Divorce is a heart-breaking situation for everyone touched by it
You may be asking yourself, “what happened to my marriage?” “Is there life after divorce?” It is very normal to experience a myriad of emotions: shock, anger, despair, guilt, shame, profound sadness, sense of failure, relief, hurt, overwhelmed, fear, indecision. There are so many issues and decisions to tackle, cope with, and heal, in order to rebuild your life. If you have children, this process can be even more challenging. All too often in my 30 years of experience, people don’t take the necessary steps (i.e. individual psychotherapy) to heal and recover from divorce.
Finding a path forward
Unfortunately, if you aren’t fully conscious about your contribution to what went wrong, you are very likely to recreate it into the next relationship. All too often, I meet people who are still reeling from the effects of divorce several years afterwards and have been unable to establish or maintain healthy love relationships and rebuild their lives. On the flip side, some people quickly enter into a new relationship and replace their grief with a new shiny object which often serves as a temporary distraction. Perhaps, it also serves to shore up one’s bruised self-esteem and feel desirable or loveable again.
The Relationship Autopsy
Before we can move forward we first need to do a relationship/marriage “autopsy.” This process is a way to make sense of what went wrong, to answer the question “how did this happen?” It is through the retelling of the marital story that we can identify and fully examine the problems you struggled with. Unfortunately, the process is a very painful one. It really is akin to the death of a loved one. It is a death of the dreams you had for your life and grief is the necessary and normal response. Emotions and grief can feel differently depending on whether you were the one to leave or you were the one that left. What often feels most scary is not knowing how long grief will last or knowing how to work through it!
Through our work together I will help you explore and fully express the range of emotions you are having as a means of releasing them. Gradually you will feel lighter and find the motivation to slowly rebuild your life. These steps may involve renewing old friendships, developing new hobbies or activities that bring you pleasure, learning to like being alone (be your own best friend) and appreciate what positive attributes you have. If you have children, I will educate you on the best ways to communicate and support them through all the changes and emotions they are experiencing. I won’t lie, this isn’t an easy process, but I like to remind clients that the Chinese symbol for “crisis” also means “opportunity.” It takes personal courage to take steps forward. We will work together until you have found renewed hope for a brighter future.