Are You Struggling to Cope With a Divorce?

couple site son bench with flowers between them looking away from one another

Have you recently completed or begun the process of separation or divorce? Or, have you started to consider what a divorce might look like? You may wonder if you’re making the right choice or if the relationship can be saved. Perhaps separating was not your choice or took you by surprise, and now you’re struggling with heavy feelings of loss and abandonment. Or, perhaps you have decided divorce is what’s best, but don’t know how to break the news to your partner. You may already be separated, and seek professional advice and mediation to aid the transition.

Are you worried about life post-divorce? You may be stressed about finances, dividing property, social consequences or co-parenting with your ex. Or, perhaps you’ve been married for so long you’ve forgotten how spend time alone or how to date. Would you like to gain a better understanding about why things got off track so you don’t repeat the same ineffective patterns in future relationships? Regardless of where you are in the divorce process, do you wish you could process these complex issues, heal and move forward feeling more confident and at peace?

Divorce can be a heartbreaking, isolating and overwhelming experience. With this major change, you may not only lose your partner, but also a sense of self. Divorce often comes with moving and financial, social and familial adjustments. You’ve likely invested a lot into your relationship, and the thought of starting over may be exhausting, if not downright scary. Stress may be manifesting physically, affecting your sleeping and eating patterns, as well as causing digestive issues, headaches, joint pain and/or shortness of breath. You may wonder how your friends or family members will react and fear losing their support. If you have children, you might worry about the impact the separation will have on them and dread negotiating custody. The overwhelming emotions, changes, thoughts and feelings associated with breakups may be too much to bear, leaving you desperately craving an outlet to dispel, process and overcome pent-up emotions.

Divorce Is Very Common in our Culture

 If you are struggling to cope with separation, you are not alone. We’ve all heard the disconcerting statistics -- over 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. But you may not know divorce is the second most stressful event that happens in life (right behind death of a loved one).

woman drops wedding ring

The reason divorce is so stressful, in part, is the fact that you’ve both built a life together, and separation entails letting go and building a new one. You may also feel as if you’re going against societal values surrounding marriage, family and even adulthood. If you’ve landed a career, found a spouse and started a family, in a way, you’ve achieved an American ideal. So, surrendering that may feel shameful or frightening, especially if you feel betrayed by the promised of happiness. However, what you truly want and need from a relationship may look nothing like the traditional marriage model.

If you have decided to separate, there’s probably a very good reason. It may have been unexpected or years in the making. You and/or your partner may have committed an infidelity, hidden a financial betrayal or become addicted to a vice. You may have simply changed somewhere along the way and developed other values, desires or goals. Perhaps one of you received a promotion and the other doesn’t want to move. Your parenting styles may be incompatible. One of you may want children while the other doesn’t. Maybe the relationship just needs to end and no one is to blame. Regardless of the reasons for your separation, you have bravely realized the partnership is no longer serving either of you.

Now imagine that you could clarify what went wrong, and why, and become more equipped and empowered to develop and maintain healthy relationships moving forward. Divorce therapy allows you that opportunity. Here, you can ask for what you need and receive impartial divorce advice from an experienced, compassionate and non-judgmental relationship and sex therapist.

Divorce Counseling Can Help You Heal and Move Forward

Divorce therapy, for either couples or individuals, can be incredibly effective in helping you and/or your partner process and expel distress. In a safe, nonjudgmental environment, you can expect to be supported as you to express yourself honestly, and you can develop skills and awareness that decrease the likelihood of you repeating the same pitfalls in future relationships. Together, we can assess your needs, create greater harmony and build strong foundation for your future.

man and woman in park on other side of a tree

During our sessions together, we’ll practice narrative-based techniques that can help you cultivate understanding, compassion and empowerment. With my help and support, you can really say goodbye to your partner, whether that means meeting face-to-face or creating a ritual that allows you to process and finalize your emotions. We’ll also practice mindfulness techniques. Learning to bring awareness and compassion into the present moment, while calmly acknowledging your feelings, thoughts and somatic sensations, can lead to profound acceptance and healing. By listening to your body for warning signs of irritation and discomfort, you can learn to refocus your attention, take a deep breath and calm yourself in moments of heightened emotions. This can be especially effective in difficult conversations with loved ones and negotiations about finances and childcare. Such grounding not only brings clarity to the moment, but also actually promotes long-term health and wellness.

Throughout this transitional period, you can feel supported and guided as you heal and strengthen your mind, body and spirit. I’m trained in several modalities and specialize in sex and relationship therapy. With my expertise and your willingness, compassion and awareness, it’s possible to reconnect to what you truly want and need. Rather than continuing to experience the same anxieties and relationship problems, you can learn how to stop, reflect and reason more strategically. Although divorce is a major life transition, it’s also an opportunity for growth. Taking the time to advocate for yourself and ask for what you need is not only healing, but also vital to navigating the divorce process and moving forward into the life you want. Believe it or not, life after divorce can be better than before.

You may still have questions or concerns about divorce counseling for couples and individuals…

I’m insecure about dating after divorce. 

 This is a completely normal concern. In fact, I’ve never encountered anyone who didn’t have anxiety about dating after a breakup. It’s possible that you and your partner married young, when you were both wrapped up in lust and hormones. Now, perhaps what you’re looking for in a mate is fundamentally different. Or, you may not know what you’re looking for. Regardless, dating is a process that’s different for everyone. If you don’t want to date online or you aren’t ready to date, you don’t have to.

An important aspect of our work is learning how to be comfortable with your single-self before you start dating again. You don’t want to bring baggage from your past relationship into future ones. With my support and guidance, it’s possible to bring more compassion and awareness to these issues and create a strong foundation for new relationships.

Am I making the right choice? Can our broken relationship be fixed?

 If you’re wondering if an amicable breakup is the right decision, we can explore where that anxiety, insecurity, regret and guilt stem from. It’s important to acknowledge that a relationship requires the commitment of both people. Sometimes, we are forced to deal with the reality of what life hands us, and here, you can learn to do that with increased compassion and care. If you do decide to breakup, it’s possible to finalize your emotions and properly say goodbye to your old relationship.

I am struggling financially post-divorce, and I’m worried about the cost of therapy.

If you are worried about the cost of counseling after divorce, I can present a solution-focused therapy regiment that works within your budget. Within only a few sessions, I can provide you with tools that address your needs as efficiently as possible. Separation counseling focuses on helping you rebuild and transform your life. With some guidance, it is possible to build self-confidence, reclaim your identity and move forward.

You Can Heal After Divorce

If you have additional questions about separation counseling, life after divorce, sex therapy or intimacy therapy, I invite you to schedule a free 20-minute consultation. I’m happy to discuss your specific needs and to answer any questions related to counseling or my practice in Boulder, CO.