Marriage is difficult. I think that a lot of people tend to underestimate this fact, but it remains true. In truth, it is probably one of the hardest things that humans do. If you are not convinced of that yet, I understand – but please, allow me to explain what I mean.
I think the primary thing that makes it such a challenge is the simple fact that you have to live with this person every day for the rest of your life. It is daunting, isn’t it? Alongside that, though, we often have a realization at some point down the line that the decision to stay married really is a choice. It is a conscious one that we need to make on an everyday basis.
Of course, that is far from everything, but I will be getting into that further in this article. For now, turn your attention to what many marriages end up with these days: divorce. In the past, it was a taboo sort of thing. It was shameful to get one. Thankfully, this is not so much the case anymore.
That being said, there remains a certain stigma surrounding it. There is nothing shameful about getting a divorce, and I want to say that upfront here. While there will always be someone in your life that will judge you for the decision, so long as it is the one that will result in your long-term happiness, then you are doing the right thing.
For a marriage that is ending on mutual terms and with agreement from both parties, this is even more true. Sometimes, relationships do not work out. That is okay, and it is a part of life. If you find yourself in this sort of situation, hopefully, this article can offer you some valuable insights into the process. It might seem complicated at a surface level, but thankfully there are options available that can ease this burden on us.
Table of Contents
Marriage: Why it is Such a Challenge
I am hardly the first person to discuss this topic. My predecessors, as in the article linked here, have also lent their opinions to it. Admittedly, it can feel like there is little more to say. Yet, I find that retreading this ground is worth it if only to help people understand what could be inciting issues between themselves and their partners.
To be candid, though, this is not an attempt to prevent you from seeking out a separation. Rather, I merely want to offer some perspective into what could be going on. So, let us dive right in!
As humans, most of us yearn for certain connections in our lives. Most experts note that we are “hardwired” to do this, but there are exceptions to it. However, to most of us, this list will sound familiar – or at least, make some sort of sense.
One of these connections that most of us search for is the role of a “lover.” This usually involves physical intimacy to some extent, or at least attraction on this level. More often than not, the person who fills this role also fulfills another, known as the “soulmate” or “other half.” This is when a deep love is shared between two people.
The final one that I will mention here is a person to build up a life with. This might take the form of owning property together or raising a family. Now, many people find a partner who fills all three of these connotations – that is where successful marriages are typically borne from.
While I am not saying that this is required to make a partnership work, it is admittedly a great foundational base for a relationship that will last. If you find yourself disagreeing with your partner about some of these things or do not feel they are filling that space in your life, it might be worth having a conversation about it.
Obviously, finding this is hard. It is also highly unlikely that one person will perfectly fit into these three categories at once. So, it is also good to have a support network that is wider, and perhaps available to both of you at once (but not always, of course). We also need to be careful that we are not leaning on our partner too much.
This is only briefly touching upon some of the challenges. There are many, many more, and those who have been married for decades can probably share some with you. You can find blogs out there such as this one, https://www.lifeingraceblog.com/2014/01/why-marriage-is-so-hard-2/, that contain some testimonies from couples.
Just remember that it is more than okay to terminate a partnership like this. We are in charge of our own lives and have the autonomy to make this choice for ourselves, even if others in our lives are protesting it.
What is Divorce, then?
So – now that I have discussed some of the problems that can come with marriage, let us get into the main topic of this article. What is a divorce, anyway? Most of us are aware of it to some extent (usually at a surface level), but I think it also merits a deep dive.
To offer a simple definition, it is just a legal dissolution of a marriage contract. Obviously, it tends to entail a lot more than this. It is pretty much impossible to deny that there will be an emotional side to any breakup, even if it is an uncontested one. Let us delve into the different types of divorce, then.
Understanding Fault Versus No-Fault
Before I cover the other specifics, let us get this out of the way. Most of them fall into one of two categories, those being “fault” or “no-fault.” What do they mean, though, and what are their implications?
I will start with “fault,” since they tend to be much more charged and difficult proceedings. Something to note is that these parameters can vary based on state, but I will be going off of Oklahoma law today since I will be explaining how to get an uncontested divorce in Oklahoma later on in this article.
