For many couples, a divorce may feel like a blessing rather than a curse. The dissolution of a marriage can be a release from a union that was unhappy and fraught with difficulties. But just because you want a divorce, even welcome it, counseling can still be a wise choice to help you cope with the new reality that lies ahead.
Post-Divorce: Your New Reality
People differ on their beliefs about counseling. Some are willing to do it before a marriage ends in order to try to save the marriage. Others are completely against the idea of intervention by a mental health professional and they’ll refuse to seek any type of care in this vein, whether before marriage, during marriage, or after a divorce.
Keeping an open mind about the end of a marriage is one of the most successful ways to get through a divorce. Though you may be one of the lucky couples to part amicably and with little stress, that doesn’t mean life is going to be simple from here on out. Now you carry on as a single person, perhaps a single person with children. You are supporting yourself, living a different kind of life, and carving out a new existence for yourself and your family. That can take its toll on anyone’s psyche, and the economic reality of living a very different way than you used to can be taxing.
Give Yourself Permission to Feel
Many people rely on a few close friends or family members to get them through the lows of a divorce and all that’s associated with it. But sometimes it can be incredibly refreshing to speak with an impartial third party who knows nothing about you personally, holds no grudges against your ex, and is looking at your situation with a completely open mind.
Ultimately, even you don’t know how you’re going to react after your divorce is finalized. You may throw a huge party and celebrate your freedom. You may curl into a ball and cry for a week. You may volley between these two extremes or experience a series of emotions from grief to pain to remorse to joy. No matter what your emotions are doing, it’s important to recognize the feelings you’re experiencing and given them the freedom to run their course.
Through the guidance of a mental health professional, you can become even more aware and astute about the emotions that are flooding you – positive and negative alike. You may not want to dwell on your divorce any longer than necessary, but counseling after the ending of a marriage isn’t always about the marriage – it’s not a time to figure out what you did “wrong.”
Divorce is an ending, but it’s also an opportunity for growth and maturity, a time to take inventory of your life – the good, the bad, the mistakes, the successes – and start over. Private therapy will allow you to dwell and sulk when you need to without feeling guilty about burdening a loved one and, most importantly, it can help you find an optimistic, healthy, happy path into the future.