Divorce or Separation
Making the decision to pause or end your relationship – temporarily, as in a short-term separation, or permanently as in divorce – is a very personal and difficult decision to make. If children are involved, it can also become very complicated. If you’ve made the decision to end a relationship, ideally, it’s done with mutual respect, dignity, and fairness. Even if this is the case, a separation or divorce often brings feelings of grief, guilt, anxiety, sadness, or relief. If you are going through a difficult separation or divorce – especially one that has involved infidelity and you are navigating custody battles or the division of assets, it can be even more challenging.
Symptoms & signs of the fallout from divorce or separation
Whether you decided to end the relationship, or your partner did, you may be experiencing some of the following:
- Indecisiveness and inability to concentrate
- Feeling guilty
- Feeling worthless
- Frequent thoughts of committing suicide or of death
- Lack of interest in everyday activities
- Lack of joy in things or activities that used to bring pleasure
- Feeling irritated
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Back pain, chest pain, muscle aches, and joint pain
- Digestive problems
- Exhaustion and fatigue
- Change in appetite or weight
- Self-destructive behaviour (alcohol or drug use/abuse)
- Extreme sadness
- Inability to function
- Obsession with the failed relationship
- Feelings of anger or guilt
- Withdrawing from others
- Lack of appetite
- Digestive problems
- Sleeplessness or sleeping too much
- Feeling achy
- Inability to stop worrying about your concerns
- Feelings of never-ending stress
- Being easily startled and/or quick to panic
- Feeling socially isolated or alienated from others
- Problems in your social relationships due to the feelings of being vulnerable or elevated arousal.
- Trouble catching your breath
- Difficulty sleeping, fatigue
- Trembling, muscle tension
- Heart palpitations
Feelings of anger
Feelings of relief – and also, possibly guilt for having those feelings – especially if children are involved.
When is it time to get help?
No one enters a relationship expecting it to end. You begin with such hope and often feel devastated when it ends, especially if you were not the one to make that decision. It’s normal to feel sad, lonely, angry, confused, or even betrayed if your relationship is ending. But, if those emotions are becoming too big to manage – you’re not just feeling sad – you feel as though you can’t get out of bed – if you find yourself withdrawing from others, always feeling enraged, and these emotions are consuming you to the point of affecting your work, other relationships, or the general quality of your life – then it’s time to seek help.
Fallout from divorce and separation treatment methods
Together with your therapist you will determine the best approach for you to aid your healing from a divorce or separation. Depending on what you’re mostly feeling (anxiety, depression, grief, etc.) will determine the best treatment method for you and your unique circumstances. Some treatments that are effective in treating these feelings are:
- Acceptance and commitment therapy encourages clients to accept the difficulties and misfortunes of life. Clients learn coping techniques to not dwell on negative emotions by staying in the present.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach to treatment that focuses on how people’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs influence their behaviour and how they perceive themselves.
- Client centered therapy (Rogerian therapy). Carl Rogers generally had a particular focus of therapy, which tended to view that the therapeutic process and progress is ultimately based on the accomplishments of the client and only psychologically aided by the therapist.
- Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is a treatment method that’s similar to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) but emphasizes building skills to manage stress, emotional response and regulation, mental health issues, and the psycho-social aspects of relationship building.
- Faith based therapy is using science-based therapeutic techniques that are administered by a therapist with similar spiritual beliefs or an understanding of those beliefs. This is not based on any one religion or spiritual belief.
What will I get out of treatment with Insight Psychological?
Divorce or separation can have a big impact on your emotional, psychological and even physical health. It affects your children, if you have any, and can take a toll on your finances as well. We can support you as you transition through this major life change. Depending on the severity of your concerns, we will also employ proven treatment methods that will help you to overcome the problematic symptoms you may experience during or after your divorce or separation. Our team of therapists are highly trained so that they can help you overcome the concerns you are currently facing.
Sometimes couples will seek divorce or separation counselling to help them to negotiate a fair and amicable separation and the best way to support their children. Insight can help with that too.
Insight has a team of therapists who specialize in marriage and relationship therapy. We can provide in-person, online, or telephone counselling. Contact us to learn more.