Millions of people get married across the U.S. each year without expecting that anything would go wrong down the line. Sometimes, though, life has unpredictable plans and many marriages end up in divorce.
Relationships can be a few months in the making, or decades-old when they ultimately deteriorate. However, neither the length of the marriage nor the reason for its ending can predict how strongly divorce will impact those involved.
One thing is for certain – when we’re talking break-ups there’s always some emotional toll.
The best way to cope with divorce can be subjective, but online therapy helps. There are also general tools to make sure you’re pushing through the hardships of the situation in a healthy manner.
Below, let’s discuss how to recover from the devastating impacts of a relationship ending and when online therapy for divorce may be useful.
How to Recover From Divorce Emotionally
Divorce can end for various reasons, infidelity, lack of intimacy, communication issues, abuse, and so on.
You may have even been the one to initiate the separation process. Regardless, divorce will always leave a deep impact on your life.
Ending a long-term committed relationship that you thought would last forever but didn’t, is life-changing.
Divorce is an event that flips your entire world upside-down and leaves you struggling to make sense of life and your relationships.
Logistically, dealing with divorce is already burdensome, but the emotional strain it puts on you can seem impossible to handle.
However, when it seems hardest to take care of ourselves is when we should be doing it the most.
Recovering from divorce will take a long time, and there’s no easy and quick way around the process.
But in terms of your emotional and mental sanity, there are a few ways to make the whole ordeal easier on yourself.
1. Remember: It’s a Grieving Process
The death of a relationship, similarly to the passing of a loved one, can make you go through several stages of grief.
This means you’ll experience a myriad of emotions while cycling through:
- Denial – you go about life as if nothing has happened;
- Anger – it can arise towards your former partner, yourself, or the seemingly unjust nature of the situation;
- Bargaining – you ask yourself a lot of “what if” questions or wish you could change past actions;
- Depression – you experience deep sadness and pain;
- Acceptance – you learn to move on and go back to your everyday life;
We often talk about these stages in this order, yet that’s not necessarily how they manifest.
Divorce is messy and so are people’s feelings. You may not even experience all phases of the grieving process as listed.
However, knowing these emotions can emerge at any point helps you better understand and face them.
Divorce also involves another step after the five stages of grief are completed – rebuilding.
You don’t simply go through a separation and get back to your life pre-marriage.
Your entire world has been shaken up and needs to be rebuilt. This is especially applicable when children are involved in the divorce process.
In these cases, tools such as online therapy can be extremely useful. A therapist can help you navigate both the grieving stages and life post-divorce.
2. Process Emotions in a Healthy Way
Even though we all know that suppressing our feelings can’t be good, it can seem like the easiest solution.
However, this is neither a good nor a long-term tool for dealing with negative emotions.
Some people may also turn to substances like alcohol and drugs to cope. This is not only harmful to one’s physical health but can lead to frequent substance abuse and dependence.
Although they can seem adequate at the moment, the fact is, these negative coping mechanisms will leave you worse off than you started.
So, simply coping with the negative feelings divorce causes may not be enough. You also have to make sure you’re developing and utilizing healthy coping techniques.
This is another aspect where counseling and various divorce therapy methods can help you.
3. Find a Support System
Humans are social creatures, and having a supportive group of family members or peers can immensely benefit you.
Support systems give us a sense of belonging and kinship. They also provide an environment where you can air out your feelings and receive emotional support.
These systems help improve your overall mental state. You can achieve higher self-esteem, and even see improved physical health as a result.
Having a strong support system in place is necessary for everyday well-being, but becomes quite crucial when you’re going through the hardships of divorce.
Turning to your family, friends, community, or therapist is a good way to help yourself through separation.
Even if you feel like you’re all alone and have no one to reach out to, the internet offers many resources to get help and support.
This doesn’t only involve online counseling, but also many web communities that will cheer you on as you commence this new phase of your life.
4. Get Professional Help
Divorce isn’t that uncommon, yet, such a monumental event can impact people in different ways. It’s normal if you seem to be struggling with divorce more than most people.
Even still, many of the divorcees that seem to be “doing fine” may be experiencing the same problems you are behind closed doors.
Online therapy for divorce can help anyone going through the ordeal, but it may become a necessity in some circumstances. Divorce can lead you to experience:
- Disturbed sleeping patterns;
- Feelings of self-loathing and self-disparagement;
- Numbness and lack of motivation;
- Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed;
- Altered appetite and weight changes;
- Chronic depression;
- Severe anger issues;
- Excessive levels of anxiety.
These all indicate that you may be struggling more than usual with the divorce process and can, therefore, benefit from therapy and counseling.
5. Get Reacquainted With Yourself
After being in a long-term partnership, especially one as serious as marriage, it can be hard to recall who you were before it all started.
And the truth is, it’s impossible to ever go back to who you were before marriage.
However, this isn’t a bad thing. Getting to know yourself all over again is both necessary and a wonderful experience.
