We have many who attend relationship counseling online as solo individuals. This can be for many different reasons. It could be because someone just needs a soundboard for what they are experiencing in their relationship. Or they come for their own self-improvement purposes, hoping to develop and grow into a better partner.
Others struggle to navigate the world of relationships and need some guidance. And then some find themselves at the end of their relationship. The latter are trying to find some closure and are searching for a roadmap for the road ahead.
We often find that those who see the writing on the wall first need to come to terms with the relationship ending themselves. This requires a safe space and support where they can formulate a game plan that doesn’t involve immediate action or serious steps, which is often what one is faced with inside the legal system.
A breakup or divorce can be extremely challenging to deal with. But it becomes even more complicated when there are children involved. This means that any moves you make must be in the best interest of yourself and your children.
When we provide guidance and support during this juncture of your life, we do not provide any legal advice or handover to-do lists. We simply ensure that you and your children get through this process in the healthiest way possible from a psychological standpoint. And that you come out on the other side emotionally intact. So, if you are finding yourself at this crossroads, some of the points below may set you on the right track:
Accept that Your Children Love and Need You Both
You would not be breaking up if you agreed about most things or liked how the other did things. But unless there are serious issues such as abuse at play, there is no reason why you need to start a tug-of-war with the children. Please don’t get stuck on things such as a father not being able to get his daughter’s hair plaited perfectly in the morning. Or a mother who got caught in traffic and arrived at school to pick up the kids 5 minutes late.
Not only does this make the adults seem childish and silly, but the children will find themselves in a whirlpool of accusations and resentments about things that really don’t matter in the bigger scheme of things: they are receiving an education, have parents who love them enough to do their hair in the mornings, and are lucky enough not to have to use public transport like so many other kids.
Many get lost in a strange competition of ‘Who’s the better parent?” during a breakup. This is extremely unnecessary and damaging to everyone involved. Your children love and need you both.
Honesty is the Best Policy When it Comes to Children
Gone are the days when we shield our children so much that they are thrust into the real world unprepared. Someone isn’t sleeping on the couch “because the bed’s uncomfortable”. And no one is going to “visit grandma and grandpa for a while”. Children need to learn that adults can disagree or have fights but that it doesn’t signal the immediate demise of the relationship.
And it’s also important for children to learn that breakups or divorces occur, but that when it does, it’s not because of them or silly things they overheard, such as daddy leaving the toilet seat up. If there will be a breakup or divorce, emphatically break the news to the children. But be sure to tell them why in an age-appropriate way. For example, Mom and Dad don’t get along, and it’s no fun for anyone to have people fighting and being angry all the time.
Stick to Routines
There is something very soothing and safe to routines, especially during tumultuous times. Whether you’re the partner, the spouse, or the children – keeping to your routines might prove to be the ship that steers you through this storm. Try to get up at the same time. Go to work/school. Do the chores like you always do. Eat at specific times, etc. And if it’s at all possible, try to stick to these routines when it comes to the children switching between two houses.
Do Not Self-Isolate
This can happen much easier than you think; some don’t even notice it happening. Say “yes“ to social invites. Don’t use work or children as an excuse not to meet up with friends or family. Physically go to the grocery store, and don’t just order online. Go to the gym, etc.
Do not keep yourself chained up inside the house with only your heartache to keep you company. Getting out in the big world will make you feel less alone, relieve stress, and remind you that life can be beautiful and carries on beyond hardship.
Allow Yourself and Your Children to Feel
A breakup or divorce is tough. It would be very strange not to experience emotions such as anger, sadness, anxiety, etc. The only way to process these emotions is to acknowledge them and to allow yourself to feel them.
The same goes for any children in the situation. Remember that there is a big difference between allowing feelings and wallowing in them. If at any point you or your children start to feel overwhelmed by emotions, you need to reach out to a professional.
Steer Clear of Substances to Cope
One of the biggest pitfalls during a breakup or divorce is substances as coping mechanisms. During our relationship counseling online sessions, we’ve especially seen how quickly that slippery slope to addiction can be with socially acceptable substances such as alcohol.
What starts with a glass of wine to take the edge off quickly turns into a bottle or drinks throughout the day. During difficult times, we suggest finding healthier ways to take the pressure off instead of tempting fate and possibly making a bad situation worse.
Keep Your Aim on Settling Matters Outside of Court
Breakups and divorces are stressful. But the moment they become court battles, things become much more stressful, not to mention expensive. Whether over finances, assets, or custody, your first aim should always be to settle things amongst yourselves and outside of court to save you and any children involved a lot of added heartbreak.
Mark This New Chapter with Fun & Exciting New Things
A divorce or a breakup doesn’t just have to be marked by heartbreak and tough times. Get a new hobby, learn something new, or take a trip to a place you’ve never been. The best way to turn a negative into a positive is to tip the scales in favour of the happy memories you have of this time. For many, it’s also a great way to take back control during a time that’s often marked by feelings of helplessness.
Stick to Being Solo for a While
During relationship counseling online, we often find that people jump into a new relationship too quickly after a breakup or divorce. This move can have detrimental consequences for yourself and your children (if you have any). The time after a breakup is for healing, self-reflection, and self-discovery. If you don’t take this time, the next relationship will likely be riddled with feelings and issues dragged in from the past.
Vent in a Healthy Way
In most breakup situations, there can be intense feelings of anger. And, sometimes these feelings are accompanied by things that happen in the aftermath of the breakup or divorce rather than because of the breakup or divorce itself. In the olden days, people received advice such as “be the better person”, “don’t give them the satisfaction of a reaction”, and so forth.
But denying that these feelings are there or not allowing these feelings to be expressed, can have terrible consequences for yourself and those around you. Suppressed feelings can lead to sudden explosions or overreactions, increased anxiety, and more. However, expressing these feelings needs to occur healthily and in a safe space.
That’s why we often recommend during relationship counseling online that journals are kept. This provides a place where you can say whatever you feel without any real-life consequences. Another popular way to vent angry feelings is by writing letters to the person you want to address.
In these letters, you can say everything that you would like to say to them. Don’t hold back; there’s no need to be polite or tone things down – let it all out. Then, afterwards, destroy the letter.
Receiving Relationship Counseling Online Can Help Restore
As you can see, relationship counseling online is not just about restoring a relationship. For many, it can be reparative during or after a breakup/divorce. We have plenty more helpful tips on how to get through the challenging time after a breakup (with or without children in the mix).
If you have more questions about how receiving relationship counseling online can aid you in your solo journey. Or you’re already in the thick of it and would like to receive relationship counseling online, please do not hesitate to contact us via our Personal Online Therapy Contact Us page, via an email to email@example.com, or have us reach out to you by completing the form below: