Divorce can be a difficult, even emotionally devastating time for the spouses going through the split and the children in their family. Whether you were the one who filed for divorce or your spouse took that initiative, you will have a lot to process regarding the end of your marriage.
Especially because you have children depending on you to make reasonable decisions and to put their needs first, it is of the utmost importance that you commit to taking adequate care of yourself throughout these trying times. Specifically, you may find that seeing a therapist or counselor can help you handle the emotions your divorce creates and make it easier for you to move on and focus on parenting.
Therapy gives you an outlet for all those feelings
You will no doubt want to protect your children as much as possible from the negative impact of a divorce. Unfortunately, if your kids witness you fighting with your ex or going through extreme emotional distress, that could increase how difficult the divorce is for them.
Seeing a therapist gives you a safe space where you can discuss your feelings about your marriage, your former spouse and your efforts to move on. That way, when you are with your children, you won’t speak negatively about the divorce or your ex.
Family therapy can help your children process the divorce
While you may not want to sit in on therapy sessions together with your ex, agreeing to attend therapy with your children could be good for everyone in the family. Your kids likely have very strong emotions about the divorce, which could include anger at both parents, intense sorrow and feelings of guilt.
If your children don’t have a space to express those feelings, they may start to lash out at home or struggle at school. Instead of waiting for things to get bad for your kids, be proactive. Take them to a few family therapy sessions where you and a counselor can help them unpack their feelings and develop coping skills for their future in a family altered by divorce. They could also attend separate sessions with the other parent if necessary.
Co-parenting therapy can help if you and your ex don’t get along
All the work on yourself will be in vain if your ex and you can’t interact calmly. With all of the feelings that rise to the surface during a divorce, it can be very difficult for former spouses to treat one another with respect and kindness.
Going to co-parenting therapy can help put the focus back on your kids and make it easier for you to develop a healthy relationship as you share parental responsibilities in the future. Co-parenting therapy can give you skills for conflict resolution and prepare you for the various emotional struggles your children will experience during and after the divorce.