The end of a marriage can be a relief to some people, but it can also be extremely stressful. Even the spouse who chooses to leave may experience a wide range of emotions and intense feelings that may be painful or difficult, such as grief, guilt, anger, confusion, fear, shame, and anxiety. If children are involved, the stress level within a divorcing family is likely to be even higher.
Therapy can be important for children whose parents are divorcing. Because parents may often be consumed with their own feelings during a divorce, they might overlook the emotional state of their children who may be confused by the divorce or feel guilt, loss, pain, or abandonment. Children may not be sure which parent they should “choose,” or be loyal to, and they might also worry that they are the cause of the divorce. When parents are aggressive with each other, a child may feel even more fearful, and a child who often hears his/her parents argue about custody arrangements might feel as if he/she is unwanted by either parent, or as if he/she is to blame for the separation.
People may seek help in counseling to make the transition as individuals, a couple or a family. If all members of the family are able to discuss their feelings about any issues that arise as a result of divorce, they may be able to process their emotions more easily and better adjust to the changes.