Why Divorce: 5 Reasons To Leave

April 10 2019

Dealing with Divorce: Attorney Rachel Virk Shows Us "The Four Ways of Divorce"

Why Divorce: 5 Reasons to Leave
Dealing with Divorce: Attorney Rachel Virk Shows Us "The Four Ways of Divorce"
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Rachel L. Virk has been in practice since 1989 litigating, negotiating, collaborating, and mediating divorce cases throughout Northern Virginia. She is Certified as a Mediator by the Virginia Supreme Court at the Circuit Court Family level, and is a trained collaborative law practitioner and author of Four Ways of Divorce.

Whether sitting down to work it out, or standing up to fight it out, she provides information to help shape and control your new future, and to control the costs in her book, provides a concise guide to what you need to know about divorce using Litigation, Negotiation, Collaboration and Mediation.

Virk explains: “You may need to journey down the warpath to stand up for what you must. Or if you and your X2B don’t hate each other just because you are getting a divorce, you may work together to custom design your new, separate lives, or your new two-home family. This book tells you in detail exactly what you need know to make informed decisions, describes how you can write up your decisions in a legally binding document, or what will happen if you go to court. The back of the book contains a chart for the easy comparison of the litigation, negotiation, collaboration and mediation processes, along with many helpful financial worksheets. You will also find an explanation of the Informative Mediation Process, and an extremely useful General List of Topics to be Resolved.”

Don’t miss our podcast interview, which will be featured in the book project: Why Divorce: 5 Reasons to Leave.

About Rachel Virk:

President of Rachel L. Virk, P.C., she is a member of several local, state, national and international professional associations addressing divorce dispute resolution, as listed in detail on her website www.virk-law.com.

Virk has made presentations to attorneys, to mediators, to mental health professionals, and to the general public on the subject of divorce and family law. Her writings, articles and commentary have appeared in various state and national publications. Her various publications are listed on her website.

With offices in Fairfax County, Virginia, for 10 years, and in Loudoun County, Virginia, for five years, before opening her own practice in 2005.  Rachel L. Virk, P.C. is located in Sterling, Virginia.

Education: Virk obtained a Bachelor of Science degree with majors in marine science and biology and a minor in chemistry from the University of Miami, Florida in 1982; a Masters of Science degree in biology from the University of Miami, Florida in 1985; and her law degree from the George Mason University School of Law in 1989.

Additional credentials for Rachel Virk:

  • Recognized as a “Top 10 Family Law Attorney for Virginia” by the Attorney and Practice Magazine for 2018
  • Voted #1 Attorney in for Loudoun County in the 2017 Loudoun Now Annual Loudoun Favorites Poll
  • Recognized as a “Ten Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction” by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys for 2015, 2016, and 2017
  • Recognized as a “Top Lawyers in Virginia” by The Legal Network for 2016
  • Recognized as a “Top 10 Family Law Attorney for Virginia” by the American Jurist Institute for 2016
  • The Law Firm of Rachel L. Virk, PC has been recognized as a “Ten Best Law Firm” by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys for 2018

Scroll down to read chapter 1 of “The Four Ways of Divorce: Litigation, Negotiation, Collaboration, Mediation.”


By Rachel L. Vick, Attorney at Law

Chapter One: I’M HEADING FOR A DIVORCE– WHAT SHOULD I DO, WHERE DO I START?

You want out. You no longer love or need your spouse. The kids are older, and you are now earning a living wage. You are tired of your spouse’s drinking, untreated mental instability, abusiveness or emotional problems manifested in part by destructive spending habits or other addictions.

Or your spouse has informed you that he or she wants a divorce, or no longer loves you. You find the cell phone records, emails, credit card receipts, hotel records or cards to your spouse from his or her paramour.

You decide that if your spouse is unable to make you feel loved, fulfilled and happy, there may be someone else out there who can. You don’t want to feel empty and sad all the time anymore.

You finally found your soul mate, and it is not your spouse.

Now what?

