Advice Column, Health, Lifestyle, Parenting

A bad marriage doesn’t have to be a bad divorce

  • South African Divorce Support Association
  • Category Advice Column, Health, Lifestyle, Parenting

Divorce is more often than not a dreaded life event.

High emotions are involved creating conflicts which in turn interfere with the process of moving on.

People find themselves stuck in a situation from which they initially wanted to move away from but the unpleasantness of dealing with a person they no longer get along with is remaining a painful present occurrence.

I like to stress that if you are in a bad marriage, you don’t have to be in a bad divorce. On the contrary. A divorce, for most parties, is a solution to a life they no longer want to live together.

So how do you divorce well when you no longer get along?

Here are 5 principles to a good Divorce:

Respect each other and agree to disagree. You are no longer getting along to a point that you want to divorce. Agree that whatever has caused your relationship to come to this point needs to be acknowledged.

Mutual non aggression. Whether verbal or physical, rudeness or aggression is only a weak imitation of strength. Acknowledge that your situation is what it is. Fighting it or the other person is not going to change the circumstance, only the outcome. Ask yourself then if fighting is going to result in a better or worst outcome.

Mutual non interference in each other’s lives. It is important to be at peace with the fact that you both now have separate lives. New places to live, possibly new friends and perhaps a new love interest. What your ex does is no longer of your business. Be interested in your life and all the exciting things that are waiting to happen.

Win-Win. To end a bad marriage is to result in a happy separation. Making a divorce difficult to try and get back at each other for whatever hurt was caused will not result in anyone winning and most likely make the person creating most of the chaos more unhappy after than before.

Amicable coexistence. Why live in constant hostility when you can live in peace? This is especially of value for divorcing parents whose hostility will affect their children. No matter what you do, you both exist at the same time and, especially as co-parents, are more likely to remain in each other’s lives. It’s your choice to make it a good or bad experience.

Nadia Thonnard

Founder SADSA | The South African Divorce Support Association

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