Understanding Women Understanding Men

By Rob Whitley, Ph.D. on February 10, 2017 in Talking About Men
Many romantic relationships flounder on minor misunderstandings, which can often escalate into full-scale crises. What can be done to diminish such misunderstandings?

Sex and its Divine Nature

Why does our sexual appetite come and go? Is sex an activity that brings pleasure because it nurtures our ego? Or is it the opposite? Is sex so good because it disrupts our ego?

Men vs. Women Want Different Outcomes in Couples Therapy

By Douglas LaBier Ph.D. on February 07, 2017 in The New Resilience
Research shows the same kinds of conflicts around problem solving couples experience at home also affects what they look for in couples therapy.

4 Ways to Successfully Manage a Breakup

How a person manages the news that their beloved, romantic partner no longer desires a relationship with them determines how quickly and how healthfully they recover.

How the Little Things Make or Break a Relationship

Paying attention to the small things can make a big difference in your relationship. Here's why.

Men's Mental Health: A Silent Crisis

By Rob Whitley, Ph.D. on February 06, 2017 in Talking About Men
Numerous researchers state that there is a silent crisis in men’s mental health. Is this the case? What are the issues and what are the solutions to improve men's mental health?

Speaking of Marriage

How often does it happen that partners decide to put the couple before themselves as individuals?

What Is the Divorce Rate, Really?

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on February 02, 2017 in Living Single
Is it true that half of all marriages end in divorce? Is the divorce rate changing over time?

Talking About the Affair

By Michele Weiner-Davis MSW on January 30, 2017 in Divorce Busting
If the betrayed spouse has endless questions about what happened, should he or she ask?

The Emotions of Grief After a Breakup

Many will tell you not to waste your tears on a former love, but grief is the healing feeling. It must have its due for you to be happy once again.