The end of a relationship is never easy. Even if a relationship ends on good terms, it is still difficult. Several philosophies suggests that depression, anger, sadness, and the host of other emotions you may experience during a separation are caused by your attachments. It could be an attachment to who you believed you were partnered to, or an attachment to a future you created in your mind that you now feel you have lost. Perhaps it’s an attachment to a perception of yourself that you now believe has become tainted by, or ruined by, the judgment of others. It may be all of these combined, which can create within you a negative state of mind, and often prevent you from leaving. This is why counseling is important during a divorce.
“Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it’s better to leave them broken than try to hurt yourself putting it back together.”Anonymous
Letting go of your attachments while processing your previous relationship is necessary to move forward with your life. Otherwise you can prolong the healing process and/or find yourself connecting with another partner to avoid discomfort (rebound). Disbelief, confusion, depression, and forms of anxiety including post traumatic-stress-disorder, social phobia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder can affect you during separation and divorce (especially if you are separating from an abuser). Without seeking help, these issues can continue to affect you, possibly years afterward. This is not meant to frighten you, but so many people are either afraid of being a burden to others, or judged by others, that they do not seek help. Instead, they continue to live in an unstable mind, and often repeat the patterns they have yet to resolve.
Talking It Out
During (and after) a separation/divorce, you may feel completely drained of energy, or you may be so angry and confused that you cannot think clearly, but taking the time to process what you went through, and how it affected you, will make the transition smoother. Processing it by talking it out, or by journaling it, will help speed up the process. There is a difference between constructive talk and ruminating, this is why it is beneficial to seek counsel. A counselor can help you communicate productively, rather than repeating the same thing over and over again in your mind as if it’s become caught in a loop.
As with any transition, it is vital for you to take care of your health. Some people over eat and some loose an excessive amount of weight. Some become lethargic while others become so anxious that they sleep an average of three hours each night. The emotions released during a separation can be devastating to your biology. This is why it is so important to eat healthy foods, exercise, and get rest. For example, drinking Garden of Life’s “Green Superfood” in the morning, then doing Yoga in the evening (even if you do not feel like it) can bring your mind back to focus, detox your body, and prepare you for a more restful sleep. Pranayama (Yoga breath work) reduces depression, anxiety, and worry just after a few sessions. Avoid depressive music, movies, and books. Keep the input you place in your mind uplifting. Reiki sessions have also proven to be beneficial in calming and restoring the mind and body. Above all watch what you eat. You would not pour soda on a dying plat, or feed Cheetos to a sick baby, so treat yourself the same.
Mediation Between You, Your Partner, And Your Children
A counselor can also serve as a mediator. More often than not, a couple finds that they are unable to move out immediately, and that some planning will be involved for the separation. A counselor can help the transition run more smoothly, and keep the communication civil, while alleviating any misunderstandings. A counselor can also help children deal with the separation by giving them someone to talk to that is not directly involved.
Help Is Available
Given that over 50% of marriages end in divorce, there is a lot of help available to those who need it. Divorce group therapy is wonderful in that it allows you to hear the stories of others so that you can relate to others, and so others can relate to you. There are some books on how to deal with going through a divorce, but books are often generalized and designed to sell. Some churches offer free marriage/divorce counseling, but some find it difficult to speak openly in a group. Counseling gives you the individual attention that group therapy and books cannot provide. Since individual counseling is sometimes costly, it is often best to use as many resources as possible as each will give you something you may find valuable.
In An Abusive Relationship?
If you are a woman in an abusive relationship in Dallas, and need immediate help, there are several abuse centers available to you, here are a few of them:
- Hopes Door: https://hdnbc.org
- The Family Place: http://www.familyplace.org
- Genesis Shelter: https://www.genesisshelter.org
- Dallas Domestic Violence Resources: http://www.dallasdvresources.org/phone.php
Being Single Again
Many of my clients are often afraid to leave a dysfunctional relationship because they feel like it will leave them behind in life, or mark them as a failure. It would seem our society agrees. Bank forms give you three options: single, married, and divorced. Dating sites give you two options: never married and divorced. This is why so many people have anxiety about divorce—it’s often viewed as being worse than being single… well, it isn’t. Remember, 50% of all first marriages end in divorce. At least you tried. You can also try being single. Being single is an option, not a failure, and should be treated as such.
“Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.”Victoria Holt