Separation, Divorce, and Remarriage

Sometimes, marriages do not succeed. The end of a marriage can be a relief to some people, but it can also be an extremely stressful event. Even the partner who chooses to leave may experience a wide range of emotions and intense feelings that may be painful or difficult, such as grief, guilt, anger, confusion, fear, shame, and anxiety. If children are involved, the stress level within a divorcing family is likely to be even higher.

People sometimes seek therapy to help them decide whether to stay in a marriage or leave. Others may seek help in counseling to make the transition from being married to being single again. Both these goals can be addressed in individual or couples therapy.

Therapy for Divorce

When a marriage ends, it can often be emotionally traumatic for both partners. In order to cope with the process of uncoupling, which can be mentally, physically, and financially demanding, a couple who is divorcing may choose to begin therapy. Divorce therapy is usually done on an individual basis. A person who is going through a divorce may experience feelings of guilt, fear, anxiety, depression and grief, and working with a therapist can provide an objective and rational perspective and arm a person with the necessary skills to work through the difficulties of the divorce. People who use therapy to help them cope with a divorce can often benefit, as they may be able to learn more about themselves and come to see the life transition as an opportunity for growth and personal development.

Divorce may contribute to or exacerbate certain mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or personality diagnoses. Many people perceive divorce as a personal failure. Therapy can help one work through those feelings, make sense of the end of the marriage, and obtain a new perspective. Individuals who have divorced may learn more about what they require from a relationship and what they do not desire in a relationship, and they may, through therapy, discover more about their own nature and personal characteristics.

Divorce therapy is also available for couples who are in the process of going through a divorce. This type of therapy may allow some couples to better achieve the dissolution of the marriage in a healthy, constructive fashion. A divorce therapist can act as a sort of mediator and set guidelines to ensure that the divorce is achieved with minimal hostility and emotional damage. Therapists can also help address pertinent issues, such as living arrangements, financial obligations, and parenting responsibilities.

Therapy can be important for children whose parents are divorcing. Because parents may often be consumed with their own feelings during a divorce, they might overlook the emotional state of their children, who may be confused by the divorce or feel guilt, loss, pain, or abandonment. Children may not be sure which parent they should "choose," or be loyal to, and they might also worry that they are the cause of the divorce. When parents are aggressive with each other, a child may feel even more fearful, and a child who often hears his or her parents argue about custody arrangements might feel as if he or she is unwanted by either parent, or as if he or she is to blame for the separation.

If all members of the family are able to discuss their feelings about any issues that arise as a result of divorce, they may be able to process their emotions more easily and better adjust to the changes.

(Resource: GoodTherapy.org)

Journey Counseling Center
209 Old Hewitt Road, Suite 3
Waco, Texas 76712
254-235-2708

“God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn
no other way.”
-CS Lewis
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