By John Hawkins Sr., D.D., M.S.
Unfortunately every marriage does not work out to living “happily ever after.” Life is not a fairy tale and often is messy. Divorce is a very painful process to go through. Here are some divorce statistics from the US Census Bureau:
Most people think the divorce rate is around 50% and it breaks down according to marriages this way, First marriages 41%, second marriages 60%, third marriages 73%. There is a divorce every 13 seconds. The average length of a marriage that ends in divorce is eight years. The average age of a person in their first divorce is 30.
These are some pretty sobering statistics. The reason that the percentage goes up with every divorce is that people keep making the same mistakes. They don’t take time to process through the failed first marriage. Most marriages could be saved and fixed for the betterment of both people. What is required for that to happen is two people who are willing to look at their self and do the hard work. The myth is, “It shouldn’t have to be this hard.” The truth is relationships take work. Unfortunately, you can’t control another person in regard to what they are willing to do.
When a marriage does not work it is important to go through a divorce recovery process to understand why it didn’t work. The divorce recovery process we take people through usually involves three phases. First, is the grief phase. Divorce is the death of a marriage and for many the death of a dream. Every loss needs to be grieved. People need to understand the grief process and how to navigate through it. They are often surprised by their grief emotions even whey they are the ones who wanted out. The second phases is “lessons learned.” This helps people look at why the marriage didn’t last, what was the role of each partner in it and “what do I learn about myself” from all of this? The third phase is “looking at tomorrow.” This phase will help you plan where your life goes from here as you transition to your “new normal.”
Do not continue to be another statistic and suffer throughout the pain of divorce alone. Divorce brings a whole new set of issues to deal with especially if children are involved. Allow a qualified counselor to help you process through this difficult time.