IF YOU ARE THE ONE WHO WANTS OUT

Be fair. Be honest. Come clean. Accept the consequences of your decision allof the consequences. Stop trying to have one foot in each of two doors. Either stay put, or walk through the other door. Deal with it. Some amount of “yes, no, maybe, I don’t know” is to be expected, but at some point you must make a decision to either leave or to stay.

You may want to end the marriage, but don’t really want to hurt your spouse. You may believe that you are somehow hurting your spouse less by breaking it to him or her gradually over time. So you may think it better to talk of “wanting to separate” because you “need some space,” instead of using the “D” for “Divorce” word.

However, if you tell your spouse that you are thinking of divorce, and don’t clearly and definitely say that you want a D-I-V-0-R-C-E, you are in effect telling your spouse that there is a one in a million chance you could reconcile. If you tell your spouse, who doesn’t want the marriage to end, that there is a one in a million chance that the marriage won’t end, what do you think your spouse is hearing? He or she is hearing you say, “There is a … chance the marriage won’t end.”  People enthusiastically buy lottery tickets with lower chances of winning than that.

You will have to face the fact that you WILL hurt your spouse by saying that you want out, and you must then clearly tell him or her that the marriage is over. If you instead tell your spouse that you don’t want a divorce, but that you only “need some time to sort things out,” you are quite possibly being selfish and unfair to your spouse. You will paralyze your spouse, holding him or her back from accepting the end of the marriage, and from making his or her own plan for the future.

You may believe your spouse would be so angry if you say you truly want a D-I-V-0-R-C-E, that he or she would make your life even more difficult, or would hurt the children just to hurt you. Some angry people feel justified in trying to hurt back the people who cause them pain.

Anger is not created in a vacuum. Some choose, either consciously or subconsciously, not to feel pain, fear, shame or frustration. They will instead mask those feelings, and then turn them into anger. Many angry people are angry because they have been hurt, and still carry around unresolved pain inflicted upon them in the past, or in childhood, which pain was never faced or addressed.

If your spouse is an angry person, and you will be causing him or her even more pain by leaving the marriage, prolonging the process may just prolong the conflict. So get it over with. If your spouse is not a danger to you, you may create pain to your spouse (and therefore anger directed at you) for a shorter period of time, by being honest early on about wanting to end the marriage. If, however, your spouse is a violent person, you will need a plan, and will need help in letting your spouse know the marriage is over, in order to stay safe.

Perhaps you want out, but only if everything can work out for you. You may want to know the light is still on for you at home with your spouse if you lose your job, or if the new love interest doesn’t marry you after all. If you have a financially comfortable married life, and are afraid you won’t have a fallback if you are divorced and then lose your job, welcome to the real world. There are no guarantees in life. Again, it isn’t fair to everyone to make them put their lives on hold and to be hurt by you, while you see if you can make a go of it on your own. Either stay or leave.

IF YOU ARE THE ONE WHO IS BEING LEFT

You will probably journey back and forth through the following stages as part of the normal process:

STAGE 1 – DENIAL / AVOIDANCE

If I bury my head in the sand, the problem will go away. I’m used to this. It’ll blow over like it always does. I have no options anyway, and can’t afford to leave. This is just my lot in life. My happiness isn’t meant to be.

My family would disapprove of a divorce. There is a social stigma to divorce. My family’s honor is at stake both here and in our home country. If I get a divorce, everyone will say that I could not make my marriage work. If I get a divorce I am a failure. Divorce is against my religious beliefs. My suffering is my cross to bear.

My spouse doesn’t really mean it, and would never actually leave me. My spouse will change. I will change. It’s springtime now, and I’m feeling better. It’s not always that bad. Maybe things will improve. I’ll stay a bit longer for the sake of the children. I don’t want to ruin the holidays.

My spouse would never cheat on me. It’ll all work out. I’ll keep pretending nothing’s wrong until I convince myself that I’m not dying just a little more every day.

