When my ex-husband decided that he wanted to get a divorce, I remember how my life was coming to an end. I felt the physical pain of grief and anxiety about how my life will now look. I kept thinking to myself: why did I not go to the obvious red flags that I saw before I married this man? It does not appear that his actions or behavior were completely different from the person I recognized. But I wanted to marry him so much that I ignored so many things that were important not only for my future spouse, but what I found further down the road is also destructive for marriage. How was I going to move or meet someone new?
Now, when I went over and considered marriage again, what actions should not be allowed in marriage, and how can their marriage be saved if they follow the path of destruction? In this article I came up with a few frequently asked questions, which, as I remember, I want to get answers to post-divorce. I also had discussions with close friends and family, who also experienced a divorce on these issues.
These questions were answered by Marriage and family therapists Amal Killavi and Nadia M. Bazzi.
- What are some red flags that a person should observe in their marriage?
Some red flags to look for in marriage include hidden bank accounts, secret online identities, significant changes in your spouse’s schedule, which has not been communicated, and new behaviors like drinking, gambling, pornography, and drug use. It is also equally important to look for red flags in how relationships work. Refusal during a conflict, withdrawal, shouting, not fixing problems, anger and resentment are all signs of a breakdown in relationships.
- What things are “unforgivable” and should not be allowed in marriage?
Each marriage is different, and each person will determine what he / she wishes to endure in a relationship. In some situations, a divorce may be necessary because he is healthier for the family. For example, in cases of physical or emotional abuse, it rarely happens that a marriage survives without a serious rehabilitation of the offender, and it’s usually safer to leave the relationship. Some marriages can cure major problems such as infidelity, substance abuse, gambling and porn addiction, but this will ultimately depend on the partner’s desire, engaging in these behaviors to get professional advice and at the level of support, emotional stability, commitment to marriage .
- What can you do if your spouse is asking for a divorce and you do not want it?
Ideally, a person who wants a divorce should be able to name and identify a breakup in a marriage that prompts them to ask for a divorce. Many times, couples go for several counseling sessions to decide whether they want to stay together or not. The couple may try to separate before they divorce, to find out if they are different about the divorce. Many people express the fact that they want a divorce because they are filled with overwhelming emotions that they cannot overcome. Often, counseling couples can help establish new models. Although you can stay married, you also need to ask: how do you help a marriage stay together? For a couple to survive, change must occur.
- How long and how much should you try to make peace? When do you stop trying? What should you do if your spouse is not open to couples therapy?
Does it tell you that you can no longer influence your relationship and create a power struggle? If your partner does not want to marry you and does not want to attend counseling couples or seek outside help, it is better to ask yourself: what are you trying to hang on? What are you afraid of? Address the fear of the divorce process.
Does your partner say that they want a divorce only in the midst of a dispute? Often, one of the partners feels “fulfilled” with the relationship, but in fact it is simply done with patterns in relationships that do not satisfy his or her needs. If this pattern can be solved, the couple can overcome the situation.
Some people prefer to seek individual counseling and, thus, make personal changes in their relationships, which, as a result, encourage their partner to remain married. Some people may ask their partner to participate in at least one session. Others may seek friends, family members and / or community leaders to encourage their partner to seek counseling from the spouses. Ultimately, change cannot be forced, but rather must come from within. No one can force another person to remain married, and there is no time for reconciliation. If your partner is adamant about divorce and does not want to be reconciled, then you are doing everything possible to secede in kindness and seek help for treatment through divorce.
- If your ex-spouse continues to contact you and wants to maintain communication, but does not want to return to marriage, why can they do this and what are the ways to stop it? Can exes maintain friendship?
Often people want to maintain friendship after marriage. Although it is rare, it is still possible and great if there are children. The Quran instructs us to deal with each other in a kind and civil manner. However, there are various types of communication. If they communicate with an intimate relationship, this is a boundary problem and should not be allowed. You have to say no, which means no. If they are friendly, that is respectful, it is your personal preferences that must be maintained or not. Some people find it very difficult to continue their relationship with the former for many reasons: the inability to cope with separation, dependence on a partner, and hope that they will come back together. Please note that being friendly and able to communicate after a divorce does not mean that you can manage the state of marriage!
- What are some things that a person can do to help with the difficulties of divorce and pain?
Healing from a divorce is a journey that takes time. It is important to allow yourself to mourn the loss of relationships, but also not to lose sight of the big picture. Your life does not end in divorce. Divorce can provide you with the opportunity to make changes in your life, embark on new adventures and grow personally and spiritually. Seek support from family and friends, take comfort in prayer and challenge yourself to learn something new. Counseling can also be helpful in your treatment process.
- Should you share with your potential suitor about your divorce? When and how much do you share?
You are responsible for reporting your previous marriage. You may prefer to share openly from the very beginning of courtship, or wait until you no longer recognize them and feel a sense of trust. However, it is important that the potential seeker know that you are married. If you do not share, you will keep secrets, and secrets are a sign that there is a lack of trust in a relationship that can ultimately lead to a break in the relationship. This is easiest if someone realizes that you are divorced. This will establish trust and demonstrate that your potential searcher is aware of the situation and is willing to work through it. In addition, there are often numerous contacts with a person with whom you are divorced, if you have children, or if the person was in a family or community.
You must be able to successfully determine why your marriage has ended. This is a sign that you have the necessary insight into a new relationship. If you are afraid of being rejected by a potential fiancé because you were divorced, this is a problem you have to work with.
- How soon after a divorce will you think about remarriage?
It is important not to use new relationships to treat the pain and pain of a recent relationship. This is dangerous because it puts you and your new partner to fail. In addition, the likelihood of a divorce in a new relationship increases if there was a previous divorce. Divorce is a form of loss, even if the layout has been for the better.
It is normal to experience a range of emotions after a divorce, including depression, anxiety, loneliness, and confusion of identity. Many say that they need to focus on themselves, restore self-confidence, heal the pain of recent relationships, gain perspective and learn new communication skills. Often, people can be attracted to the type of personality that is harmful to them, so it is important to determine this before moving on to the following relationship so that the pattern can be broken. You will find out that you are ready to move on when you have created new ideas from your last relationship, no longer wondering, “what if”, when you think about the last relationship, are emotionally stable and recovered from the pain of divorce. If you ask: “Am I ready?”, It is important to press the pause button and ask: “How will I know when I will be ready?”
- How soon should you present your children to a potential marriage?
There is no standard timeline, but a sudden remarriage can be difficult for children to accept. Children will need time to deal with their parents, their changes as a result of the divorce, as well as feelings about divorce. Enter potential slowly and inform your children about your feelings with this new person in your life.
Some helpful resources:
Nadia M. Bazzi is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LLMFT) and is owned by M.A. in conflict transformation and peacebuilding with concentration in psychosocial recovery. She specializes in couples and family therapy and supports private practice in Novi, Michigan.
Amal killavi He is a clinical social worker with a focus on mental health and marriage education. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in social work from the University of Michigan, where she also currently holds certification in the field of sexual health. She is also a researcher specializing in addressing inequalities among American Muslims and providing culturally competent assistance to patients. As a community activist, Amal speaks on the board of several non-profit organizations, particularly focusing on cultural competence, mental health, marriage and the education of family life, social services and the empowerment of young people. She was involved in the Association of Muslim Students at the local, regional, and national levels. Amal formally contributes to the VMCounselors recommendation column for answering readers' personal questions.