Divorce or Loss of Relationship Counseling
Are You Struggling to Cope With the Loss of a Relationship?
Has your partner or spouse ended your relationship, leaving you feel shocked and devastated? Perhaps you only dated for a short time, yet you felt a deep connection and dreamed of the future you would share together. Or, perhaps you and your spouse were married for decades and created a family, and now you don’t know who you are or what your life means anymore. Do you feel overwhelmed by anger, sadness and uncertainty about what your future holds? Do you dread facing the world alone and wish you could find a way to heal, rediscover your true self and believe in the possibility of a happy future?
Grieving a relationship and the life you hoped for can be an overwhelming, isolating experience. As you struggle to cope with intense, conflicting emotions, you may also wonder how you are going to manage day-to-day responsibilities without your partner. Maybe you spent most of your life at home raising the children, and now feel as though you lack the education and job skills to earn a living and take care of your family. If you don’t have kids living at home, you may dread both spending time in your empty house and leaving to face the world outside, especially if friends and family members don’t seem to understand what you’re going through. Perhaps you drag yourself out of bed in the morning, feel disengaged throughout the day, and zone out in front of the TV at night, hoping to fall asleep. Alternately, you may be throwing yourself back into the world, dedicating all your time to a job search, studying or even dating. As you scroll through social media sites or dating apps, you may feel disheartened and confused, doubtful that you’ll ever find a relationship like the one you’ve lost. It may be that no matter what you do, you’re constantly confronted by painful reminders of the past, leaving you feeling stuck, empty and utterly alone.
If You Are Grieving a Relationship, You Are Far From Alone
Few people enter a relationship or marriage anticipating its end. But, in truth, breakups and divorce are extremely common, especially today.
Just take a look at the following divorce statistics:
· Since 1990, divorce rates in the U.S. have tripled.
· In Orange County, 72 percent of marriages end in divorce, with 63 people initiating divorce every day.
· For people under 50, divorce rates are twice as high as those for people 50 and above.
o One-third of adults 50 or older who were divorced in the past year were married for 30 years, which means that many newly single individuals spent most of their adult lives in a relationship.
· Those who divorce within the first five years of a relationship often cite too much conflict as a primary reason.
· Those who divorce 15-17 years in often feel there’s no longer any glue holding the relationship together.
· Those who divorce after decades of marriage often feel unsatisfied and lonely.
One more important point holds true across all relationships: Even after years together, couples will still be fighting about 69 percent of the things they fought about at the beginning of a relationship—personality, lifestyle, culture, family of origin, etc.
Conflicts and differences don’t simply go away. Rather, they can grow even more entrenched and intractable over time. Or, if addressed with understanding, compassion, and acceptance, they can deepen your connection.
How you manage conflict in a relationship truly makes all the difference. As a culture, we are good at falling in love, but we aren’t taught how to maintain that love over the long-term, or how to weather challenges and traumas together. We’re not taught that a relationship is a living, breathing, evolving organism, made up of two people who will inevitably change and grow.
Conflict can act as a GPS for your relationship or it can cause its demise, depending on how you manage it. No matter how long you were with your partner, you are a different person today. And that’s not a bad thing!
With the help and support of a compassionate relationship therapist, you can find the space you need to grieve the loss of your relationship, address fears about the future and embrace a new incarnation of your life—and yourself.
Counseling After a Breakup or Loss Can Help You Discover Who You Are and What You Want
Over the course of a relationship, many people beginning to think of themselves as part of a unit—a “we,” and not an “I.” As we come to rely on our partners, we stop the self-reliant behaviors we engaged in while single, which can make us feel less capable of taking care of ourselves overall. Self-reliance is like a muscle—it weakens when not put to use. And, just like a muscle, it can be strengthened again. No matter how hopeless dealing with a breakup has made you feel, with help and practice, you can move forward with renewed confidence, balance and strength.
Pathways to Wellness offers an empowering, validating space for you to process and mourn the end of your relationship. Sessions are a place for you to openly express anything and everything, and you can feel supported and heard as you express the rage and anger you might feel, whether it’s directed at your ex or toward a world you can no longer trust. Your therapist can then help you become increasingly mindful of your thoughts and feelings as they arise, guiding you to rediscover your center and get in touch with whatever belief system offers you a sense of peace and purpose. You can identify what you need to hold center even in the high winds of rage and grief.
Even if you have never felt in control of your life, during breakup and divorce recovery, you can claim a sense of autonomy, agency and compassion for yourself. As you begin to make meaning of your experience, you can come to appreciate all that you are, look toward new opportunities and embrace you passions and life’s possibilities.
Your therapist can also help you better understand what went wrong in your previous relationship, thereby equipping you with tools to better navigate relationships in the future, romantic or otherwise. You can develop strategies for effective communication and learn how to advocate for yourself without withdrawing or lashing out. And, as you improve your relationships with yourself and others, you can feel equipped to build connections based on love and support.
Dr. Nancy Young, the founder of Pathways to Wellness, has been helping people grieving a relationship since the 1970s, and she knows that healing is possible. Our entire skilled team of therapists draws from a variety of highly effective therapy approaches, including EMDR therapy, CBT, Mindfulness, and The Gottman Method for couples therapy. Regardless of your particular situation, your relationship therapist will find the tools and strategies that can truly serve you.
You don’t have to feel defined by your relationship status. With expert guidance and support, you can find more than a renewal—you can discover a sense of liveliness and vitality you’ve never had before. You can live as your fullest self.
You may have concerns about loss, breakup and divorce counseling…
Therapy seems too expensive.
While therapy does have a cost, it costs much more to go through your days feeling devastated, hopeless and unable to engage with life. And, counseling does not last forever. Your therapist’s goal is to help you develop the skills and tools you need to go on with life. With help, it is possible for you to feel passionate, connected and fulfilled again.
I’m struggling with depression after my loss. I don’t know that I have the will to come in.
It’s very common to struggle with depression, anxiety, existential crises and other mental health issues after a breakup. That’s even more reason to come to therapy. The challenges you are facing today are unlikely to go away on their own. But, therapy can help lift the feelings of depression that are holding you down. You can feel lighter, more resilient and empowered to embrace a new beginning.
Shouldn’t I be able to take care of myself?
Carl Jung said, “A burden shared is a burden lightened.” As human beings, we are meant to be social, and we thrive on connection. You don’t have to shoulder this pain on your own. There are many kinds of relationships that serve us in this life, well beyond our romantic ones. By building a trusting relationship with a therapist, you can discover true healing from divorce and loss.
Your Life Is Waiting
If you are grieving a relationship, we invite you to call us at 714-432-9856 today to set up an appointment so you can start to feel better.