Then, once you can no longer look reality right in the face and continue to deny it, you will move to…

STAGE 2 – BARGAINING

Maybe we can both find happiness, if only …

If only the drinking would stop, or if my spouse would get on or stay on his or her medication. If we could just go to counseling together, or to AA, we could work out all of our problems. If we could get the finances under control, things would be better. If only we could move away from the paramour, or if there were a job change, our worries would end. If only we had more time together, and my spouse paid more attention to me and to the kids, we’d all be happier. Or if a better or higher paying job would come along. Or if the in-laws would stop interfering. All of our problems could be fixed if only … if only …

The magical wishful thinking is not solving anything. You are simply trying to rearrange the furniture on the deck of a sinking ship. You are now heading right into …

STAGE 3 – GRIEF / FEAR / SHOCK / CONFUSION / TURMOIL

It’s getting harder to live this way. There are more bad days than good. The children are really suffering. They are acting out, their grades are falling and they’re learning all the wrong things from this dysfunctional marriage. The tension at home is so thick no one can breathe. Everyone is walking on eggshells. I don’t know who I really am anymore.

Why did this have to happen? Life is not fair. Why me? What will I do? How can I afford to live if there is a divorce? How will the children deal with a divorce? I could not possibly move out of this house. I can not support myself and the children on my own. I can not earn enough money. I do not want to work fulltime. My relationship with the children will be damaged. I can not stop crying. What should I do?

Now, the whole prospect of separation and divorce makes you feel …

STAGE 4 – ANGER

I am angry with my spouse. I am mad at myself. I hate the paramour. I’m angry that this is happening to my life. All of my dreams are in ruins. I want my spouse to hurt as much as I am hurting. I want to make him or her pay. I’m going to make his or her “new life” miserable. I’m going to call up his or her paramour’s spouse. I’m also going to tell his or her paramour what my spouse is really like. And his or her coworkers. And his or her family. And all of the friends we shared. Everyone needs to know that this is all his or her fault, that I am a victim, and just how much I and the children are suffering, all because of my spouse.

He or she is wrong and I am right. He or she is trying to control me, and I will not be controlled. I am going to get what I am entitled to. I want my day in court, to let everyone know I have been wronged. My spouse needs to be punished. I will get even, plus one.

After awhile a calmness should begin to settle in. If this does not occur naturally, professional help, and possibly short-term medication for situational depression may be necessary, to get to …

STAGE 5 – ACCEPTANCE

This marriage is over. I have been holding on to an image of what my spouse used to be, could have been, or should be, but not what he or she is in reality. On a day-to-day basis my spouse creates more pain in my life than joy, and truly does not care how much I am hurting. I have to accept that life doesn’t always turn out as planned, and is not always fair. Bad things can happen. I can not live this way anymore. I have to take care of myself. I have to be strong for the children, and I have to take care of them. My spouse saw a lawyer, is actually going to stand up to me for the first time, and isn’t backing down. My spouse is no longer paying bills, and I need to do something now.

You have now come full circle- right back to: “What should I do, where do I start?”

So now what? Get informed. Make a plan.

Get your thoughts sorted out.

Implement your plan. Get your life back. How?

Get Informed

Once you know that you have to “do something,” the first step is to get informed as to your and your spouse’s rights and obligations. Some information may be found on the internet, such as on www.divorcenet.com, but the internet may not be specific as to state laws on divorce, the most recent changes in state divorce laws, differences between rules, procedures and support guidelines in different counties, how the local judges view the law and the process, and how local judges have ruled in recent cases similar to yours.

You need to see a lawyer. Your sibling who went through a divorce, your uncle who is a non-family law attorney in another state, your family member who once worked or works in a law office, your hairdresser, your mechanic, your friends at the club and your colleagues, are not the best sources for legal information. And mother and father do not always know best, no matter how well-intentioned their concern.

The settlement you will sign off on, or the court order you will obtain through litigation, will probably be the most important legal document to affect your life. You will be making on your own, or will be receiving from a judge, decisions as to your children, your retirement, your house, child support, alimony and debt. What contract will you eversign that could address moreimportant issues than those!  Make sure you do it rightwhether through litigation or settlement, or through alternative dispute resolution such as mediation or collaboration.

