Some people have compared a relationship ending to a death. You go through similar steps as you grieve the end and loss of the relationship. But, dealing with divorce or the end of a long-term relationship can have its own unique pain.
A divorce can cause deep emotional upheaval. Questions of “Could I have done more to make our marriage work?” or “What should I have done differently” run through your head. It’s painful, and at times, you will be angry and maybe even embarrassed. How do you tell people you are going through a divorce? What will they think?
Dealing with the lawyers can make you feel like all things you worked together to acquire for your family come down to assets to be divided. What about the good times, the memories, and even the heartache you all went through? Divorced parents still see each other at different times – holidays, school events, and other functions – which can bring up old wounds if the divorce was not very amicable. Even if it is a friendly parting of ways, it can still be hard to see someone you once built a life with and not be with them.
Couples without children may find themselves bumping into each other and it can be tough to expect how you will feel or even how you may react. You may find yourself overcome with emotion and not know whether to speak or to bolt out the nearest exit. It can be even more difficult if they have moved on and are dating and you aren’t. This can be even harder if you have children and they are bringing their new love interest around your children.
When you go through a divorce or the end of a relationship, you may find yourself alone. One divorcee described it as harder than death, because she could understand if her husband died from a disease or an accident but couldn’t understand why he decided to leave her after 30 years of marriage. With no explanation or even an argument, she was served with divorce papers.
A divorce can be a major life change, and even be a lifestyle change. You may lose your friends, your church, family, even business – the change in your marital status can impact more than just your relationship. It can have a ripple effect that reaches out beyond just the couple and their immediate family. This can create feelings of anxiety and low self-esteem for some; especially if the person filing for the divorce is the one with more status than the other.
Ending a relationship, whether it’s after 5 years or 25 creates a tremendous amount of pain. It leaves an ache in your heart that you fear will never heal. Will you ever love – or be loved – again? What’s your next steps? How do you start over?
Therapy can help you deal with this pain. We can work first on getting you through the pain and loss that comes with divorce. You may have held a lot of things in during your relationship that you need to get off your chest. I will help you work through this process.
Then, we will work on how you move forward. Therapy can help you know what you need and want in your next relationship and give you a healthy starting point. We can best find love and give love, when we love ourselves, and we will work together to get you to that point.
Divorce can be excruciating, but you don’t have to go through it alone. I’m here to help.