Category : Divorce Process

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Evolving Divorce Opinions

Times and commonly held views are changing, and new research on Americans and the Brits further points to exactly how. It turns out, perhaps unsurprisingly, divorce is becoming less taboo and more accepted, even while the dream of marriage is still alive and well.  Granted, this greater acceptance of the divorce process is more prevalent among younger people than older generations.

The growingly popular opinion is while divorce remains rampant and many have had to feel the pain of it themselves, or through other couples who are parents, relatives, or friends, it has also become more normalized. The news of divorce is no longer the shock it once was perhaps because it has become so common. The perspective is beneficial to people who might otherwise feel shame, adding to the emotional turmoil already accompanying the split. Essentially, divorcees no longer have to worry so much about what others think of their choice.

The British Take

A new study published in the UK Daily Mail shows how the amount of people labeling divorce as a stigma is shrinking. Specifically, out of a poll of 2,000 people, about two thirds say the stigma is no longer existent. There are significant differences in opinion according to age, with 56% of 18-24 year-olds saying divorce is still taboo, and 67% of 24-54 year-olds saying divorce is still taboo.

The article quotes British relationship counselor Christine Northam explaining how it’s changed from past generations: “Divorce has become much more familiar in modern life; it’s not the hushed secret it was years ago…There is no such thing as a painless divorce; we are just getting better adjusted to it as a part of modern Britain.”

At the same time, many if not most people are still hopeful and greatly value the institution marriage and all it implies. Only 4 percent said divorce was a word they most frequently associated with marriage, the most common words associated with marriage being commitment and love. They consider 28 years-old the best age to tie the knot.

What Americans Think

Americans view divorce as much less of a shame than other behaviors possibly perceived as immoral. According to a recent Gallup poll, an impressive 68% of the Americans surveyed believe divorce is morally acceptable.

Similar to the Brits, there is still a high value placed on the sanctity of marriage, with a whopping 91% saying marital infidelity is morally despicable. There is a strong sense of despising hypocrisy in how people choose to live out their romantic lives. It seems the prevailing opinion is you are either in a marriage all the way, or you might as well file for divorce.

A respect of individual choice then is becoming much more important than traditional views of sticking through a marriage through thick and thin. While divorce is now seen as more of a personal choice that should be accepted as normal, when you are married, happily- and faithfully-ever-after is the ideal.

Love Blindness in Online and Long-Distance Dating

82663366Being oblivious to issues within a relationship is not something those going through the divorce process have a problem with. I’d say anyone thinking about or in the midst of divorce has a pretty good idea of what’s wrong with the union. There’s no love blindness there, at all. However, there is love blindness onset in other avenues of romantic life, which divorcees may want to be wary of when they re-enter a dating world that is now rife with alternate routes.

Namely, online dating, which often leads to long-distance dating, is a prime initiator of the love blindness disease, and it’s becoming more and more common as online dating sites reel in customers. Describing this dating avenue, psychologist Shauna Springer says, “The shared delusion of mutual flawlessness thrives in such a context. With the distance and the lack of face time, it is relatively easy to maintain illusions of mutual perfection, thereby extending the time during which each of you project and perceive unrealistic fantasies.”

Tips to Decrease Your Chance of Love Blindness

Not to say online dating is not a great way to find a potential partner in crime (life). Many people find lasting love this way; it’s just recommended to be cautious and not get in over your head too soon. Especially when the long-distance romance is new, not spending enough real time with the person could mean not realizing who they really are before it’s too late and you’ve too invested. Carefully planned, blissful weekend visits and dreamily looking at internet photos does not paint a true picture of what married life with this person would be like. Springer offers a few tips to reduce love blindness danger:

1. Do Your Research: Find out and observe what kind of friends and relationships the new dreamboat has in his/her circle. It’s not only important to know about his/her family background but also knowing what kind of company they keep on a regular basis is telling of their character. Are their friends people you would enjoy spending time with as well? Is there a close friend that is rude or intolerant? That could be a red flag worth looking into if it’s possible the potential mate has similar traits that haven’t yet manifested in your long-distance presence. If you do get a chance to talk with any of these friends during a visit, perhaps ask for opinions of their friend you are dating. Granted, they may be biased but the responses could also offer insight into things this person might be hiding from you.

2. Ask About Past Romantic Relationships: Similarly, ask your potential online boyfriend or girlfriend directly about their past loves and breakups. One red flag to watch out for is if he/she speaks of an ex in an extremely demeaning or negative light, without taking any responsibility for the failed romance. Stringer explains how “this kind of statement might signal an inability to take ownership for their part in past relationship problems.” It could also signal a lack of responsibility when they are actually in a relationship.

The main thing to avoid when dating online or long-distance is letting your invalidated hopes cause you to invest too much, both emotionally and physically, if you decide to relocate. More dramatically, jumping the gun and marrying someone without knowing who they really are is a clear path to filing for divorce and regretting the blind choices that led you there. Taking it one step at a time, and spending enough time together is key to avoiding love blindness and its sometimes irreparable consequences.