The hardest thing to talk about in couples counseling is the issue of divorce.
Divorce is not supposed to happen. It shouldn’t be part of the plans. The two who make up the relationship are 100% responsible for making sure the marriage stays intact and that maintenance is being kept up to keep the marriage healthy.
Some, unfortunately will end in divorce before seeking any type of marital counsel.
Regardless, the issue of divorce is always heartbreaking and obviously complicates everything. The fact of the matter is that no matter the situation, everybody loses. If there are children in the picture, the loss can sometimes be devastating.
What do the stats say?
Based on the loss of a biological parent, this Canadian study drew from Canada’s National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth that concluded :
Adolescents reported more depression symptoms than young adults and girls reported more than boys.
The period of adolescents is one of the most vulnerable times in their lives. This is where they’re learning to think and decide on their own. Teens will need support in this time as they make their hormonal and emotional changes. To divorce in this time can create many dysfunctional behaviors.
Girls’ depression was predicted by loss of a parent by ages 4 to 8 years and higher self-reported anxiety/depression and aggression at ages 10 to 14 years.
This conclusion may seem surprising to some, but truly is predictable. Unfortunately for those who want to divorce, the need for both parents being involved in the marriage is crucial.
Both (healthy minded) parents together create stability for a child. When that child grows into their teen years, they’re less likely to experience deeper depressions with minimal to moderate anxiety.
Among biological mother-child dyads, maternal depression reported by mother when child was aged 4 to 8 years and 10 to 14 years significantly predicted depression for girls.
Many believe that if they divorce, they can finally be free of stress, problems, etc. This, as it shows in the study, simply isn’t true. The truth is ANYONE who gets divorced IS going to experience grief. Part of the grieving process is depression.
Both parties, I repeat, both parties WILL get depressed because that is a natural emotion one should feel after such a loss. This depression will affect the children. What’s worse? While depression was part of the grieving process the parent needed to go through, the child will show depressive behavior even when there’s nothing to be depressed about because they learned by watching their parent that depression equals “normal”, even though this is a misunderstanding of a child who doesn’t know any better.
At 10 to 14 years, child-reported lower parental monitoring (girls only) and greater parental rejection (boys and girls) predicted depression at ages 16 to 20 years.
Again, divorce comes with many consequences. The grass usually is NOT greener on the other side. You will have to deal with yourself and your children who are hurting on the inside. Even if you get divorced, your children are still going to be your responsibility!
Is there hope for my kids and I after divorce?
It is crucial that you do not even think of getting divorced unless there is clear abuse occurring. Please, seek marriage counseling as soon as you can. If your spouse doesn’t want to comply, you must know that at least you were willing to give counseling a shot. You tried everything that you can in your power. That doesn’t make you a failure.
If there is clear abuse happening and the only conclusion that’s left is divorce, there is still hope for the kids. Make sure they feel as safe and supported as possible. Answer as many questions for them as you can (remember to keep your answer age appropriate) and allow them to grieve on their own terms,as long as they don’t try to harm anyone including themselves.Grief counseling can be very beneficial for the whole family as well as all the support you can get from your Church, friends, support groups, or family.
This is not the end, and God has not abandoned you. You, and many others, will make it; you just have to get through this part. You will make it, you will!
If you contact us now, your 1st session is free!
What do you have to lose?
Finally Alive Counseling is located in the beautiful city of Brea, CA.
Individual Counseling and Couples Counseling located near Fullerton, Placentia, Yorba Linda, La Habra, Rowland Heights, Anaheim, and Anaheim Hills.