You will be making very important emotional, legal and financial decisions with a person with whom you are in some kind of conflict. A psychotherapist can help you to review all aspects of this very trying and challenging time. The end of a marriage is one of the most stressful events a person can experience. Even for the partner who chooses to leave, divorce is likely to bring up a range of painful and difficult emotions, possibly including grief, guilt, anger, confusion, fear, shame, anxiety, depression and other intense feelings.
Your marriage was over a number of years ago, and for the past few years, you have wondered if you can stay together any longer. Your interests have changed, you do not seem to enjoy doing things together, and the passion is dwindling or gone.
You find you are feeling impatient and angry and crave for closeness, with someone, that which you used to have with each other.
The gap and distance between you seems too large to mend and the thought of reaching out seems insurmountable. Your children are your passion in your life and spending time with them is much more fulfilling. You cannot imagine living any time apart from them and consider waiting til they are older to take the steps toward divorce. In the meantime, the distance between you and your spouse widens. You do not talk to each other anymore, and the tone of conversations are tense and filled with condescending words and judgments. Your tempers and conversations are short and you sometimes say things in front of the children you regret. You are aware you may be doing some harm to the children as they watch the two of you verbally or physically “attack each other”. If children are involved, the stress level is likely to be even higher.
The dissatisfaction with your relationship sometimes feels like there is no turning back.
Benefits of a Psychotherapist
Working with a psychotherapist can provide an objective and rational perspective and arm a person with the necessary skills to navigate the struggles of the divorce. People who rely on psychotherapy during this difficult time benefit from learning more about themselves and they begin to see this life transition as an opportunity for growth and personal development. It is an intense time for change, but within that lies opportunity.
Some common questions:
Will it be better for the children if we split up or if we stay together?
Should we try couples therapy?
Do I want the marriage to work?
Whatever decision you make, it will be about your entire family, not just you and your spouse. The marriage is the third person in your relaitonship, and it is suggested that you make decisions that are best for the marriage. For some families staying together will be more beneficial. In other families, because of the level of conflict, children have a better chance of prospering post-divorce if the conflict can be avoided in that way.
It is often helpful to meet with a therapist who can help you think through your decisions. Friends are not as helpful as you might think as they often have divided loyalties to you and your spouse. Your relatives will more than likely want to support you and may not be as objective in their suggestions and advice as you might need them to be.
A therapist can help you think about your options and work through the thoughts and feelings you are having. When facing a decision of this importance, you will want to be as clear as possible about your choices and actions.
Starting with as much clarity as possible, it will make either decision easier to live with for you, your spouse and your children. Making this decision in haste more likely will not.
These are just a few of the many questions you will be faced with as you embark upon this decision to divorce:
Would I be willing, or not, to see if our marriage can be saved?
What are the impacts on the children if you stay or leave the marriage?
What might be the financial impact overall?
Can I be a better single-parent than I have been in my marriage?
What will divorcing “fix” or will I bring the same issues into the divorce that have been plaguing the marriage?
How you answer these questions can make a huge impact on your decision. A psychotherapist can help you to make decisions that are not so emotionally charged, and provide you with a safe place to fall during these difficult times.