No one aspires to marry and divorce. And no one particularly wants a messy divorce. Like other unpredictable things about life, a messy divorce is quite common, especially among celebrities and influential people. Ending a marriage doesn’t automatically mean that the toxicity will wash away immediately. Sometimes, it gets worse before it gets better, especially if one or both parties use revenge as a motive behind a divorce.
Divorce lawyers advise their clients to approach the process with a level head. However, some clients refuse to heed the advice, preferring to cause ugly drama before finally calling it quits. The divorce process alone is complicated, and a messy one further complicates things. In the end, both parties will be too stressed out to know how to start life afresh. If you’re in the middle of a messy divorce, read this to know how to cope.
What is a messy divorce?
A messy divorce refers to when an estranged couple excessively fights, argues or sulks over issues which complicate a divorce process. It is full of drama, a nasty one in which couples let their emotions run wild instead of using logical thinking. The couple makes rash decisions and exhibits ugly behaviours that can affect them and those close to them. In this type of scenario, agreements are hardly reached, and both parties will have to extend the divorce process unnecessarily as they fight over issues in unhealthy ways.
Causes of a messy divorce
Below are 7 causes of a messy divorce:
Infidelity or betrayal
When a spouse betrays the other by having an extramarital affair, it’s natural for the wronged spouse to feel angry and hurt. This can cause that wronged spouse to do anything to hurt his or her partner back. If the situation leads to a divorce, the wronged partner will do everything possible to frustrate the estranged spouse. In this case, revenge is their ultimate goal. They just don’t want to leave; they want to do it with a bang!
One spouse wants to stay married
Once a spouse has a ” we die here” mentality, the divorce process can get really messy. They don’t want the marriage to end, so they do everything, applying every tactic in the book to stop the process. This includes blackmailing and frustrating the spouse that wants out of the marriage. Every toxic behaviour will be applied as long as it gets the result – keeping the marriage intact.
Child custody is one of the most common causes of a messy divorce. When children are involved, the divorce process is almost always more complicated. Each parent may want full custody because they may feel the other is too incompetent to raise their child or children. The parent, who is the primary caregiver, may worry that the other may not be fully present in raising their kids if joint custody is allowed. The parent that is not the primary caregiver may worry that they may miss out on a great relationship with the kids. There might be misunderstandings about who stays with the kids and who visits, especially when both parties are not living in the same area.
Sense of failure
Divorce is a devastating process. It can make you feel like you have failed in life. The humiliation and disappointment can lead to resentment for both spouses. So, one or both of them resort to transferring their anger during divorce by complicating things. Anger, humiliation and frustration are strong emotions and can spoil things further should they be allowed to bubble over during the divorce process.
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Lying during proceeding
It’s not uncommon for estranged couples to lie against each other during divorce proceedings. One spouse will want to spin a story to make the other spouse look bad in the eyes of the court, especially when money or children are involved. These lies tend to cause unnecessary drama and chaos, and someone, usually the lying spouse, will get hurt.
Spouses usually have friends in common. When a couple announces they’re getting a divorce, friends tend to take sides. The spouse believed to be guilty, especially in cases of infidelity, is usually shunned by others. Such a spouse will grow lonely, which can make him or her lash out during the divorce process.
Financial and property issues
Like child custody, division of assets and alimony are the major causes of a messy divorce. When one spouse is the breadwinner while the other spouse stays at home to care for the children, it’s normal for the spouse with less money to feel shortchanged and want to fight for what they term as their right. When the spouse with money refuses to cave, kasala go burst for that divorce. There will be disagreements over money, assets, alimony, debt etc.
How to avoid a messy divorce
- Have a sincere conversation with your estranged spouse. They feel hurt and terrified about what the future holds for them after divorce. This may make them want to lash out during proceedings. You both should iron things out from the beginning so that the divorce process can be smoother.
- Seek support from family and friends. You can also talk to a therapist or marriage counsellor. They will help you keep a level head during the divorce process.
- Don’t bad mouth your estranged spouse. Bad-mouthing will make things more complicated.
- Seek legal representation. A good divorce lawyer can take you through the ins and outs of the divorce process. They will make you calm down and handle any obstacles that come your way.
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How to deal with a messy divorce
- Expect the unexpected. Your once-loving spouse can turn into a walking toxicity during the divorce process. It’s better to be prepared for it on time.
- Don’t let their toxic behaviour affect you. You may be tempted to retaliate, but that will only complicate things further. Use your brain and walk through the problems.
- Focus on the bright side. You’re walking out of a toxic or unhappy marriage. That should be enough to cheer you up. Your mental health matters.
- Forgive your soon-to-be spouse and yourself. Life happens to everyone. Don’t beat yourself up over your failed marriage.
- Change your lifestyle. Getting a divorce means you’re ushering in a new beginning. This is the time to work on yourself and focus on the things you love to do but were unable to do while you were married.
- Be self-reliant. Don’t jump into another relationship because you’re scared of being alone or financially bankrupt. Learn to focus and do things by yourself.
- Surround yourself with family and friends who care about you. They will give you all the support you need during this trying phase.
- See a counsellor and talk about what you’re going through. Unburdening yourself will help you deal with all the negative emotions you carry about your divorce.
It’s hard to accept that you’ll live the rest of your life without the person you once loved. You’ll be depressed, angry, humiliated, frustrated and all, which can lead either or both of you to lash out during the divorce process. However, a messy divorce is not the answer to your problem. Instead, coming to a peaceful agreement and divorce will help you cope for the sake of your mental health.
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