On this blog, we talk a lot about how difficult divorce can be. We do that because we want to be honest about the challenges a lot of couples face, so you are prepared for what is ahead. However, in the vein of that old expression, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” we would like to talk about the bright side of divorce, which is available to you once you have surmounted the hard parts.
A 2013 study, “From Tribulations to Appreciation,” which was published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, researchers examined how experiencing adversity can enhance a person’s appreciation for life’s pleasures. They discovered that the people who participated in the study who were going through adversity had trouble savoring positive events while those who had dealt with adversity in the past had an increased ability to savor the good things. The study concluded that some of the worst experiences in life may have an upside, which increases our ability to appreciate life’s small pleasures.
Here are just a few examples of the upside of surviving divorce and how it might, in an odd way, eventually contribute to your happiness.
A sense of personal empowerment
We have said it before and we may never stop saying that divorce is harder than you can imagine. You will see a side of your spouse that you have likely not seen before and you are going to wonder if the pain, sadness and confusion will ever end. But we promise you it does end, and once you have survived the divorce process you may feel quite invincible. Divorce is a huge challenge to overcome, and once you have done it, you may emerge stronger, smarter and better equipped to deal with other challenges in your life.
A peaceful household for your children
If you and your spouse were constantly in the throes of conflict, your children were likely marinating in an environment of discord, tension and anger. Getting away from the constant fighting and making a new home without a constant battle going on in the background creates a happier, more peaceful environment for your kids. Yes, their parents have split up, but they will learn to live with that. But living in a home where their parents’ constant bickering is the soundtrack of their lives is bound to create problems for them later in life and in their future relationships.
Modeling effective conflict resolution for your children
Resolving the differences between the two of you through mediation, or through a lawsuit if mediation fails and successfully moving on to create happier lives shows your children that it is possible to make the best of a challenging situation. Whether you are aware of it or not, your children are observing you and how you conduct your life. Why not make choices that will model a healthy outcome?
A happier outlook on life
If your divorce has been a contentious one, you have spent some amount of time in conflict with the person who was supposed to be your life partner forever. Putting a painful breakup and conflict-ridden divorce in your rear-view mirror creates a space for you to create the happier life that you dreamed about when it became clear that it was time to end the marriage.
A newfound feeling of freedom and autonomy
Now you can plan a trip and go wherever you want. You are in charge of the TV remote. You can paint the living room any color you choose because now you are on your own. Even as you are mourning the loss of your life as a couple, you can celebrate the freedom of being your own person and starting life over again, but with more wisdom and experience.
Working with an experienced Nashville divorce attorney can help make sure that you end up with the kind of divorce that you want, and we can help make sure that you make smart choices that will serve you as you move into the next stage of your life.
If you have decided that the time has come to end the marriage and move on, divorce does not have to be a complicated, emotional sinkhole. If you have questions about the divorce process in Tennessee, you are invited to schedule an in-person or video consultation with an experienced Nashville divorce attorney who will listen to you and offer smart legal advice pertaining to your case. Call 615-391-4200 or use our contact form to reserve an in-person or video consultation with the skilled legal team at Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC.
Karla C. Miller has devoted her entire career to the practice of family law in Tennessee. She attended Auburn University and Nashville School of Law, and upon graduation in 1996, she opened her own law firm and has been assisting families throughout Tennessee since then. Learn more about Karla C. Miller here.