In taking a stereotypical look at divorce, men worry about the money and property, and women worry about the relationship and the kids, and to many, finding a divorce support group of some sort isn’t necessary. Here’s the problem with looking at divorce that way – generalized stereotypes are rarely 100% true, and unless you’ve been through a divorce personally, divorce stereotypes don’t hold any water.
Everyone involved (yes, everyone ) will eventually go through the steps of grieving – the anger, the bargaining, the denial – and everyone involved will have to consider every part of the divorce process – the property, the kids, the future. It’s a lose-lose situation, and each party, whether they want to admit it or not, will need some help processing the situation.
So where do you turn for support? Stereotypically, a man would find a lawyer, or a therapist (or both), where a woman might stereotypically ‘circle the wagons’ of friends and family to help her through this crisis. In either case, most people don’t automatically jump to the idea of joining a divorce support group, but maybe they should.
By continuing to focus on stereotypes, the divorce rates state and country-wide have skyrocketed, and self-care in all aspects of life has become hugely important. Regardless of how you think a man or a woman might approach life after divorce, support is a necessary element to recovery for both parties, and a divorce support group should be on your list of possible options.
How To Find The Right Divorce Support Group
A Place Of Acceptance
For both men and women, going through a divorce can be crushing, and it’s easy to feel alone. Most people assume that a divorce support group will only offer support through a divorce process, but these groups are designed to help a person holistically, giving its members the opportunity to share their experiences with others who have been down the same road, without judgment or ridicule. Each group has a different flair and may use different tactics to help people, but at the heart, the goal is to assist with processing this difficult situation.
A divorce can be one of the hardest things that you experience. It’s vital to have an encouraging support system. It may be worth your time to attend a divorce support group to help get you through this challenging season. Equally as important is hiring a qualified divorce attorney. Contact The The Law Offices of Charlotte Christian and Associates today to schedule a consultation.
A Real Look At A Divorce Support Group
If you’re still on the fence about joining a divorce support group, here are 6 things these groups can offer, giving you a real look at the best form of support you can find:
- A No-Nonsense Approach
As humans, it’s not hard to convince ourselves that whatever behavior we’re engaging in is okay, including within the confines of a marital relationship. It’s easy to excuse our own behavior and blame others (like a spouse) for the problems we’re experiencing. A divorce support group won’t allow you to get away with that kind of emotional self-deception, especially if the class leader has had a lot of experience in this area. The people who have willingly joined this group want to improve themselves, and improvement takes honesty. It may be a tough pill to swallow, but no one is blameless in divorce. Taking an honest look at yourself is the best way to start moving in the right direction.
- A New Support System
In marriage, most people consider their spouse to be their main support system, but if you lose your spouse (or worse, go to war with them), then that support system is gone for good. Watching your relationship crumble, and losing the support system you’ve relied on, can be very disheartening and scary. A divorce support group, however, can become a new support system, providing a brotherhood or sisterhood of others to help during this time of trouble and beyond.
- A Wise Sounding Board
Collective wisdom is not appreciated like it used to be when cultures revolved around common stories, and younger people listened when their elders spoke about life. While it’s not as in-depth as a cultural structure, a divorce support group’s members can be a wealth of wisdom for you, especially as you are trying to make decisions, handle issues, or deal with your feelings. Not everyone has the exact same experience when it comes to divorce, and there are innumerable blind spots when walking through the process. The people in your group can help you spot those roadblocks, or give advice when you don’t see a particular situation coming.
- Real Change
When you commit to a support group of any kind, you’re committing to the people you’re with and to the process of change. In a divorce support group, each person is trying to understand why they’re going through a divorce, to know what went wrong. Having that information is pointless, though, unless you’re willing to implement what you learn in your everyday life. If you start changing, everything around you will change – your outlook, your relationships, your work ethic. This can sometimes lead to reconciliation with your spouse, but if it doesn’t, it can lead to having a more civil divorce and a better relationship post-divorce.
- Help With Challenges
Any kind of major change in your life has its challenges, but divorce has its own set of all-encompassing problems that can be overwhelming. Child custody, property, money, damages, alimony…it can all make you feel like you’re drowning. But a divorce support group can help you move through all of the challenges, even to the point of referrals for professionals (lawyers, therapists, child counselors, accountants, etc.) to handle specific details of your divorce process.
- A Safe Place To Learn Awareness
People may chide at the phrase ‘a safe place’, but when you’re walking through a huge life change, feeling safe may be exactly what you’re looking for. A divorce support group is a safe place, with people who can listen and help you. Having that safety net is a great place to be when you’re trying to get to know yourself again, gaining a deeper emotional awareness, and learning how to communicate with people around you.
After divorce, it’s advisable to find a support group. However, how do you find the perfect one for you?
Finding the right divorce support group for you can be as easy as looking around you. Your neighborhood will have community organizations that address all manner of issues affecting the community, including divorce. While the first community group you come across isn’t likely to be about divorcees exclusively, a community organization can point you to suitable groups near you.
The same applies to churches. You can look for divorce support groups in the church. Your therapist can also let you know of existing support groups you can join. Before you stress yourself, look around you in churches, community organizations or ask your therapist, if you are seeing one. The best groups are run by trained individuals (counselors and therapists).
If you can’t physically find any divorce support group around you, turn to the internet. Some areas don’t have local community organizations or support groups. Finding the right support group can be as easy as searching on Google.
Whether you are searching for divorce recovery groups or online classes for supporting recovery, there’s plenty of options online. There are many internet directories with divorce support groups in every state or jurisdiction. Just ensure you search a term alongside your local area i.e., “Alabama divorce support group”. Find and review the best support groups based on factors like reviews.
Divorced Family Members & Friends
Some people feel safer finding support within their family and friendship circles. If that sounds like you, consider seeking support from close individuals who have gone through a divorce. A sibling, cousin, aunt, or uncle who has gone through a divorce may have better advice for you than individuals who you don’t know.
However, the opposite could also be true. This same applies to friends. Sometimes you require advice from strangers to avoid biases. But this may vary based on different factors. If you are comfortable talking to people you know, family and friends may form the best support group.
The Importance Of A Divorce Attorney
The best divorce attorney in Alabama will definitely know where their client is most likely to find support. Divorce attorneys work with other professionals i.e., therapists in their day-to-day activities. They also work with community organizations, charities, etc. They can recommend professional support that will address a client’s specific issues. If you know a divorce lawyer, don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Divorce can have devastating psychological and financial consequences. Divorcees need help, even though some may appear to be fine. It doesn’t matter if there are hopes of reconciling. Professional support is highly recommended to address the stress, bitterness, loneliness, worrying, among other common effects.
When searching for the right support group, look around you, online, and among family and friends who have gone through a divorce. You can also ask a divorce attorney for a professional recommendation. Since divorce happens for many reasons, the right support group for you is one that addresses your specific issue.