6 min read
We Kick Your Sorry Divorce Excuses to the Curb, With Some Tough Love
Here are the top six excuses we hear most often for staying together—and why you should kick those excuses to the curb, along with your ex.
Ready to be empowered? Ready to live the life of your daydreams?
Consider this: Many of us have had that one friend—the one trapped in an unhappy marriage or possibly even a dangerous one. They make way too many excuses as to why they stay with their partner, despite miserable circumstances.
However, maybe now you’re that friend. Have you been thinking about what your life would look like on the other side of a split? Have you felt excited about changing your status quo? Have you looked in the mirror and imagined yourself building your dream life, without your current partner?
Unfortunately, too many of us chase those big what-ifs with a whole litany of excuses that keep us in our current situations.
Well, it’s time for some tough love.
Here are the top six excuses we hear most often for staying together—and why you should kick those excuses to the curb, along with your spouse.
Excuse #1: “It’ll Cost Too Much Money.”
Our Tough Love Response: How much is your life and happiness worth?
By hiring an experienced family law attorney, you can hammer out many ways to make divorce cost less. And if you take the initiative to start working on your split while the relationship is still amicable, there are many ways you can avoid court and a high-cost divorce.
Look, the reality is that if you fail to compromise in your divorce proceeding, it’ll almost always result in your matter going to trial. If you do go to trial, you’re looking at extensive costs that will be incurred in preparing and conducting that trial. Compromising and settling your case will almost always result in a savings, as you’ll cut down on the time needed to bring your matter to a conclusion and you’re more likely to end up with a result you can live with.
When you’re splitting, there are other alternatives to costly and stressful litigation: mediation, collaborative law and arbitration. We can help you settle your divorce outside the court, bringing your matter to an amicable conclusion, at a reduced financial and emotional cost to you. These methods work best when both parties are on the same page and want to resolve their matter without traditional litigation. You can avoid the drama, headache, emotional upset, loss of control and significant financial impact of typical divorce litigation.
Look into payment plans and ways your attorney advises that you can streamline the divorce process. No one, including your attorney, wants you to be in a harmful marriage longer than you need to be.
Excuse #2: “We’re Staying Together for the Kids.”
Our Tough Love Response: OK, time for a reality check. No matter how hard you try to hide what’s going on in your relationship, kids pick up on what’s going on. (Here are some tips for having the hard divorce convo with your kids.)
A bad marriage affects them almost as much, if not more, than you. And remember, your relationship teaches your children about their future relationships. In the worst-case scenario, do you want your children growing up in a household where they think it’s acceptable to be abused, physically or emotionally? Believe us, you (and your kids) can handle the adjustments to divorced life, including shared custody with your co-parent.
About half of kids in the United States will experience a parent’s divorce, and of these, another half will witness the breakup of a parent’s second marriage, according to American Sociological Review.While these are sobering stats, there’s also positive news.
In the long run, children with divorced parents don’t differ greatly in their educational achievements, self-esteem, relationships, behavior and emotional health than those who haven’t experienced a parental breakup, according to a summary of studies in Scientific American Mind. The research also indicates that most children who’ve lived through a divorce grow into well-adjusted, functional adults.
Excuse #3: “My Parents Will Hate Me.”
Our Tough Love Response: Bottom line—no, they won’t. Your parents aren’t going to blame you for a bad marriage.
If you have legitimate reasons for wanting out of a bad marriage, that trumps everything else. This isn’t a time where parents expect their children to “keep a stiff upper lip” and stick it out. They’ll understand … or will at least learn to in time.
Before you have the conversation with your immediate family and friends, decide what you want to say and how you’ll say it. Try to keep it as short and sweet—and tactful—as possible.
And no, it’s not silly to practice what you’ll say in front of the mirror or with a close friend. Think of this as your opportunity to define how others view your divorce:
“Our split is amicable, and we wish each other well and are excited for our futures. Also, our kids love having one-on-one time with each of us.”
“We’re working toward a cooperative, non-confrontational divorce that results in the best outcomes for our family.”
When you share the news, you can tell your family upfront that you’d like them to stick to the topic at hand—and you can set a time limit on the conversation. You can even have a transition ready: “So what’s the latest on your home addition? Decide on a vacation destination yet?”
Some experts recommend first telling the family member who’ll be the most supportive, say your brother, before you tell everyone else. That might help set the stage for the rest of the conversations. Depending on how amicable your split, you and your ex might have this conversation with some family members and friends together.
Excuse #4: “I Don’t Want to Go to Court.”
Our Tough Love Response: Guess what? You don’t have to.
We get it—court can be scary and expensive. Today there are many ways to avoid court, especially if your relationship is still amicable. Mediation is one way to stay out of the court.
Smedley Law Group attorneys are certified Matrimonial Law Attorneys and practice collaborative law, both of which mean you can work with a team that wants what is best for you and your family situation.
Excuse #5: “I Believe He (or She) Is Sorry.”
Our Tough Love Response: Believe someone when they show you who they truly are. A spouse cheats or is physically abusive and then instantly says “I’m sorry.” Perhaps it’s emotional neglect or not giving you “a seat at the table” to make decisions for your family. At the point you’re ready to think about divorce, you’ve heard this one too many times.
We aren’t saying people can’t change. It happens occasionally. But the reality is, it’s rare and takes time. You can’t change them. It’s not healthy to wait around to see if your spouse will make positive changes in their life. Take control of your life. Happiness is waiting.
Excuse #6: “I Won’t Ever Find Anyone Else to Love Me.”
Our Tough Love Response: This one breaks our hearts. Some people wrap up their own identity and self-worth in their spouse that they think they’ll never find love again.
This is totally false. In fact, it may be easier today to find love again. From online dating sites to social groups of older divorcees starting over, there’s plenty of opportunities to find happiness.
Plus, when you’re newly single, it’s a really great time to get to know yourself again, and to try new things or visit new places.
Do you see how these excuses just don’t hold water anymore? If you’re in an unhappy marriage, it’s time to be decisive and get in to at least talk about your options.
Book a consultation today with a Smedley Law Group attorney to learn exactly what you can expect in your situation and how we can help you transform your life.