Why Your Divorce Doesn’t Have to be a Disaster
Divorce is hard. So are the feelings and transitions that come with it.
The decision to end your marriage is likely the result of deep thinking, strong emotion, and an ongoing concern for all involved.
Still, the one thing it doesn’t have to be is a disaster.
You can come through disappointment, discouragement, and worry and not feel personally destroyed in the process. You can even survive some of the toughest points of disillusionment and betrayal with a renewed sense of purpose and appreciation for the lessons of the relationship.
Really? A positive, healthy divorce?
Yes, if you remain committed to adopting a proactive mindset and working through the difficulties of the process cooperatively. Relationship or marriage counseling now can help you prevent the perpetual hard feelings many expect comes with divorce territory.
Still have doubts? I don’t blame you.
There are so many examples of dysfunctional, damaging divorces around us that the idea of really coming through the experience emotionally healthy and wholly prepared for a new future may seem unlikely at best.
Let’s talk about why your divorce needn’t be a disaster:
Your divorce can be the catalyst for healthier communication and awareness
Believe it or not, coming to grips with the lack of compatibility or circumstances contributing to the end of your relationship may open a new avenue for healthy communication, if you’re willing to explore it. Even if you realize that you are no longer compatible, time spent finding ways to improve your joint communication can better ensure respect and a healthy working relationship.
You and your partner can forgo the stereotypical discord and dislike for something based on awareness and mindful acceptance.
Counseling can help steer your communication toward a healthier course, highlighting what works and what doesn’t, and facilitating positive interaction. This way, whether you end things and rarely speak or continue to interact routinely, you can learn how to pay attention to each other, accurately assess what’s being shared, and respond without the old wounds or resentments coloring your new relationship.
Your divorce can be a low conflict, respectful alternative to a high-conflict parenting or business relationship
Certain joint efforts begun with your partner held high hopes and dreams of success.
They still do. The idea of divorce threatening your roles as parents is frightening. The thought of time spent building a business being wasted may be infuriating.
Yet, if you can breathe through some of that emotion, you’ll see that the anxiety you’re wrestling with signals that you still have something in common: you’re both truly invested in those areas. You still want and need to be successful partners in some very meaningful ways.
So why tear them down with drama, legal wrangling, or prolonged conflict?
You don’t have to. Avoid disaster that will make divorce harder on your kids. Resist a path of negotiation that will make doing business impossible and risk your livelihood.
Instead, work through the best course of action together with the help of a mediator or therapist to ease the transition, employ conflict management tools, and help you make appropriate changes in your relationship.
Children or those associated with any joint business ventures, will benefit from your willingness to work through the emotions of your divorce, sever ties maturely, and set up parenting and/or business plans as respectfully and clearly as possible.
Your divorce can be the path toward supportive, empowering relationships
Divorce can feel so devastating for some because the loss of relationships shared with their partner often follows the loss of the marriage. It is crucial to seek out people who will help you navigate your new season.
Surround yourself with positiveness. Reconnect with encouraging relationships that may have lagged during the course of your marriage. Choose nonjudgmental, uplifting listeners for support who will make the transition easier.
As you acclimate to single life again, counseling and trusted friends or loved ones will empower you to take your next steps. Furthermore, you may find that you develop more clarity regarding the types of relationships that boost your growth and self-esteem and those that should be pruned away.
Your divorce can be an opportunity for a powerful shift in your thinking and a testament to your resilience
Divorce happens to a lot of people. You’re not alone, but you may feel that way.
It is important to check in with yourself and identify cyclical, defeatist thought patterns as you move forward. Try to identify negative thoughts or feelings that contribute to loneliness, depression, or anxiety and focus your energy more positively.
Resist the urge to isolate or indulge prolonged suffering. Resist too, the urge to bury your feelings or ignore them. Divorce is a major life change, one that can usher in a lot of personal growth if you remain focused on self-care and open to new perceptions of yourself and your partner.
Set mental and emotional goals with your counselor, so that, sooner rather than later, you’ll be able to see your divorce and former partner as clearly and as positively as you can.
Most of all, take time to fully process your divorce so that you can move forward freely and authentically. Create space to communicate freely and exit your marriage intelligently and respectfully, hopefully even amicably.
About the Author
Dr. Stan Hyman is a licensed psychotherapist and life coach in private practice in Miami, Florida. He works with couples struggling with powerful issues such as divorce, infidelity, loss of trust and intimacy. He often works with couples on the brink of divorce, helping them to gain clarity regarding the paths they choose.