Navigating marriage issues or divorce can be emotional and complex. Regardless of if you are still working through your marriage issues to determine the next step, and whether or not you have children involved in the process, working with a therapist can be incredibly valuable to everyone involved. Seeking the help of a neutral third party early in the process can help encourage a smooth process, and may help to avoid unnecessary conflict.
Discernment counseling, or pre-divorce counseling, is a therapy environment for couples to resolve conflicts, speak candidly about any fears or hurts, and communicate their needs from the relationship or spouse – with guidance of a therapist. There are many benefits to seeking this type of counseling, including determining if divorce is the right path for the relationship in the first place.
Couples with kids are more likely to seek out pre-divorce counseling in hopes of facilitating a civilized process when working through any issues and difficult decisions involved in the divorce process. In counseling, each person will learn skills to communicate respectfully, be receptive to seeing both sides, and maintaining the best interests of their children as a top priority during the entire process.
If at all possible, it is usually the goal to save a marriage. However, sometimes the best thing for everyone involved is to allow the relationship to come to an end. Counseling can help increase the chances that the ending can be amicable.
Often, divorce is seen as a failure and that mindset alone can make it more difficult. Your therapist can help you to reframe the divorce to see it as a completion of the relationship, helping you and your partner to come through the divorce as sensibly and thoughtfully as possible. As you continue to share parenting commitments, financial responsibilities, and social connections down the road, the skills learned through divorce counseling can prove to be beneficial for years to come.
It is often important for each person in the couple to take time to think about what they might need from each other and the relationship in order to walk away peacefully after it has been decided that a divorce is coming. This may look like time alone, but often involves using a support person (a family member or individual therapist) to talk through and sort out needs and feelings around the decision.
Another important step in divorce counseling is to spend some time reviewing the marriage. Think about where it started and how you got here: what brought you together? What have you learned from one another? Get honest: how have you hurt each other? What role did each of you play in bringing the marriage to an end? Processing the grief of the loss of the marriage is hugely important. You are grieving what it was and what you had planned for the future. There are lots of valid reasons for a divorce, but it is still important to process the grief and loss associated with the ending of this important relationship. When the proper time is taken to grieve, it is easier to bring the marriage to completion without any feelings of guilt.
Finally, with the help of your therapist, you’ll need to lay down and agree upon a vision for what your future looks like. Do you wish to stay friends? Will you co-parent? Would you rather make a clean break? In order to fully move forward relationally and individually, you will need to let go of any residual anger or hostility.
Now, each person may choose to pursue individual therapy as they continue to process the divorce experience and adjust to all the changes that come with it.
When going through a divorce you are ending one important period of your life, but remember, you are also in the early stages of a whole new beginning. This can be a fresh start for you, and your therapist can help you to leave behind what didn’t work, learning from your mistakes, and stepping forward with confidence.
At Life Insight, we would be honored to walk alongside you as you prepare for, process, and rebuild after your divorce. We can connect you with valuable resources, equip you with communication skills, and help define your goals. Let’s get started.
If you are navigating divorce and are in need of a divorce lawyer, we would like to introduce you to our colleague and neighbor, Cameron H. Goodman at Goodman Law Firm.
Cameron Goodman is a divorce attorney located in Oak Brook, IL. Serving the Western Chicago Suburbs, Cameron understands divorce law and works with his clients from a place of compassion, thoughtfulness, and deeply grounded expertise.
With strong experience in both divorce mediation and collaborative divorce law, Cameron helps families navigate family law issues with dignity and respect. As a successful litigator and trial lawyer, he also knows how to advocate appropriately for his clients’ best interests when needed. Cameron partners with each client to find the techniques and strategies that will be most beneficial in their case and works diligently for a favorable outcome for every client.
Divorce requires couples to make important decisions about issues like their children, their family home, and more which will have long-lasting consequences, and at a time that is often filled with intense emotion. Cameron’s focus on providing compassionate and reliable legal guidance can bring clients peace of mind and clarity during this turbulent time.
By working together to identify and resolve the legal issues surrounding each unique case, Cameron helps clients minimize conflict and resolve legal matters successfully and efficiently. If you need legal representation for divorce, a parenting conflict, or other family law matters, Goodman Law Firm would be honored to assist you.
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