The end of a marriage typically unleashes a flood of emotions including anger, grief, anxiety and fear. Sometimes these feelings can rise up when you least expect them, catching you off guard. Such a response is normal, and over time the intensity of these feelings will subside. Divorce is a difficult time for the entire family. Divorcing spouses can benefit from individual counseling to help them deal with their emotions and adjust to the changes. Counseling can also help you understand what went wrong in your marriage.
Emotional Stages of Divorce
The decision to end a relationship can be traumatic, chaotic, and filled with contradictory emotions. There are also specific feelings, attitudes, and dynamics associated with whether one is in the role of the initiator or the receiver, of the decision to break up.
For example, it is not unusual for the initiator to experience:
Likewise, when a party has not initiated the divorce, they may feel:
• Loss of control
• Decreased self esteem
• A desire to “get even”
• Wishes to reconcile
A breakup or divorce can be one of the most stressful and emotional experiences in life. Whatever the reason for the split, and whether you wanted it or not, the breakup of a relationship can turn your whole world upside down and trigger all sorts of painful and unsettling emotions.
Even when a relationship is no longer good, a divorce or breakup can be extremely painful because it represents the loss, not just of the partnership, but also of the dreams and commitments you shared. Romantic relationships begin on a high note of excitement and hopes for the future. When a relationship unravels, people can experience profound disappointment, stress, and grief.
A breakup or divorce launches you into uncharted territory. Everything is disrupted: your routine and responsibilities, your home, your relationships with extended family and friends, and even your identity. A breakup also brings uncertainty about the future. Many people wonder things like: What will life be like without my partner? Will I find someone else? How will this affect my children? It is important to understand that these thoughts are all normal.
This pain, disruption, and uncertainty means that recovering from a breakup or divorce can be difficult and take time. However, it is important to keep reminding yourself that you can and will get through this difficult experience, and eventually be able to move on with a renewed sense of hope and optimism.
Rita Davis, LCSW helps people to better understand, and gain more insight, regarding their relationships. She helps people develop coping skills for what they are going through, and will make suggestions along the way to gain additional help.
For those interested in a divorce support group in your area, please visit: www.divorcecare.org