Counselling after a break-up or divorce
Latest figures show the number of couples getting divorced in England and Wales have surged to the highest level in five years. But, after a year of living through a pandemic, is anyone surprised by news that the impact of Covid has been damaging to many relationships?
Our family lives have been transformed almost overnight. Jettisoned into new working practices, whilst perhaps simultaneously attempting to entertain and home school children, and the simple fact of spending more time in each other’s company, many of us have struggled. The reality of sudden new arrangements - cooking additional meals, piles of extra laundry, more mess and cleaning causing conflict. Familiar routines were up-ended and we were unable to see many of our social contacts.
There have been losses, cancelled holidays, job insecurity and family finances being reorganised or stretched. For couples living apart, lockdown could go one of two ways; it could suddenly mean they were spending much more time together - or much less.
Dramatic changes are known to be highly stressful and the pandemic is up there with (and sometimes causing) well documented major stressful life events including the death of a loved one, divorce, a house move, major illness or job loss.
Most counsellors have a range of experience to draw on in supporting you. As a former solicitor, I bring a raft of knowledge to the therapy room and am well versed in just how badly relationships can go wrong. My decades of observing and dealing with families in conflict means that nothing in the way of human behaviour surprises me.
Whatever the reason for your relationship failing, whether it be an affair, conflict over parenting styles, an inability to communicate, sexual or financial issues, a breach of trust, or you simply drifted apart - your counsellor is impartial, non-judgmental, compassionate and full of curiosity to help you understand the root of your issues so that you can more easily avoid repeating patterns of behaviour that contributed to your relationship break down. If you have been through a legal dispute, this can compound the stress and I understand the impact that can have on your emotional well-being and that of any children.
If you are shouldering the blame for the end of the relationship, perhaps you feel you caused the break up, you may be experiencing guilt or shame that can be incredibly hard to carry alone. In counselling, you can explore these feelings, understand them and perhaps gain new perspectives which will help you move on. As much as it is good to talk about your problems, it’s often more effective to talk to a counsellor who will be able to provide a balanced view point, without being clouded by the close involvement that friends and loved ones can have.
The end of a relationship can damage self-esteem and self-confidence. It can disrupt our sense of identity. Counselling can also help you ensure you look after yourself following your break up by offering you a multitude of strategies and teaching you new skills to help you to get through this difficult time and face the future with hope.