To some, the end of a marriage can feel like a relief and yet it is still one of the top stressful events in a person’s life. When a relationship ends, even if by choice, there is still a loss to be acknowledged. Denying the grieving that comes with the end of a marriage can be more harmful than helpful. Seeking guidance from someone who is not entangled in the dynamic of the relationship can be extremely beneficial in getting a balanced perspective on how to best move forward for you
Divorce not only impacts the people in the relationship but also the people around it, including children, friends and family members. While seeking support from our loved ones can be helpful, it is not encouraged to divulge all of the details of your pain. Doing so can negatively impact the type of support you receive from that person along with complicating the interactions that person may have with your ex-spouse. Also to remember that everyone grieves in their own way. When we hurt our loved ones hurt.Focus on telling them how they can best support you, and seek the support of someone removed from the situation to process the emotional aftermath of divorce.
Emotions of Divorce
The emotions that can come up during divorce can be different for each individual depending on the circumstances that preceded the divorce. While these emotions can differ, some common responses to divorce are:
- Anxiety-about finances, lifestyle, housing, legal
- Sadness- loss of lifestyle, family members and friends, unresolved conflicts
- Stress- ongoing legal concerns, adjustments to new lifestyle, re-telling the story of being divorced
- Guilt-impact on others involved in divorce, “shoulds” of the relationship
- Grief- losing the relationship and a person we invested ourselves in
Children and Divorce
Children are often impacted by divorce and may struggle with actually communicating how they are really doing. It’s best to monitor your child’s response so that you can have a better understanding of how they are coping.
Some signs that your child is having trouble with your divorce are:
- Acting out in school or at home
- Shutting down or withdrawing
- Changes in usual behavior
- Increased rule-breaking or obedience
- Angry or irritable mood
- Signs of self-harm
- Displaying much more or much less emotion than usual
If your child is experiencing difficulty with the divorce the support of a counselor can be beneficial for individual support or through family therapy.
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