Because, a person can feel free within a marriage, right? And a person can feel caged, too.
Likewise, a single person can feel stunted or yearning, or independent and available. The legal state of a person’s relationship status has nothing to do, really, with freedom.
Maybe it’s a state of mind?
Certainly, in cases of domestic abuse or assault, a person can be in a very real situation where they are denied freedom of identity, movement or thought. In those cases, divorce can be a lifesaver, and a necessity. Every person should have the freedom to determine how they will live and with whom.
Beyond that, though, it’s important to realize that freedom is a choice, a perspective, a belief. We can limit our lives by believing that we don’t have options. Simply separating from a partner does not guarantee that a person will have any more freedom of thought, movement or opportunity than they had before. They must decide to make it so.
When a divorce client comes to Transitions Legal, we are careful to explain that they must set realistic expectations for the process ahead. There will be ups and downs, and emotions (plenty of them). Sometimes it will seem like an impossible and endless situation. Sometimes they will feel hurt by the proceedings, and by the person they called partner and love for so many years.
And by the end, most clients feel a mixture of relief, possibility and optimism, but sometimes the hurt and raw emotion continues. It’s not always over when the judge pounds their gavel or the ex-spouses sign the divorce judgment.
To be free of sadness, loneliness, hurt and betrayal is something one works at. It takes time to heal, and sometimes help is needed to get there, fully.
That’s why I think I’m saying that divorce is about transitions (hence our firm name!) and not necessarily freedom and independence. Freedom is something to shoot for and which everyone can attain, but it does not merely come with a divorce.