Make a Plan

Once you are informed as to your options, and as to whether or not your goals are realistic, it is time to Make a Plan. Your own plan. Do not just react to how your spouse treats you on a day-to-day basis, or let him or her dictate the shape of your new life. Emotional roller coasters are no fun to ride.

Some of the possible courses of action that you might take are set forth below, in order from the most drastic options. which will create deep and lasting animosity. to the more desirable options. Extreme options are appropriate only in extreme situations, and should only be planned out with advice of counsel.

Perhaps you like a lot of drama, and want to shake the soda bottle before twisting off the cap. If you feel like giving a huge amount of your hard-earned money to lawyers, and if you feel like creating possible difficulties for yourself in court down the line, you may want to implement, or you may actually need to implement, some of the high conflict nuclear plans described below.

If your spouse is spending thousands of dollars each month on drugs, or is molesting your children, throw your spouse’s stuff out on the street one day before trash day, and let him or her know that he or she better pick it all up real soon, change the locks on the former marital home which is in your sole name, and hand your spouse a no-trespass letter. Or withdraw all the funds from the joint accounts, back a moving truck up to the home when your spouse is away, clean everything out including the contents of the refrigerator, cancel all the utilities in your name, and drive out of state back home to your parents with the children.

Put your children into a new daycare, and do not authorize your spouse to pick them up. Get a post office box, so your spouse can’t read your mail. Copy all the asset statements that are at home, or remove them and keep them elsewhere.  Move the china and silver out of the house to another location. Ask the court to require your spouse to submit to a mental health or substance abuse evaluation, as a condition to any contact your spouse has with the children. Arrange to have your spouse arrested leaving the liquor store parking lot, for driving while intoxicated. Maybe transfer all of the joint assets into your own name, to pay off marital debt, and to fund contested and costly litigation.

If your spouse is violent, maybe you really do need to get a restraining order, due to significant immediate past physical abuse, and your reasonable apprehension of imminent bodily harm. File and follow through with that criminal complaint for family assault. Have your spouse charged with telephone harassment, or charged under the curse and abuse laws.

Maybe ask the Family Court to grant you exclusive possession of the jointly titled marital home and motor vehicle, along with temporary spousal support, child support and custody. Ask the court to order your spouse to refrain from terminating, or to restore, any necessary utility services, or ask the court to make your spouse pay for suitable alternative housing, and to pay the deposits to connect the utilities to that housing.

You may file an application for services with the child support enforcement agency, to seek an administrative support order and a payroll withholding order. Have your spouse’s tax refund intercepted to pay any arrearages, or have a driver’s or professional license suspended until all arrears are paid up, with interest.

You may need to file a fault divorce case if you have grounds, and file a motion to restrain your spouse’s dissipation of marital assets. Install a keystroke logger on your computer, or take the family computer to a specialist to image the hard drive, so later on you can ask the court to allow you to analyze your spouse’s use of that computer. Conduct a forensic analysis of your spouse’s handheld and mobile cell phone devices. Find out if you can record telephone calls, and whether or not if you do, the recordings would be admissible at trial. Find out if you can put a GPS tracking device on your spouse’s car, or a camera in the house. Find out whether all that effort is even a good idea. Or a really, really bad one.

You may need to have a hearing on temporary spousal support, custody, visitation or child support. Maybe ask the court for exclusive possession of the marital home, and money from your spouse for attorney’s fees. If you have no money, but need to fight it out in court, you may find an attorney willing to place a voluntary lien for attorney’s fees on the marital home, if allowed by state law, so you actually can afford to take your spouse on.

Perhaps the way to go is to tell your spouse in a safe location, such as at a counseling session, that the marriage is over, and that you want to discuss how to move on with your lives separately and amicably.

You may want to start changing your life insurance beneficiary designations, and your “pay on death” directions with banks and with financial institutions. Finally get that Will drawn up so your spouse doesn’t receive all of your assets if you die. Or get a new Will drawn up to revoke the old one which leaves everything to your spouse. Remove your spouse as an authorized user on your credit cards. Start separating joint accounts.

