divorce, couples, couples counseling

With over 50% of all marriages ending in divorce we all know someone who is or will go through it at some point. I personally have experienced divorce first hand but have also witnessed the destruction of an ugly divorce. It is heartbreaking to see individuals who once loved each other become enemies. I wish more couples would choose to take the high road but unfortunately emotions often get in the way.

Is it possible to divorce with dignity? Yes it is.

Here is how:

1) Acceptance is a big part of how we overcome difficult situations. I believe that how we choose to view our situation will be an indicator of whether we will weather the storm with grace and dignity or allow it to tear us apart. Unfortunately things happen that are out of our control. You may have experienced an affair in your marriage or perhaps your spouse’ feelings have changed or maybe yours have. It may sound easier said than done but if you choose to accept there is a tough road ahead of you but it is one you can cross. Believe that there will be happiness on the side if you choose it. Positive thought patterns will help you walk through a divorce with dignity. What we perceive has so much to do with our actions.

2) Choose to be respectful to your ex. This means that if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. I have found that it is extremely for individuals to not want to throw their ex or soon to be ex under the bus. Once words are spoken they cannot be taken back and the way you feel today is not necessarily how you will feel forever. I often encourage my clients to practice containment which means that we don’t react to all of our feelings. Choosing to be respectful of your soon to be ex can be hard to do but one of the best decisions you will make. If you don’t feel like you respect them anymore try and respect the marriage that once was.

3) Don’t become a victim. You may feel like you need to talk it through with someone and that is completely normal. Sharing with your closest friend, family member or therapist can be helpful but rehashing every detail of your failed marriage will only cause you to feel victimized. Often times an individual will think they are just venting but in fact appear scorned and bitter. Dwelling on all of your negative thoughts and feelings will keep you stuck. It also puts your support system in a position where they feel they have to pick sides. I have seen some folks feel alienated because their friends and family just want to stay out of it. I recommend to my clients that they think about the message they are sending and make a conscious decision to remain positive through their divorce.

The best thing you can do when going through a divorce is to focus on yourself and your children if there are some involved. Finding support from trustworthy and safe people is necessary, processing the situation with a therapist will definitely speed up the healing process but loving yourself enough to take the high road and maintain your dignity is a key. There will be better days ahead and you are worthy of love and happiness. Staying focused on the positive things in your life will help your outlook. If you need help overcoming a divorce please reach out to me at veronica@climbcounseling.com.

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