Without a doubt, divorce is one of life’s most difficult transitions.
The painful emotions, the stress of legal and procedural matters, and the sheer thought of having to create a whole new life can make you feel utterly lost and overwhelmed.
What can help guide you through this painful process?
A counselor can help you analyze how you communicate, implement strategies for mutual cooperation as you move through the divorce proceedings, and reach shared solutions and acceptable settlements.
Ideally, divorce counseling will foster healing and collaboration between you and your spouse. In turn, your efforts to promote genuine goodwill can be a model if you have children.
How Divorce Counseling Helps You Cooperate and Foster Goodwill Between You and Your Spouse
1. Divorce counseling helps you to be sure about the decision and know what to expect
Counseling can help you both take one final look at your marriage and consider whether you’re sure you wish to divorce or if your relationship could actually be saved. If you have children, it’s certainly worthwhile to explore this possibility for their sake.
And even if you decide to go through with separation and divorce, you will know you gave it your best effort. You can lay any doubts to rest and accept the decision. Discernment or divorce counseling can also help you and your spouse gain a better understanding of what went wrong and accept responsibility for your role.
When you're able to do this, everyone benefits. Resentments dissolve more quickly and the door opens for an amicable parting of ways.
2. Divorce counseling assists you in resolving communication problems
While you may really want to get along, you often find yourselves at odds over even the most trivial things. The problem usually is bad communication patterns.
Divorce counseling can guide you through unresolved issues, help you to overcome those communication barriers, and teach you healthier ways of handling your differences. Cooperating by learning to negotiate mutually beneficial solutions promotes peaceful relations.
3. Divorce counseling teaches you how to cope with stress and negative emotions
Before, during, and after a divorce, there is no shortage of stress and negativity - worries, sadness, grief, anger, resentment, or much more. Coping with them all in a productive way helps promote understanding, empathy, and goodwill.
A therapist can teach you skills like mindful meditation and relaxation techniques to help you deal with stress. Plus, learning to channel negative feelings appropriately will allow you to avoid bad coping behaviors, such as verbal or even physical assault, turning to drugs or alcohol, or other ways of acting out.
4. Divorce counseling helps make the legal proceedings less daunting
A knowledgeable divorce counselor can help you sort through your options for financial guidance, legal support, mediation, and parenting arrangements. They can also help you keep legal negotiations and emotional issues separate.
Reliable and objective direction can promote better cooperation with your lawyers and better decision making about financial settlements and child custody.
5. Divorce counseling assists you with co-parenting challenges
Divorce counseling helps you remember that you are divorcing each other, NOT your children. Both of you love your children and want what's best for them. You will both continue to be their parents and thus connected to each other as co-parents.
When you remain cooperative and courteous toward each other, co-parenting can function to support your children’s well-being. Counseling can help you understand the basic expectations and best strategies to peaceful collaboration. It can keep your children out of the middle of your divorce. Becoming child-focused, putting their interests first, thus protects them from your personal conflict as much as possible.
6. Divorce counseling provides emotional support for your children
Children usually feel scared, angry, and confused about what is going on between their parents. Sometimes, they even feel responsible for it. Counseling can help you understand how your divorce is affecting your children. It can teach you how to lessen the trauma and minimize the damage.
Good cooperation can encourage you to show your children that they’re cherished and loved by both of you. It can assist you in expressing that it’s ok for them to love both of you, despite you not loving each other anymore. And it can also help you to assure them that they don’t need to try to keep you both happy. They can just be themselves.
7. Divorce counseling supports your journey of rebuilding a new life
It may be harder for one of you to truly let go and focus on regaining structure in your life. Uncertainties about your future, problems with finances, or dealing with the prospect of dating can seem to loom over you like a dark cloud. You may like nothing better than to blame your ex for all they’ve done. Counseling can even help you foster generosity in that situation.
Instead of giving in to feeling helpless, hopeless, and abandoned, counseling will assist you to explore the issues your divorce has confronted you with and help you take ownership of your own life. There’s no need for you to make your ex feel miserable to make yourself feel better. With the help of a counselor, you can learn healthier coping behaviors, implement new routines, and find the social support that can propel you toward a better future.
Whatever effort you can put forth to cooperate and foster genuine goodwill will allow this less-than-perfect transition to stay as stable as possible. Who benefits? You, your ex-spouse, and most of all, your children. Isn’t that worth you aiming for willing collaboration?