Perhaps you will hire an attorney to draw up a proposed Property Settlement Agreement on your own individual behalf, for you and your spouse to negotiate in an adversarial manner, either with or without aggressive threats of what you will each do to each other if you go to court.

If you and your spouse can work together, another option would be to discuss the possibility of doing a collaborative divorce. If you handle your divorce collaboratively, each of you, with your own attorneys, can protect your individual interests, and can resolve all of the issues regarding the dissolution of your marriage without either one of you making threats, or trying to grab more of the marbles.

Or you and your spouse may decide to go to a court-certified attorney mediator specializing and litigating in local family law matters, to help educate you as to the family laws and local court system, to help you resolve your disagreements, and to draw up a binding and enforceable Agreement which will become a part of your final divorce order.

No matter which plan you think may be best, be sure to get input from at least one attorney, before you start skipping down a road which may lead you right off of a cliff. The direction in which you initially head will play a huge part in where you will eventually wind up.

Find an attorney with whom you are comfortable, and work with that attorney to determine the most advisable course of action for you. Good attorneys have concern for you, and want to help you and your family. Utilize the experience, knowledge and counsel which caring lawyers can provide.

Get Your Thoughts Sorted Out

To help deal with such a major life change as a divorce, it is a good idea to get into, or to stay in therapy, if you are struggling to control and sort out overwhelming emotions. There is no longer such stigma associated with taking care of your mental health needs. Judges like to see that people going through divorces are taking care of themselves. A divorce is supposedto be a traumatic event. It would be considered more unusual if you did notmiss a beat going through such a disruptive occurrence in your life.

If necessary, get on prescribed medications to get your feelings under control, so that you are emotionally strong enough to make decisions, to work with your attorney and to be a parent to your children. Recognize that everything you are going through your children are also going through, even more so, and will need special attention and quite possibly some counseling themselves. Children are not equipped with the same tools as are adults to handle such emotional upheaval.

If you are married to an alcoholic, or are the child of an alcoholic, start reading about enablers, and about adult children of alcoholics. You are going to recognize yourself in the pages of these books, and will start to recognize your children. Break the cycle.

If you are in a relationship that brings you more pain than joy, start reading about codependency.   Love is not real love if it is given “only if …” Real love is given even so and no matter what. If it’s not real, leave before you have shut down so much of yourself that you no longer have any ability to feel.

If your spouse is abusing you and you have children, explore the very real options for help that shelters and other groups can provide, so that you will stop teaching your children that abuse is acceptable. If you will not get out of a physically abusive relationship, thinking that you are staying together “for the good of the children,” stop deluding yourself. You are teaching your children all the wrong things, and they will most likely follow in both of their parents’ footsteps.

If you are being verbally and physically abused by your spouse, once he gets older, your son will quite possibly also start verbally and physically abusing you, since as a little boy he was unable to protect you from your spouse. He may also abuse the women with whom he will have relationships in the future. And when your daughter who was not able to resolve your conflict gets older, she may seek out relationships with the same conflict, in subconscious hopes of fixing the unresolved problem.

Maybe you feel you have justifications for tolerating your spouse’s abuse. Well then perhaps you should picture, and remember, the most humiliated and hurt your spouse has ever made you feel. Are you crying yet? Now picture your daughter going through that. Do you really want to keep giving her the message that this sort of thing should be tolerated in a marriage? Are you teaching the lesson that abuse should be accepted and hidden, to maintain a facade that your family is respectable and of good standing? Will your legacy to your children be to teach them that the one with the money and power can act badly, and that the weaker person should accept abuse for money, or to maintain an image or a lifestyle?

If you don’t want the divorce, you will go from emotional highs if your spouse is nice to you, thinking “maybe we won’t get divorced after all,” to emotional lows when your spouse backs away. You’ll drive yourself crazy going up and down emotionally. If your spouse wants the divorce and you don’t, once your spouse sees you move from denial to acceptance, you are actually giving your spouse permission to be nice to you, because now your spouse knows that if he or she hugs you or shows you some tenderness, you won’t be getting your hopes up anymore for a reconciliation. After all, your spouse on some level may actually still care about you, and may not really enjoy hurting you. Letting go removes your spouse’s power over you.

