Divorce Counseling

Are you on the brink of divorce?  Are you saddened or depressed due to the separation? Do you now realize that you are done? Are you stressed over the split? Is your relationship fallen and it can’t get up? Are the divorce papers signed and the battle rages on? Are you disillusioned by the whole divorce process? Are you tired of the arguing and fighting?  Have you tried to ignore the emotional pain of the divorce? Does your soon-to-be ex keep annoying you or trying to control you? Are you having a hard time trying to pick up the pieces after the divorce? Are you having difficulty letting go of being married to your ex? Do you want to move on but feel alone in the process? Have you wondered if you’ll be able to love again?  If you answered “yes” to some or many of these questions, you may need some help to get through the divorce and reclaim your sense of self and well-being.

Many times, divorce may be seen as grieving loss or in some ways grieving over death — death of a relationship. You are not alone. Many others have gone through divorce and while each divorce has similar features, each relationship is unique on its own. As counselors, we understand and know through our counseling experiences that divorce counseling is unique and though similar to grieving loss of a loved one it is rather distinct.

The marriage relationship is lost yet the person you were united with continues in a contrasting place and space. The one world you shared together is now torn apart and you are having to cope in a world without the other. For quite a few spouses, this is a relief…not having to be around their spouse who brought them much conflict, angst, hurt, and heartache.

For those who may share a child or two together or even pets, there is the traveling between two different environments altogether with differing time schedules and changes not to mention the stress and “attitudes” shown in the children and/or pets. Also, there are changes in other relationships as well including family and mutual friends. Who do you stay friends with? Do you stay in contact with his or her family members? And then there is just the thought of “starting over” again. This may be very overwhelming and the idea of him or her with someone else is too much to handle mentally and emotionally.

Objections for Getting Counseling

You may feel like there is a lot to consider when faced with the whole thing of getting counseling over your divorce. There are a few objections that may keep you from getting the help you need to get over and through the divorce and regain a sense of balance and wholeness again.

Unworthy

You may feel you are not worthy of getting help. You may feel so trampled or beaten down that you have little to very low self-esteem. There may be times when you get depressed or hopeless and just want to “hide” or sleep away your feelings just wanting them to go away. Many times we have found that spouses who have been controlled, abused, neglected over the time of their marriage, tend to doubt themselves, their skills, abilities, their resilience, and their overall strengths. They find themselves at a loss of internal resources as well as external. They may have pushed friends and family away to try and cope with their divorce all alone. Shame and guilt over not being able to “make it work” continue to gnaw at them. You may find yourself asking questions like, “What if I did or didn’t do___”, “what if things were different”, “If only I would have done_____ would have things turned out differently”? This is the time when you may feel the most vulnerable and that the thought of being “normal”, balanced, whole, at peace may seem like a “pipe dream”. This is when gaining support and strength from a compassionate, supportive counselor who has unconditional regard and acceptance of you may be what you need to come to a place of feeling worthy.

Overwhelmed

Your grief may be part of what you are dealing with. Not only being alone but having a new set of problems, responsibilities, and bills. You may find yourself needing to get a job or another one to help make ends meet. You may have increased activities, more demands in your schedule that considering counseling help seems a long ways away. Many times, with changes that you make as you go through divorce and restructuring your life, you may find that busy-ness is what you may be doing to try and cope with the stress of the divorce. Many times, the denying of feelings, getting caught up in multiple activities, ignoring the reality of the upheaval in your life is all part of grieving. This is something that may add to more and more stress, sometimes addictions, health problems, conflict with your children, with family, co-workers, and job performance.

Cost

Costs are on the minds of most couples going through a divorce. From moving to another place to live, attorney fees, going back and forth between court, taking the children back and forth between school, activities, new bills, and all the bills that pop up. Cost is a real concern. When you weigh out your current state of mind and how many times you find yourself not thinking or feeling as clearly as you once did, battling between fear, anger, frustration, hurt and sadness it’s time to have someone to be there to listen with compassion and understanding. Having an objective, empathetic third party in a counselor to come alongside you and to help you sort out your racing thoughts, intense or confusing feelings in order for you to make clearer decisions and to help you through this rather difficult period in your life is an encouraging and positive thing.

New Experience

Trust may be a big concern for you as you have been in a relationship where the trust was broken. Maybe this is your first time going through a divorce or you may not have gone to see a counselor. You may ask, “Where do I begin”? So many things you may want to share, things to get off your chest, things that are so sideways and jumbled inside that you just don’t know how to get it all out or if getting it all out will help. Taking that first step seems to be the hardest, but we have found that for those clients we have seen in counseling who take that first step in addressing their fears, anger, hurt, resentment, frustration, confusion, and many other feelings and burdensome thoughts, they have expressed being glad they did.

Demoralizing Feelings

There is a stigma in our society with those couples who divorce. Although it is more common than in years past, it still affects many people’s lives in many different ways. Among these ways are the internal emotions of shame, fear, and guilt. For many clients who vowed they would “never” divorce, have found themselves at the place they did not want to be. Shame is a response to a breach in a relationship, maybe a letting down of expectations of others (including your own expectations).  Hiding from being ashamed, not wanting others to know how you really feel inside keeping the hurt to yourself is part of that shame. Also, battling guilt for what has happened…such as why the divorce was started to begin with.

Going to counseling has no guarantees however with our experience in the field of counseling we have seen many positive results and clients who have expressed much success and satisfaction in the counseling they have received.  With compassion, support, unconditional regard and acceptance towards our clients, we have seen in a few sessions of processing through our clients’ troubling thoughts and distressing feelings that they are able to get a much clearer perspective and with the therapy tools and skills they learn are able to apply in their everyday lives.

If you would like to know more information about how counseling would help you get through this rather difficult and life-changing divorce, please email us at joel@pathwaystucson.com or call us at 520-292-9750 to ask us questions and/or set up a time to meet. We are here to help you restore your sense of self and well-being.

Kerry KellyThea ThompsonJerimya FoxBarbara GrinnellAllison HanzelKim ArnoldDebra Marshall, and Joel Ackley are experienced counselors in helping you get through the divorce.