Even before the word, ‘divorce,’ slips past your lips, you may have quite a bit to fight for, putting you in a defensive state of mind. You feel like you have to fight for your place in your household and in your relationship. You feel like you have to fight for your role as a father as a respected part in your child’s life.
When the divorce process begins, you have to develop a level of resilience necessary to get through it. You begin to compartmentalize certain aspects of your life and your relationships with others, in order to get through the day.
You may find yourself wearing a thicker skin, in order to withstand all of the challenges that going through the divorce process presents. Whether it is logistical challenges, mental challenges, emotional challenges, or financial challenges, there are many issues that may come up that may require some type of resilience.
Need an attorney
Many of these issues also will require a family law attorney who understands the difficulties of the divorce process, especially for guys. Men and fathers can face some of the toughest challenges against the biases of the family court system during divorce or child custody issues, so it is vital that you contact a family law attorney who focuses on these areas.
There may be many challenges that come up during the divorce process that may employ the resilience that you have developed. Many parents, especially fathers, are forced out of their child’s life, while still expected to pay child support and alimony.
Difficulties in court
It is one thing to desire your child to be provided for, but it is entirely another to deny the parenting time that an active and loving parent deserves. For many, this is their burden, due to the pervasive gender stereotypes that can be found in many family courts.
Many who go through the divorce process also may have to deal with false accusations being made against them. This can take a mental and emotional toll, due to how damaging and slanderous they can get, not to mention the consequences that they can have on your case.
False allegations, especially ones of abuse, can be damaging to a case, and given how easily a protective order can be issued, disproving the false allegations against you may cost you additional time, effort, and financial resources.
However, if you are able to do so, you are able to discredit your soon-to-be ex-spouse in court, lessening the value of their word and swinging the momentum of the case in your favor.
After the divorce process is finalized, there still are plenty of instances when the resilience that you may have built up will be employed. Depending on the amount of resilience you employ, your ability to recover from the divorce experience can be directly affected.
Psychological Science study
A study published in both the Psychological Science journal and The Atlantic examined the ease of recovery after a divorce. The researchers examined 105 divorcees who were married for over 13 years. They were surveyed and asked questions about their former spouses, which was proceeded a discussion about the separation itself.
These surveys and discussions were analyzed by trained coders, rating them for their self-compassion, self-esteem, optimism, and ease with relationships. The study indicated that those with high levels of self-compassion at the start recovered faster and fared better on average.
The study indicated that among the personality traits considered in the analysis, self-compassion was the only one that significantly predicted post-breakup resilience.
Journal of Divorce and Remarriage study
After a divorce, many develop a level of resiliency in divorce recovery workshops, according to a study published in the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage. The study was designed to determine the effectiveness of the divorce recovery workshops and how they affect the dispositional resilience of those who have gone through the divorce process.
The results of the study indicated that those who participated in the divorce recovery workshops significantly benefited from the experience, in terms of divorce adjustment and that the level of resilience before the workshops significantly and positively contributed to their divorce adjustment after attending the workshops.
Lowering your defenses
After going through the divorce experience, your defenses may stay up for an unknown amount of time, as a defense mechanism, but it is important for you to remember that in order to meet someone new after a divorce, you eventually will have to let them in, lowering your defenses.
As resilient as you may be and may have been before, during, and after the divorce process, you may no longer need to protect yourself, and you need to know that that is OK. It is OK to be vulnerable again, and it is OK to show others who you are behind all of the defense mechanisms that you may have had to employ during this difficult time in your life.