In Finland, 13 000 – 14 000 marriages end in divorce each year. This number has remained stable for several decades. First marriages have a 40 percent chance of ending in divorce. Statistically, the risk of divorce is highest in the first years of marriage. Overall, divorce is most common in the third year of marriage. (SVT)
Divorce is a big change for the whole family and children’s lives are always affected when parents’ divorce. Each year, 30 000 -40 000 children witness their parents’ divorce. Whether you are thinking about divorce or have already gone through a divorce, you may need help coping or assistance with parenting. Getting help for yourself is always a good idea. When you help yourself, you ensure your children’s wellbeing.
Children have an easier time adjusting after a divorce when parents get along and have an amicable relationship with each other. Dealing with your feelings makes moving on after the divorce easier for parents as well.
More information on parenting after a divorce can be found in the Guide for Parents
When your relationship is struggling, divorce can feel like the only solution. There are multiple reasons for considering getting a divorce. Relationships often struggle when partners have grown apart, and the relationship lacks intimacy, respect, and trust. Everyday challenges, stressful jobs, and not spending enough quality time together can strain a relationship. Unfair distribution of labour at home and financial issues can also cause problems. You might be having issues with communication, eg. not speaking to each other, being unable to voice your own needs or listen to your partner, or experiencing continuous arguing or criticism. Becoming parents can place a big strain on your relationship. You might be considering divorce as a result of mental health issues, problems with drugs or alcohol, or domestic violence.
Considering divorce on your own or discussing it with your spouse doesn’t mean you have to make an immediate decision. Research alternative options that could help improve your marriage. Getting help early on is especially important when children are involved. While getting divorced can solve issues within the relationship, children rarely feel the same way. Even if your situation feels difficult at the moment, it’s possible to reconcile when both partners are committed and dedicated to staying together.
Ending the relationship
In a divorce, you need to make legal decisions about division of property and changes in living arrangements, as well as custody of children, child support payments, and visitation.
Deciding to get divorced is a very emotional process and one of life’s hardest decisions. When a relationship ends, we all have our own unique reactions. The divorce could be making you feel betrayed, abandoned, insecure, desperate, angry or relieved. Letting go of the relationship is often painful and you might have anxiety about the future. You might be distressed about how your children will cope with the divorce and how to arrange their affairs. Feeling guilty over events that led to the divorce or deciding to get divorced, disappointment in yourself or your relationship and sorrow over the end of the relationship are part of the grieving process for both partners.
Everyone has a personal reaction to breaking up. While one person might be feeling relieved, the other might be severely distressed about the decision to divorce. Couples usually come to terms with breaking up separately and at different speeds. Openly discussing the decision to divorce as early as possible can ease tension. Understanding that divorce affects everyone differently can help you understand your partner’s feelings and reactions.
Couples’ therapy, counselling and relationship courses are valuable resources when you’re considering divorce. Online resources are also a good place to find support. Search for national and local services here.
Once you’ve decided to get divorced, get help via the Apua eroon -chat, or attend divorce seminars for families with children or other support groups.
If you’re struggling with parenting after the divorce,
you’re welcome to join the Vanhemman neuvo -peer support group for parents.There are also separate peer support groups available for children and teenagers.
The Finnish Association for Blended Families (Supli ry) is happy to answer any questions you have about new relationships after a divorce. You can also reach out to any of our online chat services.