Is it a rocky time in your marriage? You have choices.
Divorce brings many changesDivorcing couples agree change is the major theme of divorce. Divorce changes their lifestyle, changes their roles, changes their friendship circles, changes the meaning of the world. When couples have tried all they could to save a marriage and “failed,” the losses they experience can be overwhelming, however the changes can be relieving. It is a time of significant stress for all family members emotionally, physically, financially, and spiritually. The major goal is to desensitize to the idea of divorce and stimulate personal growth by preparing each individual for their new role as a single or separated person. It is important to learn creative problem solving regarding the many changes that occur in lifestyles after separation, such as raising children in two single-parent households, loss of social support from friends, and loss of emotional support from the former spouse. When a couple agrees to work together untangling the mystery of their lives together, they offer an invaluable gift of cooperation and a new kind of love, a love based in respect and friendship. Learning about how their interactions with and from family and friends have molded their roles, patterns, rules, goals, and beliefs better prepare them for a brighter future. This rite of passage can turn crisis into opportunity, pain into healing, failure into success next time around. From years of working with divorcing-couples and their families, we have identified seven (7) factors which contribute to the success of one adjusting to the changes divorce creates:
- One must first accept the fact that he or she is becoming a formerly married person, and to accept this change as a time for personal growth, rather than attributing the divorce to personal failure or blaming their spouse.
- Emotional feelings of attachment one has toward the former spouse must not trap him or her and prevent developing new relationships.
- Understanding one’s feelings such as anger, guilt, sadness, and loneliness through clarification and expression of feelings and a positive future focus.
- The decision to find and use a support system.
- Ability to develop and interact with new relationships.
- What went wrong with the past marriage is identified and clarified and given a positive spin.
- By working through such feelings as denial, guilt, hopelessness, and insecurity, an emotional relearning occurs.
We guide you through the processOur approach is to guide individuals and couples through a life crisis that society does not prepare one for. By dealing with the common problems of divorce, one can enjoy the satisfaction of new beginnings. Divorce can be dealt with in counseling as a means of achieving growth toward a more satisfying way of life. Today this is called “conscious uncoupling” as the divorce process is done with love and compassion.
- The skills necessary to learn how “not to hurt”, but to self-soothe and find peace of mind.
- Understanding the difference between developing some relationships while choosing to postpone others.
- The planning and adjustment to new roles such as being a single parent, returning to school, or re-entering the job market.
Make the Right Decision
Marriage Quest, led by Israel and Cathie Helfand in Cabot, Vermont, is an intensive counseling retreat designed to aid couples in making healthy decisions during troubling times. The two of us work privately with one couple at a time over a three day period. It is not a group program like workshops, seminars, or marriage encounters, but a personalized private marriage counseling retreat.