Life Transitions | Divorce Support

Life Transitions | Divorce Support

Divorce is a major life transition that forces you to examine your life.  Some transitions in life are expected, such as children leaving home for school, retirement, the birth or adoption of a child, the death of an elder.  Other changes, such as unexpected health situations, a major accident, a recent diagnosis, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job or a divorce are examples of changes you can never really be prepared for.

Whether expected or unexpected, these events have one thing in common in that they will force a change to your current life. Our tolerance for change vary from person to person, and our resistance to accept the change will come with some difficult feelings whether we want change or want things to remain the same.

Change can bring about an opportunity for us to evaluate and take a new path, which can also be imbued with a sense of hopefulness and excitement as you start to see new horizons.  But whether you are conscious of it or not, even good events in your life can lead you to feel stress and anxiety.  Change of any kind throws people into the realm of the unknown and this is uncomfortable for most.

Divorce will increase the stress in your life regardless of your personal desire to stay married or not.  The reality is that this is one of the most difficult transitions for many people to face as until now you have has a sense of self as part of a union. In facing life without a partner you may swing from feeling positive about the future to overwhelmed and pessimistic in almost the same breathe.  This is destabilizing and may lead to a number of issues around self-esteem, self-worth, financial security, and meaning and purpose in one’s existence.

Endings that feel particularly difficult can propel us to experience a wide range of emotions, such as grief, anger, sadness, blame, shame, numbness, helplessness, dejection, hopelessness and confusion to mention a few.

In general you will go through several distinct phases following an ending.  First you may be in denial, as you can’t believe what has happened.  Then you may feel anger as the pain you feel needs to be expressed.  Bargaining is the next step as you say, “if only… then…” or “Please God, I will…if…” as you will do just about anything to have life returned to normal or fast forward to the next phase.  Reality often crashes down following the bargaining period, and therefore you may feel deep sadness or depression.  Since grief is a natural human process we see sadness as a necessary step towards healing.  Finally, when you are ready, you will accept what has happened, learn to live with it, and begin to engage in your life again.

A life transition such as divorce forces us to enter uncharted territory.  Whether the change feels manageable, or it causes unspeakable pain and grief, we encourage you to face this time with a skilled and trusted person by your side.

Questions for Thought

Below are a few questions that are intended to help you consider your personal situation more closely.  If you are ready to face these difficult feelings with support that works, we encourage you to contact us to discuss how we can best help.

  • Are you experiencing anxiety over telling your spouse your concerns?
  • Are you feeling scared and confused, and not knowing what to do next?
  • Is worrying interrupting your sleep at night?
  • Are you having difficulty accepting the other person’s choices?
  • Do you need to make changes that you are not prepared to have to make?
  • Are you feeling insecure about how a divorce will impact your life and loved ones?
  • Are you feeling like you can’t talk to anyone about what is going on for you?