It can seem incredibly cliché and tired to hear, but it’s the truth – going through big changes allows us to get to know ourselves better, and that can be quite rewarding.
Starting over may not be an easy thing, but it’s essential to complete the healing process. Knowing who you are post-divorce will help you build the life you want and deserve.
6. Take Care of Yourself
Humans are complex in a multitude of ways. Your mental and physical health are not only both important, but they’re often dependent on each other.
Take good care of yourself, eat well, exercise, and maintain good hygiene. Routine can seem boring but it’s vital in turbulent times.
7. Give it Time
Maintaining a positive outlook on life can be difficult, but it’s immensely beneficial.
Even when things seem unbearably distressing, remember that pain is normal and this, too, shall pass.
All the sadness and hurt will slowly fade, too, just give it time. Take one day at a time and don’t get discouraged.
Getting over a divorce is in no way a direct process, but it is entirely doable if you have the right people and assets by your side.
How Can Online Therapy Help You?
Teletherapy isn’t exactly a novel concept, but it has been on the rise in recent years.
Not only are we using our electronic devices more than ever, but the reservations people have previously had regarding online counseling are slowly fading.
This has mostly come as a result of many studies showing online sessions to be as effective as traditional therapy.
So even when done on the internet, counseling can successfully help you:
- Better understand and process your emotions;
- Build healthy coping mechanisms;
- Reflect on events and understand your role in them;
- Improve communication;
- Improve self-image and heighten self-esteem;
Online therapy for divorce is becoming more popular as well.
Nowadays it’s a lot less controversial to ask for therapist help, and online therapy has the benefit of being more accessible and affordable than traditional in-person sessions.
What is Divorce Counseling?
Most people are familiar with marriage counseling, where couples seek out professional help to mend their relationship.
However, sometimes a relationship reaches the point of no return or faces issues that cannot be resolved.
Here, divorce therapy can be a helpful tool in processing this life-altering event start-to-finish.
It’s a form of counseling that guides couples through separation and divorce both logistically and emotionally.
The Purpose of Divorce Therapy
Divorce signifies the end of a marriage, but it’s not all about endings. This time also marks a transition of your partnership into a new type of relationship.
Thus, divorce therapy is here to both help you process the divorce, and learn to better cooperate with your former partner.
Even if you do not have any contact with your spouse following the divorce, creating healthy communication and resolving any lingering feelings will help you move on.
Reflecting on your marriage can also help you approach future relationships with better insight.
If you have children, divorce therapy can be a useful tool for everyone involved. Unfair as it may seem, separation doesn’t only affect you, but your entire family.
Divorce counseling can be a huge assistance when learning how to co-parent with your partner. It can also help address your children’s feelings regarding the divorce.
When to Seek Out Divorce Counseling
We can’t really quantify pain, so it’s difficult to say when someone has to get help.
However divorce therapy can help you both during a divorce, and after the process has been finalized.
So, if you feel like you’re in any way struggling to go about your life, find adequate support, or remain amicable towards your former partner, remember that help is available at all times.
Divorce counseling is also a good strategy to help your children cope with the change.
If you’ve noticed your young ones are having difficulties or have altered their behavior due to the divorce, therapy for the whole family can resolve many of the issues before they develop into something more serious.
Divorce will never be pleasant, not even close, but online therapy can be a helping hand to everyone involved.
What to Expect – Types of Online Counseling for Divorce
Divorce therapy is a form of psychotherapy but it is not an entirely straightforward process.
People can struggle with different aspects of a deteriorated marriage and a therapist may choose to focus on different things.
At times, specific issues will need to be addressed more closely than others.
The approach a therapist takes will not only depend on the issues at hand but their expertise and style.
Most often, counselors use CBT – cognitive behavioral therapy – to address divorce.
CBT is based on Beck’s cognitive pattern and supposes that our thoughts, feelings, and actions are interconnected and influence one another.
Therefore, by altering one, you’ll alter the others.
It’s not out of the ordinary to pair this approach with other therapy methods and even some alternative therapies, like art therapy, meditation, music therapy, etc.
This form of therapy has been shown to work for many mental health conditions.
However, you should always seek out a professional that specializes in divorce counseling.
Someone who’s experienced in divorce therapy can use CBT to help you far better than, for example, an individual therapist.
When entering therapy of any kind, remember, the goal is to help you. If you feel an approach isn’t working, talk to your therapist or switch to a new one.
You may not know how to continue with life after a divorce, but online counseling can certainly get you started on the right path.
It’s natural and perfectly healthy to grieve the end of a relationship and this grieving process can take a long time.
But, it’s also important to not let it overtake your life. Your mental health should always remain a priority.
Ultimately, divorce therapy is a way to ensure that you remain emotionally, mentally, and physically stable.
The difficulties of an ending marriage are made much easier to weather with professional help and the right toolset at hand.