“Fault” divorces tend to implicate one partner as being to blame for the relationship falling apart. What are some circumstances that could merit this attribution? Cheating is one of them, of course, though it is known as “adultery” in most courts of law. What else is there, though?
One that surprises some people is that if a wife is pregnant when she marries the husband, but the husband is not aware of this fact, this can be grounds for divorce of this type. Admittedly, it is not overly “common” to have this occur today but is still something worth mentioning just in case.
Another is substance abuse, which is, unfortunately, happening more and more as alcohol and drugs become more accessible for everyday citizens across the world (but especially in the United States). Sometimes, a partner might not be willing to go to rehab and could be causing significant distress. That would fall into this category.
There are a few others, but that overview has probably given you an idea of what to expect in that category. Shifting attention to “no-fault,” one is if the couple has not been living together for a significant period of time. Another is “irreconcilable differences,” which implies that it is an issue coming from both sides of the partnership.
So, keep these types in mind as I move on to some of the other circumstances that could arise. Even if these do not seem overly relevant right now, you will likely be thankful that you learned about them even on a surface level. Even in the easiest of separations, there is a lot of paperwork and (in most cases, at least) some finger-pointing involved.
So – here we are at the main focus of today’s article. What is it, then? Well, as the name suggests, it is when the couple who is getting divorced agrees to all of the legal terms that have been drafted and there are no objections from either party. This could entail several key aspects.
One, of course, is the matter of child custody. This is where contention tends to arise, so it is a bit rarer to see this form of divorce when children are involved. However, it is not impossible to decide on this amicably, especially if there is going to be a fifty-fifty time split between the parents. Child support also falls under this umbrella of tending to cause arguments more often than not.
The other big aspect of most agreements is the ways in which properties are divided. If both parties involved are in concordance on these fronts, though, it is known as an “uncontested” divorce. They tend to proceed in the courts much more quickly and can be obtained at a more rapid rate, so it is not a bad idea to try to iron out these details with your ex-partner if you want to separate quickly.
Why Divorce Is Not a Bad Thing?
The final topic that I would like to cover in this article today is the simple fact that going through something like this is not a bad thing, no matter what people making “moral judgments” may try to say. I can speak to this as a child of divorced parents, myself – staying together “for the kids” often does more harm than good.
Think about it. Constant arguments in the household, especially when they involve shouting, belittling, or worst of all, involving your children, can be quite detrimental to their development and psyche as they continue to grow. I still flinch at loud noises a lot of the time, and it can be quite difficult to cope with.
With that common excuse out of the way, let us shift our attention a bit to some of the other reasons why this is perfectly acceptable. This one will probably sound obvious, but I want to emphasize it: if you are separating from an abusive spouse or partner, you are one hundred percent justified in seeking a legal dissolution of said partnership.
It is always going to be hard to leave someone who is abusive. Taking that step is in fact something to be extremely proud of. This is even more true if the abuser is unwilling to make any changes or even to acknowledge that their behavior is wrong. Never feel ashamed for leaving for this reason.
On a slightly less serious note, though, another motivation could be that you were simply not meant to be together. Sometimes, we fall out of love with people. We may also realize that we simply cannot meet each other’s needs. That is okay. In fact, it can be a valuable learning experience for both people involved. While moving on can be difficult, there is nothing bad about making that choice.
When we enter a relationship, it can be easy to forget that we still need to take care of and prioritize ourselves sometimes. If you find that you are stressed out each day, dreading when your partner gets home and not wanting to spend time with them, this might be a sign that you are not in fact feeling happy and fulfilled in that marriage. I am hardly saying that you should immediately break out the divorce papers, but it might be something to think about.
If you have one takeaway from this blog today, I hope it is that there is no moral high ground to be had here. Some couples decide to stick it out and stay together in an attempt to work through their issues. Others decide to part amicably and get an uncontested divorce. Both are totally fine.
The most important thing is that we are able to pursue a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle that makes us happy. If that includes getting a divorce, then so be it! Both of you could end up happier that way.