Relationships are Complicated; So are Divorces

worried womanDivorce is never easy.  It involves a lot of emotional pain.  It exposes hidden insecurities.  It brings up a whole host of questions for which there seem to be no answers.  It stirs up a wide range of negative and scary feelings.

Unfortunately, it also leads to isolation — or at least, perceived isolation.

Countless women are hesitant to reach out for help or to lean on a friend during this difficult time.  I hear this often in my practice “I don’t want to be a burden to my friends”, “They shouldn’t have to hear this”, or “I need to deal with this on my own”.  These statements sadden me because this means that women are choosing isolation when support, guidance and a listening friend are just what they need most.

As a counselor, many women who come to see me are very unclear about the issues disrupting their marriages or they are unsure of how to address them if they have been identified.  I work with my clients to first help them understand and validate their feelings about themselves, their partner and their relationship.  Then we dig deeper to see what’s really causing the discord.

It may be a personal issue, a concern with their spouse or communication breakdown. Once the source is identified, then we come up with a plan on how to proceed.  Relationships are complicated; so are divorces.

I hear a lot of women say that their marriage ending represents the loss of their dreams for the future – their vision of having an intact family or summer vacations at the beach or growing old together.

The end of a relationship is like a death but it’s not a permanent loss of your dreams.  Yet, according to some of my clients, they feel that divorce may be worse than death because they still have to see and interact with the other person but they no longer are with them.

It is important to grieve the end of any relationship.  There are productive ways of grieving and non-productive.

I help women grieve in a healthy way allowing emotions to flow, channeling them in a beneficial manner and escorting those emotions right out of their head.  Grief often comes in waves, but like all waves they swell, come on shore to break, and then they are gone.

If you would like to have a personal counselor/coach through this difficult process, or know someone else who would, then please contact me via email or phone 703.505.2413. I am here to help!


Michelle Kelley

Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email

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