If your spouse is committing adultery and you are still in denial, it is still important to make a plan. Your spouse may very well be getting ready to walk away from the marriage. Don’t be caught unprepared.

Don’t think, however, that going to court will solve all of your problems. Some adulterous spouses will transfer their anger at themselves for the mess they’re making to the “innocent” spouse, to spare themselves from feeling any guilt. An angry adulterous spouse will come up with many reasons as to why the innocent spouse drove him or her to a new relationship, due to the “innocent” spouse’s coldness, nagging, endless criticism, bossiness, lack of warmth and unwillingness or inability to fulfill the adulterous spouse’s physical and emotional needs.

There is usually some truth to each viewpoint regarding the circumstances and factors that led to the dissolution of your marriage. And of course the lawyers can and will embellish upon and will bring out all the “justifications” on each side for the deterioration of your marriage, as they conduct an analysis of your and your spouse’s respective degrees of fault. You can then listen in court to your spouse describe all of your faults and inadequacies to the judge in detail, and listen as he or she tells the judge all about how much more attentive than you his or her new love is.  Do you really want to go there?

On the other hand, some adulterous spouses feel really really guilty for the damage they’re causing, especially when they have children. The spouse feeling really guilty often wants to sign something and be done quickly, almost as if signing off on an Agreement grants permission to leave the marriage, and to be free. Often the spouse feeling guilty will make overly generous offers. The more time goes by, however, and once such a spouse moves out and actually starts incurring more expenses and bills to pay, that generosity can begin to evaporate very rapidly. The best settlement for the innocent spouse often comes right when that innocent spouse is saying, “But I don’t want a divorce.  If I give my spouse a proposed Agreement, he or she will think that I do want a divorce, and I don’t.”

Your divorce lawyer may tell you, however, that spouses who cheat once usually continue to cheat, and that your marriage is probably over. A mental health provider specializing in post-affair marriage recovery may tell you otherwise. If you choose to listen to the lawyer, you may hear that this affair may be a symptom of a marriage that had already failed, and that the affair may very well not even be the first affair – just the first one you found out about – and will probably not be the last one either. The inability of your spouse to be faithful and intimate with you alone may indicate deeper problems. But even if the adulterous spouse never cheats again, you may never really get over the affair, especially if the extramarital relationship was emotional in nature, and not only physical. It will take a whole lot of work to recover the marriage, and you and your spouse may not be up to it.

The question may more realistically be whenwill you wind up getting divorced, not if, and what sort of financial and emotional damage will occur in the meantime, could be avoided, or could be postponed, until then. If you do reconcile, there are ways to formally nullify a written Agreement with a written Modification Agreement, but don’t count on that happening. Get your best deal when it is offered, because that will almost certainly be the finaldeal as to property and support, which deal will be carved in stone.

If your spouse is telling you things like “I just need some space, no it’s not you, no there’s no one else, I just need space,” chances are there quite possibly is someone else. Either an extramarital relationship has already started, or your spouse wants it to start, or it’s a fantasy relationship in your spouse’s head. Either way, the relationship is not with living breathing you, but is perhaps with someone else, real or imagined. Your spouse may just be breaking it to you slowly.

Set short term goals. Today I’ll find a lawyer. Tomorrow I’ll make the appointment.  I’ll see the lawyer next week. I’ll decide what course of action to take by the end of the month. I’ll start looking at housing options, educational opportunities and other job possibilities after the next holiday.

Don’t think about the whole overwhelming, desired final result. Take one day and one small step at a time, but keep planning and taking those steps.

Implement Your Plan

Once you have become informed, made a plan and sorted out the mental and emotional turmoil in your mind, you need to get started. Work with the professionals you have selected to implement that plan. Stick to it. Don’t waver. Reach out for support to stay strong, so you don’t get discouraged and give up. Form an image in your mind of what is important to you, and focus on that image, until you achieve your goal. You can’t get there unless you know where you’re going.

