Separation and divorce unfortunately affect many families. The stress from a marital divide takes its toll on not only the husband and wife, but also on children. Many Manassas Group therapists work with struggling couples and families.
Erin and Todd have been married for 12 years. They have 2 children, Conner, age 10 and Elizabeth, age 3. The couple’s marriage has been strained for many years, but Erin and Todd hoped things would eventually get better so they could stay together for the children and hopefully regain happiness.
As the months passed, Erin and Todd became more and more unhappy. They agreed to try marital therapy, but after 6 months of strenuous work, they decided to file for divorce. With their counselor’s help, they realized that staying together just for their children was doing their children more harm then good. Their children were feeling and internalizing their parents’ unhappiness.
After deciding to separate then divorce, Erin and Todd got their own individual therapists to work out a plan for the logistics of their separation and how best to tell their children. They signed consents for their individual therapists to communicate regularly. Erin’s and Todd’s individual therapists encouraged them to be honest with their children about their plans for separation but to leave out details of the specific problems leading them to this decision. Children should not be put in the middle of a divorce—they should never have to choose between Mommy and Daddy, no matter who overtly appears to be to blame.
Erin and Todd were also advised to seek out counselors for their children. Children’s unsupported feelings regarding their parent’s separation and divorce oftentimes leads them to suffer from serious school and psychological problems.
A couple, like Erin and Todd, who decide to divorce, faces many hardships and difficult emotions. However, each person can pass through this challenging time with solid support and guidance through each stage.
The Manassas Group Marriage and Family Center therapists are skilled in guiding couples through the difficult decisions concerning separation and divorce.