I was having dinner with a friend at The Chart House. The restaurant was surprisingly empty so we were able to get a table right by the water.
I was enjoying the view and my entree had just arrived when the quiet was broken by a loud crashing sound. I whirled around to see a chair overturned and a man on his feet, eyes bulging, body in red alert. "Whaddaya mean why can't we go on with this marriage," he hissed. "We can't even have dinner together without fighting!" Out he walked, leaving his wife alone at the table. I held my breath, waiting for what was going to happen next. Then I heard it. Sharp intake of breath. Soft sounds of sobbing, and trying not to.
My heart goes out to this man and this woman. They are both in tremendous pain, regardless of who is ostensibly leaving whom. Divorce is one of the most stressful events that can occur in a lifetime, ranking right up there with the death of a spouse.
A significant portion of my private practice is devoted to working with people who are going through divorce. From my professional training and my own personal experience, I understand the process of transition and I know how to best help people cope with all the scary changes.
There are two major phases to be negotiated. The first is working through the often overwhelming feelings of grief. The second is putting a new life together in a way that fits and supports the person you are becoming.
Let's talk first about the grieving process.
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