Over 70 000 divorces happen in Texas each year, yet the break down of a marriage and life after divorce can seem like one of the loneliest and overwhelming experiences in life.
Even the most amicable divorces leave those involved with lingering issues and some baggage. It can have an impact on every other area of your life and leave you feeling a little lost.
It’s normal for it to take time for you to feel settled and to let the past go, but it can help to have an objective listening ear as you work through it all and start over.
Sometimes friends and family, no matter how loving and supportive, aren’t enough.
Keep reading to find out if you could benefit from therapy to help you gain perspective and move on.
It Helps to Talk About It
Keeping your emotions bottled up can be detrimental to your health and life. Whether you wanted the divorce or not, life is changing and your plan to grow old with this person is no longer possible.
You may be glad for the fresh start, but that doesn’t mean there’s not unresolved emotions and issues that need to be worked through.
One of the best ways to straighten things out in your mind and gain perspective is to get it out.
Many people find journaling is a great way of doing this but it isn’t always enough to give you the coping skills and tools you need for this unplanned life reset.
Friends and family want to be there for you but aren’t always available and when they are they don’t necessarily know what to say. Sometimes they’re too close to the situation to be objective and eventually may even get tired of listening because they don’t know how to help further.
A therapist can objectively listen and help you work through the past and focus on the future.
Letting Go and Moving On
Beyond a listening ear, therapy offers knowledge that can help you develop coping skills to deal with the residual emotions and aftermath of divorce.
Divorce affects many areas of your life and can cause many unexpected and overwhelming emotions.
While finances tend to be one of the biggest reasons couples argue, that stress doesn’t get any easier with a divorce.
In fact, now you’re facing the financial stress of starting over again, paying the costs of divorce, being the sole income provider and more.
Some divorcing individuals are looking at finding a new career after spending years taking care of the house and family. Others must start to control financial decisions that their spouse always took care of and can find that a seemingly insurmountable task.
Changing Support System
When marriages break up, the parties involved often end up not only losing that relationship but many others in their circle of friends and family.
Friends choose sides or don’t know what to say, former in-laws who were close often never speak again, old hangouts are now too uncomfortable or filled with painful memories.
Therapy can help someone deal with and learn to accept the loss of individuals and relationships that were important and at one time cherished.
Communication and Coping Skills
Therapy is a great resource for learning to communicate and cope with your new reality. This is especially important if there are children facing the breakdown of their family as well.
Frustrations and pain can be safely shared with your therapist without the fear of tearing down a parent or emotionally scaring a child. Learning communication and coping skills can help you meet your children’s needs during this difficult time and make it easier to interact with your ex when necessary.
Adjusting to a New Life
Even when you are happy to be out of the relationship, it takes time to adjust to a new reality. Engaging in therapy by yourself, with your children or even as a family can make a difficult situation easier and more civil.
Therapy can help each of you find your way through all the emotions, stresses, questions and concerns that arise as you navigate your new life after divorce.
It Gets Better
No matter how well adjusted you are or how much you wanted the divorce when all is said and done it can still be overwhelming emotionally.
It can bring up feelings such as:
- anger and trust issues
- hurt and emotional pain
- grief at the loss of the relationship
- anxiety, stress, loneliness, and depression
Professional therapy can help you make sense of these emotions and find some closure to your relationship and the course it took.
Children Warning Signs
Children often are hesitant to talk about their emotions, fears, and pain associated with their parents’ divorce. Many are worried they’ll hurt their parents by bringing it up or that they were somehow to blame for the problems that led to the family breakdown.
A divorce can be debilitating and terrifying to children as their sense of security and understanding of the world is shaken to its core. Even if they’re not talking about it there are signs that may indicate your children could benefit from post-divorce therapy.
Some indicators a child is struggling may be:
- changes in usual behavior
- being withdrawn or shutting down emotionally
- regressing in appropriate age behavior
- unprovoked anger or irritability
- signs of depression, self-harm or being suicidal
- acting out at home or school
- lack of concentration, struggling in school
- changes in appetite and sleep habits
- separation anxiety
You can have the best relationship in the world with your children but still not be able to give them all that they need to best cope with their emotions around your divorce.
There’s No Shame in Seeking Help
Everyone needs a little help now and then. Someone to tell them it’s going to be okay and help them figure out what their plan of action should be.
This is never truer than in life after divorce. There’s no shame in seeking therapy to help you find your way through this difficult time.
In fact, the real shame is struggling through on your own when help is just a phone call, click or appointment away.
For more information on doing what’s in a child’s best interest through a divorce check out our blog.