Almost everyone walks down the aisle expecting to find their happily ever after. No one wants to be walking out of divorce court a few months, years, or decades later. But the reality is that many marriages come to an end—for many, varied reasons.
“And I’ll sign on
The line beneath my name
The road is gone
I can’t go back the way we came.”
–The Avett Brothers, “Divorce Separation Blues”
Divorce marks the end of marriage and the beginning of many new realities. If you or someone you love is going through a divorce, you understand some of these realities. There are many personal challenges from the anger, loneliness, fear, confusion, anxiety, guilt, and possibly even depression. There are also practical challenges from legal proceedings, to custody decisions, to finances, to living situations.
Divorce often feels like the end, but the reality is that it is the end of a marriage. There are many new beginnings that can come from the loss. When people pursue divorce recovery, they often come through the pain and find a life that is different but good. The process is difficult but almost always worth it, and no one has to go through divorce recovery alone. Therapists, psychologists, and counselors often give much-needed support and guidance. Thriveworks Boston provides therapy and counseling for divorce recovery, and we have helped many clients navigate new realities and find happiness again. If you think that you could benefit from working with a therapist who specialized in divorce recovery, reach out today to schedule an appointment.
Why Do Marriages End?
The specific situations that can end a marriage are infinite, but often the underlying root issues are the same. Psychologist John Gottman famously coined “The Four Horsemen” who often predict a couple’s divorce. Gottman has studied marriages and divorce for decades, and the four factors that are almost certainly present when a couple divorces are…
- Criticism: Negative interactions take their toll, especially when they are more numerous than loving, caring interactions.
- Defensiveness: Humility and responsibility promote intimacy and connection, but defensiveness drives people apart.
- Stonewalling: Denying, minimizing, and avoiding issues usually mean couples become stuck while problems grow.
- Contempt: This may be the top reason couples divorce—disrespect from one partner toward another.
These indicators cause serious harm within a relationship, and coming off a marriage where they were present usually requires focused attention upon personal healing.
What Does Divorce Recovery Look Like?
In many ways, healing from the loss of a marriage is a deeply personal process. Many factors will affect what divorce recovery looks like. Some of those factors may include…
- Whether the divorce was anticipated.
- How long the relationship lasted.
- The circumstances that led to the divorce.
- The couple’s financial situation.
- Each person’s age, personality, mental and/or physical health.
- If the couple has children, how many, and how old they are.
- Whether new romantic relationships have formed.
A skilled therapist can formulate a treatment plan that meets each person’s individual needs, but that treatment plan will almost always include grief counseling and processing the past.
- Grief Counseling: When a marriage ends, there are many losses. Of course, the relationship with the spouse changes, if not ends completely, but that is only the beginning. If children are involved, transitioning to co-parenting or single parenting involves many changes and losses. People may lose their home or their standard of living. Often, friendships and relationships with in-laws shift or end. During grief, people experience a wide range of emotions, including sadness, denial, guilt, shock, anger, bargaining, and fear. They may even ricochet quickly between these feelings.
- Processing the Past: Looking back to understand what happened in a previous marriage is a difficult but important step. Doing so often gives people important information about what wounds they have suffered, how to heal them, and what adjustments to make in future relationships. Skipping this step may mean people repeat old patterns and become stuck. Growth is painful, but worth the effort.
Counseling after a Divorce at Thriveworks Boston
Recovering from a divorce is a difficult journey with many hazards. Falling down and getting back up again is a part of the process, and so is reaching out for support. Skilled and experienced therapists know the hazards of divorce, and they are often trusted guides toward a health and recovery.
Are you going through a divorce? Help is available. The counselors and psychologists at Thriveworks Boston provide therapy for divorce recovery. They have walked with many clients through the pain and grief and toward healing and wholeness. If you are ready for a counselor’s support with your divorce recovery, Thriveworks Boston has appointments available. We offer weekend and evening sessions. We also work with many insurance providers. New clients often see their therapist within 24 hours of their call.
Are you ready for a healthier you? Call Thriveworks Boston today at (617) 671-1264.