As you begin your separation, you will have to face and accept the fact that one of the very hardest aspects of separating from your spouse, whether the separation is amicable or ugly, is the financial aspect. The reality is that one or two incomes in one household simply go further than those same one or two incomes in two households. You will have to increase your earnings, and tighten your belt. A lot of the “extras” will no longer be affordable. You may go into debt, or be forced into bankruptcy.  You may have to borrow money, or may have to take out a loan from your retirement account. You will spend a lot of money on attorney’s fees.

It will probably take about two years to get totally back on track, but you will get there. Those two years will go by faster than you think. There will be an end to the process, after which you will have turned your life around, and willno longer need to think about, or feel as if, you are still “going through the divorce.”

Get Your Life Back

Walk this difficult road with dignity, holding your head high. You can’t see where you’re going if you’re staring at your feet. Accept graciously the support of those who are willing to respectfully and knowledgeably help you through this. Look forward, not backward. Concentrate on the immediate. Prioritize. Take one step at a time, with the final goal clearly in mind. If you don’t determine to succeed, you are destined to fail. Learn to accept that there is some uncertainty to the future, as you work to create it. You are on the verge of rediscovering who you are. Take the opportunity to renew your beliefs. Smile. Outclass your spouse. Don’t stoop to a low level. Decide what is important, and what is not. Develop new interests. These are very real truths, and not mere platitudes.

Separation and divorce is a process, which has to go through all of it stages, at a certain pace, for each of you. Don’t let yourself get stuck in grief, or in anger. You could let yourself stay there for years, while you spouse simply learns to tune you out, move on and be happy again.

Divorce, as any trial in life, is an opportunity for personal growth. You are being provided a motivation to develop the strength, character and integrity to better yourself, to turn your life around, and to inspire others such as your children. Your successes will carry over into every other aspect of your personal and professional life. It is not that parts of you are being torn away or destroyed, but rather the divorce experience, and the self-knowledge you gain, will help to define and develop the whole person you are becoming.

As you overcome each obstacle, your self esteem will increase. Just look at what you’ve been dealing with. You are stronger than you think You can and will get through this. You can do it. If there’s no one around to tell you this on a daily basis, take a moment each day to tell this to yourself.

However, know that even though your marriage is ending, that fact does not change the fact that you and your spouse genuinely enjoyed good times in the past. Your former life together was not all a lie, and is not erased by the ending of your marriage. You have every right to hold on to your happy memories of former days. They were good, and nothing can take that away.

If life is an ocean, divorce is a riptide. Don’t let the ending of your marriage pull you down to dark places where you’ll founder. Keep your chin up, and ride it out until you recover, overcome, take new bearings and safely reach shores of new possibilities.

You will find that you will rediscover who you are, you will get your life back and you will be happy once again. The process can be very liberating.

Get going.

Click here to: Buy the book!

Your host: Hope Katz Gibbs, author, Why Divorce

About the Show: Abuse. Adultery. Addiction. Abandonment. Angst. Are these good enough reasons to leave a marriage — or not? Through case studies and advice from experts, we aim to investigate.

What’s your story?

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Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

Introduction Part 1: 108 First Dates — and one perfect lover

An Introduction to Why Divorce: 5 Reasons to Leave By Hope Katz Gibbs I love my husband. I always will. But on Thanksgiving 2005, I knew I couldn’t stay married to him. We’d wed 10 years earlier, and for the next decade, I struggled long and hard with a single burning question: Why Divorce? What happened that night is not as important as the fact that for the first time in our marriage I saw with pained eyes that weClick here to listen to the podcast!

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019

Introduction Part 2: Meeting Your Match

How could I possibly have gone on more than 100 first dates — without meeting someone that I wanted to have a relationship with? As I said in Part 1 of this podcast, on date 108, I met my match. I found his profile on April 5, 2016 and reached out to him in a short email that said, “Oh, I think we’d really like each other.” In all of my experiences, I rarely wrote first; but there was somethingClick here to listen to the podcast!