When you both said, “I do,” you never imagined a day when you would be saying, “I do not.” Divorce was not the plan, but plans change. Are you going through a divorce? Have you been through one? You know how life changes when a marriage ends. The practical decisions alone are overwhelming: custody of the kids, how to handle extended family, friendships that change, legal confrontations, and new housing scenarios. These do not even touch personal recovery—healing from the anger, guilt, anxiety, fear, confusion, loneliness, and maybe depression.
“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.”
—Amy Poehler, Yes Please
Many people are watching their world be thrown into the air and spin around. Divorce ends a marriage relationship and comes with many losses. When people take on the pain and embrace the changes, recovery is possible. Love and enjoy can blossom in new soil. Cultivating a new, fulfilling life after ending a marriage is a difficult process, and many people look to counseling to guide it. Therapy for divorce recovery is not a silver bullet, but it is often wisdom and support when they are most needed.
Thriveworks Richmond provides divorce recovery counseling because we believe that life and love is possible after a marriage ends. When people are willing to embrace healing and work through the pain, then new relationships and adventures await.
What Causes Divorce?
After decades of studying marriages and divorces, Psychologist John Gottman identified the four biggest predictors of divorce. The particular scenario that led to the divorce may vary (lying, irresponsible behavior, adultery, et cetera), but these attitudes are the wedge that drives couples apart.
- Contempt: When one or more partner is disrespectful toward the other or when both partners are, then marriages flounder and often end in divorce.
- Defensiveness: If one or both partners do not accept responsibility for their own attitudes and actions, then the couple is often driven apart.
- Criticism: Negativity kills intimacy. Divorce may be inevitably if critical interactions outweigh positive ones.
- Stonewalling: When problems are minimized, avoided, or denied, they grow. Issues that could be addressed and resolved may lead to divorce, not because of the issue itself but because of stonewalling.
More than likely, one or more of these four dynamics were at play within your marriage. If so, know that any one of these four creates a toxic environment, and when people come out from a toxic environment, they need to detox—they need healing. A lot of people choose to take time after a divorce to pursue recovery and set themselves up for a lifetime of healthier relationships.
Why Pursue Divorce Recovery?
When a marriage ends, there are a lot of losses, and that means there will be a lot of grieving. The marriage, of course, is lost, but that is the tip of the iceberg. Many people also have to give up their house. Their standard of living often changes. Relationships with friends, in-laws, or extended family may drift apart or be cut off completely. When a couple has children together, relationships with the children change as well. After a divorce, parents have to adjust to joint-parenting or possibly single-parenting.
After a divorce, it is important that people allow themselves to feel whatever emotions may arise in response to these and other losses. Grief is a strange process that may involve denial, sadness, shock, bargaining, anger, fear, and guilt. People often ricochet between these difficult emotions, and that is okay.
Recovering from the loss of a marriage is a very personal process, and many things can shape a person’s healing, including…
- How long the couple had been married.
- Why the divorce occurred.
- Whether one was surprised by the divorce.
- If the couple had children.
- Whether new relationships have been built.
- The state of the couple’s finances.
- One’s personality, mental health, age, and physical health.
The healing process is a difficult road, full of distractions and dangers. Falling down and getting back up are normal, and often show people how strong they are truly are. It is ok to make mistakes, and it is also ok to reach out for help.
Healing from a Divorce with Thriveworks Richmond, VA
Support is available for anyone who has recently been through a divorce or is currently going through one. The counselors at Thriveworks Richmond have appointments for divorce recovery therapy available. We understand the difficult road of divorce recovery, and we have walked with many people as they process the losses and move forward toward healing and happiness.
If you are ready to make an appointment at Thriveworks Richmond, know that a person will answer when you call our office. New clients often see their therapist the day following their call. We also offer weekend and evening session and work with many insurance providers.
Hurting from a divorce? You are not alone. Call Thriveworks Richmond.