Joe and Jane were constantly quarrelling and shouting at each other. So much so that their marriage had become a bigger problem for their neighbors, whose sleep too was disturbed. Divorce was a great relief to all.
Still, the first morning after divorce, when he woke up alone in his apartment, Joe did not know what to do. Till their last day together, Jane had made the morning coffee. He didn’t know to brew it the way she did. He missed his daughter. Even having no one to shout at was a big problem, because shouting at Jane had almost become a necessary hors d'œuvre for him to get started.
This is the post-divorce scenario for many. It is sometimes worse than pre-divorce turmoil. It is more so for that partner who needed the divorce less. Many are embittered and feel that they were given a raw deal. There is frustration and resultant anger and hatred in others. Yet others worry that they have become objects of pity among friends and so lose their self-esteem. There is a tinge of sadness in most, thinking of the nice times they had together.
The spouse who had the bigger hand in precipitating the split might have feelings of guilt and regret. A long list of ‘if only I had….’ thoughts become the part of their lives for many days after that.
One has to combat these blues oneself. Understand that divorce was absolutely necessary in everybody’s interest and that it is irrevocable. Look at the brighter side of the picture and set new career goals or look forward to better relationships. Remember that the mistakes made in one relationship will greatly help in minimizing them in the next.
A change of place, or making new friends, will help. Realize that time alone can heal such wounds. So time should be given for regeneration. One has to go on living till the fag end of life, and there is a lot of planning and investing to be done for the life that still remains. Higher investment in life will bring higher returns too.
The biggest casualties of a broken marriage, giving maximum heartache to their parents, are children. Parents should cooperate in minimizing their trauma. Children’s future relationships and equations with life will depend substantially on the supportive atmosphere that separated parents provide. A white lie might help a very young child, while truth should be explained to an older child.
After separation, the long term interest of the children should be placed above the emotional needs of parents. The custodial parent should not deny the other visiting rights and non-custodial parent should not interfere too much in the child’s life. The only scenario when a non-custodial parent should interfere is when the custodial parent cannot be relied upon to raise the child properly.
Where a child had a shared passion with an absentee parent, the custodial parent should help promote it. The single parent bringing up the child should make the child understand that there are situations when one has to settle for the lesser evil and that there is nothing wrong or shameful in the situation. In the immediate aftermath of divorce, the parent should keep track that the child is not taunted by friends or neighbors.
Each divorce in the end may generate its own unique problems. All the more reason that the individual alone can fight and overcome the blues.