The Effect of Divorce on People

Although divorce is a very complex and multidimensional situation, it is a psychological and social process that usually takes place over a long period of time. Scientists and researchers working in this field have developed various models to explain the divorce process and what happened in this process. In the first of these models, the divorce process; It is assumed to be a psychological crisis similar to the mourning situation that occurs following the death of a family member. In this model, the divorce process is divided into 5 stages;

  1. Denial; This phase lasts until the distressing factors that lead to the breakdown of the marriage are fully revealed, and the marriage continues in an oppressive and distressing manner. This process is often a mechanism aimed at maintaining the marriage.

  2. Loss and Depression; At this stage, the thought that “something is going wrong in our marriage” occurs. When the person experiencing this phase realizes that their distress is related to their marriage, their typical initial reaction is loss of meaning, sadness, depression, feelings of loneliness, and withdrawal from contact with other people.

  3. Anger and Ambivalence ; In this process, divorce begins to become a more realistic thought. In addition to anger, it can be observed that opposite feelings, ideas and wishes occur at the same time regarding the problems experienced in the spouse or relationship. This mood can be heightened when decisions are made about child custody, child support, arranging contact with children, and other issues.

  4. Adapting to a New Lifestyle and Identity; At this stage, divorce is perceived as a reality and everyone tries to find the most effective way to deal with this new reality in their own way. The purpose of the person who is going through the divorce process; to develop a new identity in marriage, personality, profession, sexual and social areas. The most distinctive feature of this phase is the reopening of unresolved problems in the old identity and the opportunity for resolving them.

  5. Acceptance and re-functioning; Acceptance develops after a period of time when the person begins to have sufficient social, sexual, professional thought and identity. In this phase, newly formed coping methods are reinforced. As fears and anxieties about new relationships subside, opportunities for a second marriage arise. Success in the second marriage depends on the successful resolution of conflicts in the previous stages.

Relationship Stages of the Divorce Process

According to Bohannan, who thinks that divorce consists of 6 processes (stations) parallel to each other, the difficulties experienced in these stages occur at different times and at different intensities. Processes during the divorce phase;

  1. Emotional Divorce; Emotional divorce is considered as the dissolution process of marriage. In this first phase, at least one partner’s emotional willingness and desires for their relationship diminish. Although family unity functions, the quality of the relationship is not good. There is conscious or unconscious withdrawal and indifference in one of the spouses. At this stage, routine difficulties in marital life are generally perceived as more difficult.

  2. Legal Divorce:This phase is a process that includes the legal separation of the spouses from each other and the legal termination of the marriage union.

  3. Economic divorce: The family is also an economic unit and mostly consists of the combined property of husband and wife. In case of divorce, the decision to divide them occurs. At this stage, it is a process that includes obligations such as the proper distribution of the property and money acquired in the marriage union, the determination of the amount of alimony to be paid to the child or children, if any, and to the spouse when necessary.

  4. Divorce as a Parent (parent): The most troublesome and most painful aspect of the divorce process is the divorce as a parent. What should be understood here is that the parents are divorced from each other, otherwise there is no such thing as a divorce from the children. This is true even if the custody of the children is given to the other party. Possible situations that may occur in this process are as follows; The father often thinks that the mother is trying to isolate and distance her children from him, and blunt their father-like aspects. On the other hand, the mother often believes that she is solely responsible for making decisions and that the father violates the mother’s authority over her children. Most divorced mothers want to have someone with them to guide them but not criticize them, support them and share their responsibilities. Parents’ suspicions or distrust towards each other cause difficulties, friction and pain in their communication with children. (Atalan, 1987)

  5. Social Divorce: Divorce can be a trigger for huge changes in social life from the point of view of spouses. Most of the divorced people state that they experience great disappointments in the friendship relations they formed during their marriage period. During these difficult times, divorced people often feel that their friends are not with them and that they are abandoned.

  6. Spiritual Divorce: It is one of the most important stages of the divorce process. In this phase, each of the separated spouses tries to develop their competence and independence. Spouses must learn to live alone again, independently of each other, during this sensitive period. Divorced people first try the old ways they are used to and often use to solve their problems. However, at this stage, they should give up their old, useless coping methods and try to find new solutions.

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