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Why Is Divorce So Painful?

Mar 24, 2017 | Written by: William J. Rudnik, Esq. |

In our society, there is a great emphasis on relationships.  This includes relationships with friends, with family, and romantic relationships with significant others.  Most of us like to spend time with other people, whether it be seeing a movie, eating a meal, going to a concert, attending a sporting event, or just socializing.  Even many forms of entertainment are based on relationships.  Think about the TV shows we watch, the movies we see, the music we listen to, and even many of the sporting events we watch…they are popular because of the way the characters interact with one another, and/or the way the stories connect with us.  Popular sitcoms over the years, from “I Love Lucy” to “Seinfeld” to “Modern Family,” are beloved because of the relationships between the characters.  Even “non-romantic” movies such as the westerns “True Grit," “The Magnificent Seven” and “Unforgiven” would not be as popular if not for the social connections and relationships between the characters.  While popular culture is meant to entertain and sometimes distract us from our own lives, it often brings us back to thinking about our own relationships.

Typically, a marriage is a very strong social connection, at least at the time the marriage takes place.  Human beings are hard wired to have these strong relationships.  There is substantial research regarding the social nature of our species and the depression that can take place without social interaction. 

While we like to believe that we are each our own person and are relatively immune to the actions and reactions of those around us, that is simply not the case.  Cruel words from a spouse can cause emotional pain, and may sometimes even manifest as real physical pain.  And when a marriage breaks down, it is painful.  An individual going through a divorce experiences many emotions including anger, frustration and sadness.  In addition, feelings of guilt or failure are often present when a relationship ends.  Although everyone experiences different levels of these emotions, divorce will always be a difficult and painful process because it marks the loss of a meaningful emotional and social connection in our lives, and we are wired for that connection. 

However, divorce does not have to be difficult in terms of the legal process.  As long as parties can be reasonable, there are many ways to resolve a divorce without the process adding to the pain.  Mediation and collaborative divorce are two of the options that can help settle a divorce without the process becoming overly stressful.  Divorce is difficult enough without making the legal process agonizing and bitter. 

If you would like to talk about some of the ways to help minimize the pain of the divorce process from a legal standpoint, please contact me at

William J. Rudnik, Esq. is certified by the NJ Supreme Court as a Matrimonial Law Attorney. He is also qualified as a Mediator in the field of Family Law under the New Jersey Court rules, and he is trained in Collaborative Divorce. Contact Mr. Rudnik at 908-735-5161 or via email.

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