Divorce counseling can help guide you through the process of grieving the loss of a marriage. Divorce is a monumental change and loss of a dream. Separating two lives that have become intertwined effects friends, family, finances, parenting and living situations. Even if the divorce brings relief because it ends hurtful relationship patterns, it often brings up a wide range of emotions and circumstances that can be surprising. It’s common to feel angry, depressed, forgiving, desperate and accepting, and to bounce back and forth through these emotions while grieving the loss of the marriage dream. Having a therapist help you walk through the process of grieving in divorce counseling can help work through this process in a way that will truly leave the past behind.
While it’s easier to blame a divorce on the other partner, the reality is that both have usually contributed to it’s ending. It’s often a hard thing for someone in divorce counseling to hear because they usually feel so wronged and disappointed by their partner. However, people usually pick partners who are about as equipped and comfortable with closeness as they are. The symptoms and circumstance that bring a marriage to an end may be different, but underneath it, all is usually a difficulty with knowing how to do emotionally connected relationships with healthy boundaries.
Couples who divorce tend to fall into one of two categories. Either they have been doing parallel lives where there is not enough emotional or relational need expressed and met in the marriage, or they are so dependent on one another it’s hard to tell where one person ends and the other begins. When the connection in a relationship fades or is unable to grow, all kinds of problem behavior begin.
While it may be too late to reconcile the marriage, divorce counseling can help prepare you for a successful future relationship. The key to this is developing something I call “interdependence.” This is when partners are secure enough to each have their own life, responsibilities and identity apart from each other, yet depend on each other for parts of their relational and emotional needs.
Sometimes divorce counseling first needs to address other issues, like depression or anxiety disorders. Divorce can feel like the ultimate rejection or loss and a person’s self-esteem and identity can be shaken. The stress of a marriage going bad, the strain of the divorce process, and starting all over again is a heavy emotional load to carry. Divorce is difficult for anyone, and the stress of this major life change can overwhelm a person’s capabilities and support system. The support received from a therapist in divorce counseling can help share this load and move you forward, helping you find and re-define yourself and your future.
Nobody plans on needing divorce counseling when they start their married life together, but the reality is that 76% of first marriages in Orange County are going to end in divorce. Unfortunately, most don’t take enough time to understand, heal and grow from a divorce and this shows up in the divorce rates that increase with each subsequent marriage. People keep making the same choices hoping for something better, but ending with the same result. Divorce counseling can help work through growth areas of the individual that prepares them for a successful future romantic relationships or marriage the next time.