But this same law has also caused a lot of pain for men with refugee children. Their wives or ex-wives may have left Ukraine with their children, and at present, there is no way for parents to go abroad to see them.
After more than a week of driving all day and all night in 10 countries, Tetiana and the couple’s eldest son finally made it to Turku, Finland, where their youngest son, a semi-pro hockey player, lives. There she realized that she did not want to go home.
I was so exhausted that I spent the first days sleeping, walking and thinking. Suddenly I had some free time when I didn’t have to go to my job or take care of my parents. And then at one point I suddenly realized: I don’t miss home. I don’t want to go back. I mean, it’s not that I don’t love my parents or my husband. I wasn’t thinking about divorce. I just realized that I want to be alone.
Those first few weeks were really tough. After all those years, waking up alone, in a cold bed, with no one waiting for you? And it wasn’t just the distance. This was the lack of faith in tomorrow. I did not know whether the Russian troops would come to us or not. I didn’t know if I would survive or not. But there wasn’t a night that I didn’t dream about.
The number of marriages ended in Ukraine last year was two or even three times higher than it was before the war, according to estimates by Ukrainian mental health professionals, divorce lawyers, dating gurus, court clerks and judges. Experts claim that what leads Ukraine divorce ratewhich has always been high compared to other countries, is not war-related stress, although there is a lot of that, but the sheer scale of the class.
Dr. Trofimenko, a psychotherapist, said that when people are separated from their communities, they begin to re-evaluate everything.
“People start asking questions,” she said. “Like: Is this person I spent so many years of my life with still the right person for me if I don’t know who I am anymore?”