Divorce Recovery

Infidelity doesn’t necessarily lead to divorce, there are many factors that determine if a couple can successfully stay together or not. When couples come in early, there are less layers of resentment, mistrust and hurt, so decisions and forgiveness are not terribly traumatic.

However, when couples come to therapy years after their relationship has been hurt, there are also years of emotional scar tissue. Often, people already know they want a divorce, but are scared of the change or don’t want to be seen as the “bad one” who terminated the relationship. Also, even when the romantic love has faded, long term couples are usually very attached to each other. Attachment is an emotional, intellectual and physiological process, so uncoupling after years together is not easy. All of those aspects–heart, mind, body soul and lifestyle– that have been part of the relationship need attention and “uncoupling.”

My goal for those contemplating divorce is to know why they want to pursue it and what they hope to gain, so when they take action, they can exit feeling less ashamed and clear. Our job is to work together to assist each person involved to be able to look at themselves or into their children’s eyes and understand their decision and feel okay. Research shows that when there is a “good divorce” in this way, people heal faster and are more prepared for a positive future relationship.

When people exit a relationship that they are still confused about, feel victimized by or conversely, carry the burden of guilt and shame there is a great deal more suffering. Sometimes, if a person can’t tolerate facing these feelings, a self-sabotage or punishment cycle can unconsciously become established. A person can unconsciously seek out negative or improbable partners or relationships that provide more stress and burden in their life. Becoming aware and conscious while the divorce is happening often alleviates this more negative outcome. Support for grief and loss, a place to understand what happened and a non-judgemental person can all help both parties involved.

Even when the romantic love has faded, long term couples are usually very attached to each other. Attachment is an emotional, intellectual and physiological process, so uncoupling after years together is not easy.

Divorce Recovery is a process and takes time. It involves:

  • Recognizing the need for divorce
  • Coping with all the uncoupling aspects (mind, body, heart, financial, lifestyle)Dealing with legal aspects
  • Communication with children
  • Communication with others, identifying yourself as uncoupling
  • Grieving losses separately
  • Grieving losses together
  • Supporting the grief of others (children, family, friends)Performing the “autopsy” on the relationship
  • Tolerating the moments of euphoria/excitement/freedom of being independent
  • Tolerating the moments of depression/melancholy/regret/self doubt of not being together
  • Understanding loneliness and being alone
  • Learning about your “new” self in dating situations and your desire for a new partner. See Conscious Dating for more information.
  • Dealing with new stages of grief that arise as new relationships begin
  • Coming into acceptance with all of the above
  • Moving into a new stage of maturity, self-love, acceptance and tolerance, and cultivating the same feelings for your former partner.

Sound good? Contact me for an initial consultation.
I’m happy to speak with you.

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