Why You Should Consider Seeing a Counselor During a Divorce

By Dan Blair, marriage counselor and family counselor

If it’s too late to save your marriage, it’s still not too late to save yourself.

But you’re going to need help and divorce counseling might be a solution that serves you well.

No two divorces are exactly alike. But what is true of almost every divorce is that two separate individuals left their marriage to make their way in a world that is very different from the way it was when they got married.

It can take two years or more to recover emotionally from a divorce. Many divorced people endure each stage of grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance — while simultaneously managing the demands of work and, in many cases, parenthood.

This is where divorce counseling can be valuable. While marriage counseling focuses on saving a marriage, divorce counseling aims to preserve the two individuals who have chosen to separate. It can be especially useful to a person who was blindsided by their partner’s divorce filing and is wholly unprepared for their marriage’s demise.

Divorce counseling falls into two categories — pre-divorce and post-divorce. Pre-divorce counseling can help you navigate the dissolution of the union in a more mature and civil manner. Post-divorce counseling is geared toward helping a newly single person rediscover themselves. Both types can help you cope with a variety of challenges inherent in most divorces.

Communicating with Your Soon-To-Be Ex

Failed communication is at the heart of many divorces. But it’s an essential skill for working your way through a divorce and its aftermath, especially when children and their custody are involved. Emotions are often high and it’s difficult to interact with your spouse with the necessary respect and detachment.

Your attorney may be able to handle some of the conversation, but it will be almost impossible to never talk with your spouse, especially if you have children together. A divorce counselor can help you avoid using trigger phrases, or reacting poorly to such triggers that your spouse undoubtedly knows.

How to Tell Others in Your Life

In the social media era, it might seem as though a simple status update would be an adequate announcement of your divorce. But it’s never that easy. Co-workers may ask about your missing ring. Old acquaintances who pop up in your life may innocently inquire about your spouse. And, of course, telling your children that mom and dad are breaking up may be one of the hardest conversations imaginable.

A divorce counselor can provide suggestions for how to approach these delicate situations, as well as some support for the awkward conversations that inevitably occur.

How to Become Single Again

Legally, you become “single again” when the paperwork is signed. Practically speaking, however, the reality of being a “party of one” can feel like trying to ride a bike without training wheels for the first time, even following short-lived marriages.

Divisions of labor that naturally occur in many marriages can erode life skills than can seem daunting to pick up again. Hobbies and interests you may have shared with your spouse can lose their appeal, so now what do you do for fun? And … dating. Dating? Dating.

Post-divorce counseling can help you sort through these and other challenges that come from coping with life alone — especially for those who have known nothing during adulthood but a committed, monogamous relationship.

Regain Your Mental and Physical Health

Numerous studies have linked mental and physical health problems to divorce. Stress and anxiety lead to high blood pressure, sleeplessness, skin disorders and a host of other maladies. Sadness can blossom into full-blown depression, sapping the motivation to maintain healthy habits. Divorce has also been linked to increased risk of alcoholism. Meeting with a divorce counselor can help you pinpoint tactics to maintain your health and develop a plan to stick with them.

A divorce counselor is a crucial element that you might need to successfully transition from married life. Contact Blair Counseling today to schedule an appointment.

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