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.
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 Alabama Law Group today to schedule a consultation.
A Real Look – The 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:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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 your 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.
6. 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 that 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.