Divorce is a highly personal experience and an especially tricky time in the life of anyone involved–whether they are officially divorcing a spouse, or in a marriage headed toward separation. Our experience in the Upper Valley is that it’s common to think of marriage counseling as a last-ditch effort to save a marriage. We believe there is a clear benefit to counseling before a marriage is breaking up, but for anyone who is separated or already in divorce proceedings, this article is for you.
We’re asked many questions about the anger, pain and sadness that surround divorce, so when a former talk therapy client let us know he was already sharing his experience publically, we asked if we could share it on our blog as well. To protect his privacy he asked that we not use his name, but was enthusiastic about sharing his story so others in a similar situation can understand what talk therapy has to offer during a very difficult time. For this article we’ll refer to him as Tim.
Tim and his wife had been in a relationship for about three years—married for the last year–when the marriage started showing signs of stress. They weren’t spending time together, he felt like she was avoiding him and regardless of how many times they tried to discuss the problems in their marriage, meaningful conversations didn’t occur. Pretty soon they were headed for divorce.
After separating from his wife and moving out of state, Tim had a difficult time thinking about or planning for a future in a relationship and definitely didn’t want to get married again. In fact, he maintained an anti-marriage attitude for several years. When he entered therapy the issues he wanted to work on were: loneliness, a lack of meaningful relationships and continued struggle with the raw emotions stemming from his divorce, even though he had been divorced for almost two years at the time.
Tim’s progress in talk therapy didn’t provide a quick fix; he had weekly sessions for months and eventually years, but what the ongoing therapy allowed him to do was open the door to meaningful relationships one step at a time. Within a year he started to date again. He had more confidence in meeting new people and opening up to them.
After working through some of his concerns about relationships and commitment, Tim was able to move in with his girlfriend and a few years later they were married. Tim is no longer in talk therapy but when we discussed the possibility of sharing his story with others he stated in very clear language that in hindsight, he would not have made the kind of progress he made without the help of talk therapy. It allowed him to work through his difficult first marriage as well as professional and financial issues along the way. He’s a vocal proponent of the results of talk therapy, and believes his story is one that shows the very clear benefit of defining a problem and working toward a solution in talk therapy.
We hope this brief glimpse at Tim’s history with divorce and talk therapy helps. If you’re thinking about seeking Upper Valley counseling for divorce or any other reason, please get in touch. We’re ready to help any way we can.