Marriage Vows and Divorce

If you’re struggling with the idea of divorce, you’re not alone. I’ve never met a woman yet who didn’t take her marriage vows seriously, and who doesn’t lament breaking them when she sets foot in my office. In fact, I’ve talked to dozens of women who specifically tell me how much guilt they experience at the thought of breaking up their marriages.

Just last week, a woman said to me that she couldn’t believe she said “for better or for worse” and, now that things are worse, she was leaving. I’m paraphrasing a little, but she said something like, “When we first got married, he hit me–and, I thought, well, ‘I signed up for this,’ and then, now, forty years after our wedding, I’m calling it quits.” Long story short, it was adultery that put her over the edge, and the reason that she felt like her marriage was finally over. Of course, that didn’t come without its own sense of guilt, either.

For her, for whatever reason, her husband hitting her wasn’t bad enough to say no–but, forty years later, the adultery was–even though she was still struggling with her decision to end the marriage.

If you’re facing divorce and you’re struggling with your feelings about it, you’re not alone. Your feelings are understandable, and you should probably start to work through them as productively as possible. That way, when you meet with your divorce lawyer, you’ll have the peace of mind you need to make the kinds of decisions you need to make–without guilt.

So, if you’re struggling with your decision to divorce in light of your marriage vows, what steps should you take?

1. See a therapist.

No, it doesn’t mean you’re crazy. There’s a lot of emotions involved in ending a marriage, and you’re not alone if it’s more difficult than you thought it might be. If you’re struggling with whatever you’re feeling — betraying your marriage vows, leaving your child’s father, whatever — you’ll be better off if you deal with your feelings productively before your case goes too far.

It’s hard to work on a divorce for a woman who isn’t sure of what she wants or is so eaten up with guilt that she can’t make any decisions with any kind of reliability. It’s fine to need time to work through your feelings, but it’s better to do that with a therapist (who is trained to help people through difficult emotional transitions–and takes insurance!) than with an attorney. (Trust me–it’ll save a bunch of time and money!)

Whatever you’re feeling, a therapist can help.

2. Come to Girl’s Night Out.

Talking to other women who are going through what you’re going through (or other people who have come out the other side) can go a long way towards helping you come to terms with what you’re experiencing.

Our law firm sponsors our Girl’s Night Out event series as a way to get women out of the house and out doing fun things. We sponsor events all over Hampton Roads, so that all of our current and former clients can find events that are near their houses. We’ve done all sorts of fun things — a private movie screening, beer tastings with a food truck, wine tastings, country line dancing, karaoke, and more. We’ve got even more events planned in the future, too, so don’t worry–you’re coming in at a great time, and you’ll love our awesome, inclusive group of women.

You’re more than welcome to bring a friend, too, if you’re a little intimidated coming alone–but we’re all really nice, and we look out for new additions to the group, so you can be sure we’ll make sure you’re comfortable. For more information about our upcoming events or to register to attend our next one, click here.

Still a little nervous? Check out our Girl’s Night Out Facebook page by clicking here.  It’s a private group, so you’ll have to request to join–but we’ll get you in the group in no time. There, you’ll be able to see details of our upcoming events, pictures from recent events, and be able to post and connect with other group members.

(Oh, and did I mention it’s totally free for you? That’s right–we provide the food and drinks, and you just show up.) Try it–you won’t regret it!

3. Attend a divorce seminar.

Once you started to deal with the emotional issues that divorce raises, it’s time to start thinking about your strategy moving forward. Our monthly divorce seminars (LINK) are a great place to start. They’re pretty inexpensive, but include an opportunity to ask questions to one of our licensed and experienced Virginia divorce and custody attorneys–so pretty priceless! You can ask your questions, learn about the divorce process, and begin to make plans–now that you’ve started to work through your feelings, you’ll be able to think a little less emotionally about the choices available to you and what will ultimately be in your best interests.

For more information about our Virginia divorce seminars or to request a copy of our free divorce book, click here.

You’re not alone, and the way you’re feeling isn’t unusual. But it’s important to take the time now, at the front end, to deal with it before you start to make important decisions about your divorce. For more information, or to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed Virginia divorce lawyers, give our office a call at (757) 425-5200.

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