Family is supposed to be there for you. When you lost your job, your parents let you move back in. When you were sick and unable to get out of bed, your neighbors came over to check on you.
Now, after many years of unhappy marriage, you are getting ready to leave your spouse, and suddenly nobody is there to support you. You would think that your family would be there for you through thick and thin, so why is divorce suddenly so different?
People tend to have mixed feelings about divorce. Even though half of all marriages end in divorce, many people still see divorce as having a stigma attached to it. This is especially true for the older generations, so your parents and grandparents may feel this way. To them, it is fine if the marriage ends in death, but not divorce. Divorce may be like a bad word to them.
You may be feeling relief at the thought of ending an unhappy marriage, but your family may be feeling disdain toward such an idea. They cannot understand your point of view. They do not understand why this would be a good idea. Therefore, if you are getting a divorce, it can be hard to find support from your family.
Your parents may be friends with your spouse, so maybe they are concerned about their relationship with him or her. Also, many family members will try to validate your reasoning behind the divorce. What did the spouse do that was so bad? Did he cheat on you or abuse you? Why would you divorce your sweet wife? Did you try counseling? Have you tried everything possible to save your marriage? What about the children?
This can be frustrating. You are at a critical time in your life when you need a shoulder to cry on and you cannot even get help from your own family — your own flesh and blood. While this can be devastating, there are some things you can do to get the support you need — even if your family is not willing to give any.
What Can You Do?
Here are some things you can do to get through this difficult time without your family’s help:
- Accept it. Accept the fact that your family does not want to support you. This can be difficult, but you need to accept it. Otherwise, you will just get stuck at this stage and you will not be able to move on in a divorce.
- Ask your family to see what they can provide. Sometimes people have a hard time offering emotional support but can help in other ways. Your parents may not be able to support your decision to divorce, but perhaps they can help you out financially so you have a place to stay.
- Set boundaries. Your loved ones may say hurtful things to you during this time. What do they say that makes you upset? When something makes you uncomfortable, let your family know. Ask them if they can refrain from making such a statement. If they cannot, then keep some distance from them. Tell them you will reengage when they can be supportive. This is called setting a boundary and this will help keep negativity out of your life as you get through your divorce.
- Lower your expectations. Once you figure out what your family can and cannot give you, lower your expectations accordingly. That way, you will not be disappointed.
- Create your own family. Family does not have to be blood relations. A true family would support you no matter what. Find your own support group. Create a group of people, like neighbors, co-workers and close friends, who do support you. Look to people who have been divorced before. They are more likely to understand what you are going through. Only seek guidance from those who truly understand your situation.
- Believe in yourself. Do not depend on others to help you through. While it is good to have a support group in place, remember that you will need to do most of the work yourself. You need to be the one to get stuff done. Do not expect others to do it for you.
You Do Not Need Your Family’s Approval
Even if you are a grown man or woman in your 30s, 40s or beyond, you may still feel like a child around your parents. You do not need to. As an adult, you can make your own decisions. You do not need your family’s approval anymore. Stop trying to seek your parents’ validation for all your life decisions. It is your life, and even if they do not agree with what you are doing, they should still support you. You can still divorce without their approval. If they disagree with your decision and refuse to support you, then move on. Find people who do. As long as you have tried everything possible to save your marriage, then you should be able to divorce without regrets.
Seek Legal Help
It can be hard to get the support you need during and after your divorce when your family is against divorce or is actually on your spouse’s side. This can be hurtful, but you need to move on and create your own support group.
Broward County divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler can guide you through the various post-divorce issues you may face. He can offer advice regarding support groups and other resources. Schedule a consultation with our office today by filling out the online form or calling (954) 346-6464.