Counselling for Divorce and Separation in Georgetown, ON
Divorce and separation can be extremely difficult stages in life as there are a lot of transitions, both physically and emotionally. When going through a tough period of considering a divorce or proceeding with a divorce, there is a lot of emotion and stress that goes along with the process. Talking with a counsellor can help you manage these stressful changes, determine your next steps, while helping you manage the emotions that sometimes feel overwhelming.
What are the Signs that You May be Heading for a Divorce?
John Gottman’s “Four Horsemen”, are scientifically researched indicators of divorce. The four signs to look out for are:
Criticism between you and your partner can be one of the first signs of divorce. This is not to be confused with voicing a complaint. Criticizing is used to attack on the character of the individual.
Contempt is when you or your partner assume a position of superiority over the other, oftentimes with the intent to make the other feel worthless.
Defensiveness can be a reaction to the first horsemen of criticism. It is often used in order to shift or reverse the blame to not take any accountability.
Stonewalling can be a reaction to the second horsemen of contempt. When there is a conflict in a relationship, stonewalling is used to withdraw and isolate from the conversation, simply not responding to the partner.
Out of these four horsemen, contempt is the biggest predictor of divorce.
There are also some other signs that your relationship may be headed for divorce, including no motivation or effort to improve communication, betrayal/infidelity, changes in long term expectations, lifestyle changes that are incompatible, lack of affection or intimacy for long periods of time, and complete emotional detachment.
I'm going through a Divorce. How can Counselling Help?
If you have already decided to get divorced, your individual therapist can support your divorce recovery in several ways. This can include:
helping you grieve the loss of your relationship
coming to terms with the losses and many transitions in your life
discovering the life you want for yourself and your future
strategies to help you transition into your new life
making sense of the end of the relationship so that yo may have successful future relationships
discovering the type of relationships you want going forward
We are Separated but Need to Live Together. How can we Manage?
Living with your partner while separated can be difficult as there are new boundaries and rules to establish in the shared space. However, with established boundaries, clear expectations and communication, it is possible. Therapy can help you find a way to live together whilst going through the process of separation/divorce. Some of the issues we would discuss include the need to:
● Respect each other’s boundaries
● Work out a financial agreement
● Divide the responsibilities of housework
● Make house rules
● Establish social lines
● Discuss sleeping arrangements and child care
Depending on your relationship with your partner, there may need to be more specific guidelines to set in place.
I have a Child/Children, How can I Co-Parent after a Separation?
Going through a divorce with children can be difficult as not only are you in the process of starting a new life without your partner, but you have to do so while continuing to parent your children together. This new relationship of co-parenting will need to be very different than before. There are many things to consider, such as avoiding making your children pick sides or feel guilty for loving both parents. We offer coparenting support in the form of individual or co-parent therapy to discuss these considerations and many more. Getting the support you need from counselling can create effective co-parenting solutions while keeping your child's best interest the priority.
How can I Learn to Forgive?
Forgiveness can be one of the hardest things to think about, especially during a divorce. It is important to recognize that your emotions are valid, whether it be sadness, anger, depression, resentment, etc. It may not be easy to forgive an ex-partner who was hurtful to you, but if you choose to do so, forgiveness can be and important step in your own healing. Your individual therapist can help you through this process so you can heal your wounds and live the life you want.