While much of our focus on this blog is on saving marriages, sometimes a marriage is just not salvageable. The end result is the divorce courts, and while most divorces can be worked out amicably, there are times when issues lead to quite a traumatic experience. This is particularly true when violence, alcohol, drugs and/or illegal activities have been involved.
How does one partner pick up the pieces, especially if there are children involved, and restart their lives. Post traumatic stress can be present in these cases and may require skilled counseling and perhaps even medical intervention. Unfortunately, there are many individuals who don’t show any outward signs of stress or discomfort, yet inside they are troubled and struggling to cope. These are the individuals who are prepared to put on a brave face no matter what.
While marriage counseling is obviously designed to help couples repair their marriage, it can also be useful for those needing help following a divorce. The issues are still related to relationships; in this case, the failure of a relationship. Counseling for children should also be considered, especially where violence has been a serious issue, or where visitation with the other parent has been severely limited.
If you know someone who has been through a particularly difficult divorce, try to look beyond the tough exterior they may be displaying. If you feel they are struggling to cope, suggest they talk to a counselor sooner rather than later. If you have been through a difficult divorce, ask yourself if you can really continue without talking to someone – sometimes, that’s it all takes – talking to someone.