A family is a natural living system which goes through many changes over time and through the family life cycle. There are new members entering the system all the time with marriages and the birth of children over the generations and also losses for the family when our loved ones pass away. It’s no surprise that family is usually the single most important thing in the life of any individual. Our sense of safety and belonging, of being loved and our sense of who we are is all strongly connected with our family of origin. It’s important to know and understand where we have come from and equally where we are going. Each family is unique and no two are actually the same, every family has its own unique identity and personality. Now with separation and divorce being so commonplace in our modern society, families have begun to look quite different to the traditional family of years ago. Nevertheless, they are all of equal value and importance in our lives, community and in our society.
Having said this, most people enter into relationships and or marriage with great enthusiasm, high hopes and expectations of how things will be. Some couples want to start a family and genuinely plan on keeping it all together no matter what. However, sometimes this is not the case when things just don’t work out. These individuals are often at a loss as to what went wrong and what the future will now look like. This alone can create deep feelings of uncertainty and high levels of anxiety. People are usually unprepared for the changes that will take place in their lives and in the lives of their children. They are often even more unprepared for the many issues and challenges which arise out of separation and divorce and are sometimes unsure of where or just who to turn to for the understanding and support they will need.
Separation and divorce is best viewed through a lens of “Grief and Loss”, because it is largely a grief and loss issue. There can be some relief from existing conflict when couples make the decision to separate, but most people would agree that there are considerable losses also. It can be a worrying time for parents and children and other family members also, grandparents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles.
It can be very helpful for parents who are going through this difficult process to understand what may be happening for themselves and for their family, what to expect and how best to navigate and manage all of this. With the right motivation, reliable and useful information and working with an experienced and understanding counsellor, individuals have a much greater chance of getting things back on track for themselves and for their children as their family moves forward after separation. Our families are precious and are our most valuable investment and resource.
….. a happy childhood lasts a lifetime