Has your marriage recently ended? Unsure about what your next steps are? Feeling scared or angry?
You’re not alone. We’ve all heard the harrowing statistics about high divorce rates and the effects that divorce can have on both couples and their children.
After a divorce, it’s normal to experience a spectrum of intense emotions and thoughts. Divorce counseling can help unpack these experiences and open a new path towards healing.
Let’s get into how divorce counseling can help you get back on your feet!
Validation and Support
After a divorce, you may feel alone and scared. You may resent your former spouse or have a desire to seek revenge, especially if you’re involved in contentious legal issues. Or, you may still feel a longing towards him or her with hopeful thoughts that the marriage can reconcile.
All of these experiences are normal. Simply sitting down and talking with a non-judgmental professional can help you identify the feelings and thoughts surrounding your divorce.
After all, it can be challenging to truly express your feelings with family or friends. This is especially true if they still have a relationship with your ex-spouse. Even well-intentioned loved ones can unknowingly pass judgment.
In counseling, you’ll be able to express how you feel without worrying about having a filter. That means you can freely vent your concerns. After all, you don’t have to worry about your therapist having any relationship with your ex-spouse.
Grief and Loss
For many people, divorce represents its own grief process. The stages of grief include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. You may very well pass through all these stages- at unspecified and unpredictable times.
No doubt, these stages can hurt. You may already feel exhausted dealing with all the changes in your home life. More emotions are probably the very last things you want.
Fortunately, therapy can help provide a safe space for discussing these feelings. It can also help you if and when you feel ‘stuck’ in any of these stages.
Processing your divorce takes time, just as grieving takes time. The loss may feel incredibly painful, but it may also feel somewhat relieving. Therapy takes all feelings into consideration and allows you to safely explore whatever arises.
Unresolved grief can lead to resentment, feelings of stagnation, and deteriorating mental health. Don’t make your situation harder on yourself than it needs to be!
Self-Esteem and Self-Worth
It’s normal for couples to use each other for self-esteem and identity. For years, it may have been you and your spouse working together as a team. People may know you best as a pair- rather than as an individual.
With this said, divorce can be uniquely challenging on your self-esteem. It may be the first time you’re navigating the ‘adult world’ as a single person. You may have to balance raising children or performing at work- all while taking care of yourself.
Furthermore, divorce can be associated with a host of mental health symptoms including:
- increased substance use
A trained professional can help identify these warning signs. He or she can also appropriately assist you with skill-based work to improve your self-esteem.
It won’t happen overnight but learning how to love yourself no matter your external circumstances is the very best thing you can do for yourself.
New Skills and Roles
When you’re married, it’s normal to take on specific tasks and roles. For example, you may have managed the finances, and your spouse took over the household chores. In a marriage, this is efficient.
But when you’re newly alone, it can feel daunting to take over certain roles or tasks on your own.
Counseling can help foster confidence in your ability to take on new roles. It can help you decode some of the fears or worries you have about trying new things. It can even help you take that step towards enrolling back in school or starting a new career.
Your therapist will act as a personal cheerleader coaching you on. She will help visualize your success and root for your future.
Preparing for Dating
You may be reaching a pivotal time where you’re preparing to start dating again after a divorce. This can be a scary, confusing, and exciting time- and it can also be a very lonely experience.
With therapy, you’ll be able to safely discuss your fears and expectations in the dating world. You and your therapist can discuss the boundaries you intend to set within the dating world. If you have children, you can talk about how you prepare to manage that role as well.
In the aftermath of divorce, it’s important to identify what did and didn’t go well in the marriage. This helps you solidify what you want (and don’t want) in the future.
People get divorced for all kinds of reasons. With that said, you don’t want history to continue repeating itself over and over again. Therapy can help identify romantic patterns that you follow- and help you break them if needed.
Final Thoughts on Divorce Counseling
Even though the recovery from divorce can be challenging and frustrating at times, you deserve healing.
Divorce does not equal failure, and sometimes it can be the stepping stone for a happy and positive future.
At Sam Nabil Counseling Services, we understand the complexity of divorce, and we are here to help you on your road to recovery. Book a session for divorce counseling today. Let’s get you back on your feet!