There’s no way to sugar coat it – going through a divorce is rough. Most commonly, a divorce does not occur due to one isolated incident, but a series of small incidences that have built up slowly over time. More than often there is not one party to blame. Cutting ties with your partner brings a bevy of emotions to the surface. Coming to grips with the end of a marriage does not have to happen in a bubble. We are here to help you cope, guide you in experiencing your emotions, and ensure that you come out on the other side of the divorce with clarity and understanding.
Your marriage might have ended for a number of reasons. For example, some couples try so hard and just can’t get things to work. Or certain people burn out and lose their connection, cutting the attachment cord along the way. Others have been hurt by so many injuries over time that the wounds are too great to fully heal. Or worse, couples seek out counseling when it is “too little too late.”
If you are currently going through or recovering from a divorce, this can be a hard time. You may struggle with coming to terms with the relationship, handling the financial blows, or sorting out your emotions. This doesn’t have to keep you in the dark place. There is hope and you can find yourself!
Your therapist is here to help you sort out your emotions. It is then that you will understand how the injuries have impacted your heart and learn how to heal in a way to feel more confident and self-sufficient.
Identifying the source of your stress to facilitate your healing journey
Divorce can create feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression for countless reasons, including:
Financial stress due to the money necessary to work with a lawyer
As if the emotional toll of a divorce isn’t enough, the money required for a lawyer might feel staggering. This is especially true if you are already strapped for cash. The financial stress involved with filing for divorce can easily compound with your emotional distress. This leads to one big monster of an emotional rollercoaster.
Sorting out possessions
The physical act of dividing your lives can drum up a lot of heartache and distress. This might feel like the physical manifestation of the dissolving of your marriage, but it does not have to overwhelm you. Learning to communicate with your ex-partner through the process is critical to creating a smooth transition. A therapist can help you practice these communication techniques and guide you in coping with the stress of divvying up possessions.
Divorcing with children
Some couples are able to work through child custody in a civil manner, while other times things can get ugly. Depending on the level of difficulty you face here, you may experience higher levels of stress. Regardless of if it’s a relative walk in the park, there is still a lot of emotional upset that comes with divorcing when children are involved. Even the most civil parents will have to have the tough conversations with their children and help the child to sort through their emotions all while trying to balance their own. Talking your child through your divorce can feel overwhelming. This stress especially compounds when custody battles come into play. A therapist is here to guide you through these emotions so that you are not buried by the overwhelm associated with simply taking on too much.
Letting go of the ideal you held for your life and relationship
Working through a divorce can leave you with a feeling of failure. Perhaps you held on to the relationship for so long with the hope that one day, things would change. You may have stuck it out for years, clinging to what the relationship had previously been. With the decision finally made, you will face a lot of emotional turmoil, and learning the skills for coping and letting go will be paramount to your healing journey.
If you are experiencing any or all of the above complications in the aftermath of your divorce, know that you do not have to work through it alone. There are several different approaches you can take and a therapist is here to facilitate your healing journey.
When people think of couples counseling, they typically associate it with couples that are actively dating or married. However, this does not have to be the case. Divorce counseling as a couple is really an extension of couples counseling. You and your ex-partner are encouraged to discuss your experiences through the divorce in a safe and neutral space, with a therapist there to guide the discussion and offer their own insight in a balanced way. This encourages healthy and effective communication between you and your ex-partner as you cope with your separate emotions throughout the process.
If divorce counseling as a couple does not seem within reach, then you are absolutely encouraged to work with a therapist on your own. This may especially ring true if you are ending a marriage with an abusive partner. Individual counseling through the divorce process is just as useful in bringing clarity to your situation and is a much safer approach in the instance that your partner is physically and/or emotionally abusive.
How can therapy help:
Here are a few ways that a therapist will guide you in your healing journey:
Establish effective communication methods
Working through a divorce brings with it feelings of hurt, abandonment, betrayal, and grief, to name a few. It can be easy to weaponize your words against your partner. Similarly, you might extrapolate meaning from their actions that is simply not true. While these are perfectly natural ways to respond when you’re feeling hurt, there are practicable methods to ensure that not only are you communicating effectively to your partner but you are also interpreting their words and actions from a place of understanding and reason. A therapist can help identify where and why communication breakdowns are occurring, and how to introduce healthy communication practices to ease the pain of the divorce.
Help to identify the source of your hurt and despair
There’s no way around it – divorce is extremely difficult. Whether you were the one to initiate the divorce or it was your partner that pulled the plug, the entire process can leave you feeling hurt and depressed. Your feelings of abandonment may stem from something as dramatic as betrayal of infidelity, or simply from the slow burn of the dissolution of your marriage over many years. No matter how the divorce played out, a therapist will aid in identifying the source of your emotions. This provides a blueprint of where your healing is most required. It is only once you have tapped into the “why” behind your feelings that you can address your emotional demons and move forward with piecing your life back together.
Help to identify the positive elements of your divorce
The word divorce itself is loaded with negative connotations. The truth is that sometimes divorce is the best thing you can do for yourself. Knowing your worth and finding the bravery to step outside of a harmful marriage can mean the difference between slogging through life unhappily and leading a fulfilling existence. A therapist will help you to view your divorce through a positive scope. What doors will open now that you’ve made the decision to move on from this relationship? What harmful or damaging scenarios are you leaving behind as a result? These are questions that are open for exploration and help to frame your divorce in a more positive light.
Assist you in “starting over”
Once the papers are signed and the possessions divided, there can be a crippling fear of what happens next. This does not have to be a scary process. Our therapists are here to help you sort through the anxieties associated with this new chapter of your life. Change can be terrifying, but it does not have to be painful. If you are feeling aimless in your next step, a therapist is available to act as a sounding board and offer tips in coping with this new stage in your healing journey.
Some couples are able to walk away from their marriage in a clean and respectful manner. However, sometimes the divorce brings out the nasty parts of one another. You might feel that you are fending for yourself, fighting for your children, and enduring blows below the belt. This is not a time to walk alone. This is the time to get additional support and resources, to gain self-empowerment, and to learn to grieve in a healthy manner.
If you are reading this, you are probably in the midst of the divorce and looking for the right fit for counseling. Looking for Divorce Counseling in San Diego can get overwhelming. We invite you to review our website and how we work, and cruise through the articles on this site. If you have questions, pick up the phone and give us a call. Better yet, schedule your counseling session online now with no hassle or back-and-forth emails. It is simple.