Humans are designed to love. We believe that intimate engagement between partners is the golden road to personal growth and development. We are committed to helping you achieve peace and life satisfaction in your relationships
Getting a Divorce
As a therapist working with relationship repair for the last 35 years, Dr. Paul Standal can truly say that he is pro-relationship and will do everything in his power to help couples avoid a divorce, unless it becomes clear that the trust and commitment necessary to sustain the marriage has disintegrated. He does believe that any relationship is the golden road to personal growth and development and to give up on a relationship that has a substantial regard complex established is difficult for all parties, including the children and extended family.
However, it is true that over 50% of all marriages end in divorce. Many people very much want to be married or in a long-term, committed relationship. But, for all of us, our deeper held life issues are just the ones that we carry into a relationship and which we need to confront and to learn from in order to have a positive and mutually fulfilling marriage or relationship.
Unfortunately, many marriages are founded on the need of both partners to find strength in the other that they lack in themselves. Marriages built on mutual, deep insecurity or inadequacy is often rocky and difficult to sustain. It is not unusual when two incomplete people find it hard to maintain the give and take necessary to solve problems, grow, and maintain intimacy. In order to achieve a balanced, harmonious, and pleasurable life as a married couple, the partners each must, of necessity, become whole. When two whole people form an interdependent alliance, the issues they confront as partners will be fewer and more readily resolved. They each have strengths to bring to the relationship and to complement one another’s continued growth.
When contemplating divorce, it is important to understand that each partner has a different tolerance for conflict or distress. It is often the case that one partner, due to family history, religious background, conditions of worth or level of attachment, will have an easier time accepting divorce as an option. People differ in their level of commitment and willingness to tolerate adversity. This can play an important role in any marriage. As The Kenny Rogers song states, love is knowing “when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em.”
For many people, therapy can be extremely helpful during this stressful time in their life. If and when a divorce occurs, as a therapist Dr. Standal fulfills the need of each partner to deal with their inevitable feelings of failure, anger, guilt, shame, blame and sadness likely to be present in both, but especially with the partner who feels most betrayed and abandoned. Self-recriminating thoughts like, “Why wasn’t I able to make it work?” “Why don’t any of my relationships succeed?” “Why didn’t my spouse try harder?” or “Wasn’t I worth fighting for?” are common. When infidelity or other indiscretion is involved, blame, shame and guilt are frequently present.
The effect of divorce on children is substantial. They often feel responsible for the termination of the marriage. Parents need to firmly reassure their children that both parents love them and that their welfare and love comes first. Allowing children to express their fears and sadness is essential as is minimalizing the effect of disturbed attachments on the children that come from the loss of one or other of the parents.
Maintaining family structure and scheduling is an important part of reducing child distress. Family plans and celebrations may be complicated by divorce, separation or remarriage.
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