Separation and Divorce Counselling
I’m at breaking point. Should I leave or stay?
Separation can be traumatic.
Communication breakdown. Accumulation of resentments. Power games. A partner may wonder, “Is it worth staying?”.
If both partners are willing to talk, sometimes progress can be made in couples counselling. This is important if you want the satisfaction of knowing that you tried everything, and left no stone unturned.
If that seems too difficult emotionally, seeing a psychologist or counsellor by yourself can help you clear your head. This may help you decide whether you can positively influence the relationship from your side of the fence.
Or individual counselling may help you assess the violation of relationship and the extent of emotional damage. This can help you decide and plan to leave it.
We want to separate and we’d like some help so we do it amicably.
Some couples have left no stone unturned and have come to an agreement on ‘good grounds’ that it is time to part. There may be concern for how best to manage the impact on children. Couples may have seen friends separate with ongoing bitterness, and they want to ensure they don’t fall into the same trap.
If a relationship has to end, there are healthy ways to do it. Couple or individual counselling can certainly smooth the process and help a couple negotiate a good understanding for how life will continue after the separation.
We have separated and we fight all the time. Can you help?
This is a complex topic. If the fighting is over intensely emotional past hurts and resentments, then counselling may help, whether individually or as a couple.
The fighting may be over kids or finances. This is really the domain of mediation. Some of the counsellors at Bridges Counselling do ‘low level’ mediation, for example, with simple parenting plans.
For anything involving entrenched differences over the children or finances, the best course is to first try a professional mediation service. The law says you must have tried mediation before embarking on a legal process, as going to court can be highly adversarial and expensive.
We separated badly. I am still in love. How do I cope?
This is heart wrenching. Sometimes a partner deserts without really explaining why. Sometimes there is an affair, suspected or known. This can trigger a range of reactions: was it my fault?, how will I cope?, it feels like my life has ended. Sometimes there can be severe mental health impacts which need managing. Sometimes it is hard to let go of the one you love – it seems you just can’t move on.
In all these cases, counselling can provide a safe place to get immense anger, sadness, grief and emptiness off your chest a little, so that you can start a process of coping and eventually seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
We have been separated for a long while. My partner wants to get back together with me. I’m unsure.
When two partners are highly motivated to work at it, couples counselling has a high rate of success.
However, it is hard when two people have different desires and hopes for restoring their relationship – especially after a long or complex history, or after one or more affairs. The good news is that even at this stage, therapy can break new ground, can clear up long held misunderstandings, and can resolve past relationship wounds.
At the end of the day, the choice as to whether to resume after a long separation is something that only the couple can make. Counselling can provide a means to make that choice wisely.