Splitting up was not the plan—at least not when bells were ringing and guests were dancing and toasts were shared. At the wedding, there is only a “happily ever after” to celebrate. But not all dreams come to fruition. Plans change, as anyone who has gone through a divorce knows well. There are many practical changes that a divorce brings with friends, family members, kids, legal decisions, financial struggles, and housing situations. There are also the emotional changes—the anger, guilt, anxiety, fear, depression, confusion, and grief.
Amy Poehler described her divorce in a way many people can understand: “Imagine spreading everything you care about on a blanket and then tossing the whole thing up in the air. The process of divorce is about loading that blanket, throwing it up, watching it all spin, and worrying what stuff will break when it lands.”
Like many people, your life might be spinning. Forty percent of first marriages end in divorce, and 60 percent of second marriages split. Divorce is the end of one relationship, but it is not the end of a fulfilling, joyful, connected life. Just as many people understand the pain of divorce, so many people know the value of recovering and rebuilding from the loss. To guide the healing process, many people pursue professional counseling.
Thriveworks Charlottesville provides therapy for divorce recovery because new plans and new beginnings are possible.
Why Do Couples Split?
In a famous study, psychologist John Gottman learned how to predict a couple’s divorce with startling accuracy. He identified four factors that are almost always at play in when a couple buries the hatchet:
- Criticism: When couples attack each other instead of the problem, their relationship is in jeopardy.
- Defensiveness: If one or both partners do not accept the consequences of their own choices and actions, the couple can become stuck.
- Stonewalling: The actual problem is rarely what harms couples—denying, avoiding, or minimizing it brings the harm.
- Contempt: Disrespect may be the lead cause of divorce.
If a couple divorces, more likely than not, one or all of these dynamics were at play in their marriage, creating a toxic relationship. People need to detox from difficult marriages, and divorce recovery is often the time people need to heal from their past and build a better future.
Divorce Recovery: Healing and Reflection
Divorce always comes with many losses, and therefore, divorce recovery often means grieving those losses. Of course, a marriage ends, but this is usually the tip of the iceberg. Many people lose their house along with their standard of living. Relationships shift—among friends and with in-laws. If children are involved, then a parent’s relationship with their children will change as they all transition to co-parenting or single parenting.
When people are grieving, they will feel many different emotions. It is normal to experience sadness, shock, bargaining, fear, denial, anger, guilt, and even more than one at the same time. People may fluctuate between different thoughts and feelings, and that is okay. A key to recovering is allowing these emotions to surface.
Many people wonder how long divorce recovery takes, and the answer is that each person and every situation is unique. Factors that can influence how a person heals after a divorce may include…
- One’s physical health, personality, mental health, and age.
- Whether the divorce surprised each partner.
- How long ago the couple married.
- The circumstances leading up to the divorce.
- The status of a couple’s finances.
- If the couple had children.
- Whether new liaisons have formed.
Regardless of a person’s circumstances, divorce recovery is difficult. Everyone makes missteps along the way. It is normal to fall down and get back up again. It is also normal to need help. Many people lean heavily upon their friends and family during a divorce, and many also begin seeing a mental health professional.
Divorce Recovery Counseling at Thriveworks Charlottesville
Are you finalizing a divorce or have you recently finalized one? If so, you are not alone. Many people are navigating the losses and new realities of divorce. Support is available. The counselors at Thriveworks Charlottesville have worked with many people who are recovering from the loss of a marriage. They have helped many people grieve the losses they suffered, and many people come through the pain to establish a fulfilling future.
If you are ready to begin mental health counseling with a Thriveworks Charlottesville professional, appointments for divorce recovery are available. Most new clients meet with their therapist within 24 hours of their call. Weekend and evening appointments are offered, and we accept most insurance plans.
Divorce recovery can be a difficult road, but many people who walk it are so glad they did. No one has to walk alone. Call Thriveworks Charlottesville if you are ready for a mental health professional to join you on your journey of divorce recovery.