Divorce


Divorce in Lexington, Richmond & Frankfort KY

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Often, parents get overwhelmed in the legal proceedings of a divorce and forget that it has long-lasting effects on the entire family. A divorce does not just affect the husband and wife, but affects the entire family, no matter how old the children. Even if divorces begin amicably, it is not certain to end peacefully. The dynamic of a divorcing family is deeply complex and constantly varying, and contributes to the wellbeing of all members in the family.

Divorce, while it seems to be just the separation of the parents, is really a collection of changes that will affect everyone involved. There are often changes in living arrangements, financial situations, and sometimes school or work changes. Usually, the initiator of the divorce is more prepared for the changes, and consider them an even tradeoff for the unhappiness caused during the marriage. However, the non-initiator and the children are on less level playing field, especially if the suggestion of divorce was unexpected and surprising. Those aside from the initiator require more time to accept the situation, and adjust to the changes.

The Psychology of Divorce

Though a divorce is stressful, and often the husband and wife are at each other’s throats, there are guidelines for a friendly divorce that can help keep things calm and peaceful.

Try to figure out what happened, without blaming the other party. Find understanding in a way that is descriptive, without being judgmental. Attempt to understand how the marriage failed, by examining stresses, differing developmental stages and skill deficits.

Determine your own mistakes and attempt to fix them. Even if the marriage is not saved, working on your own faults can improve your quality of life for yourself and in future relationships.

Learn skills for collaborative dialogue and shared decision-making.

Attempt to settle the divorce amicably, being fair yet generous in the settlement arrangements.

Find good legal advisors that are experienced and helpful with mediating issues.
Seek help from a friend or counselor in order to work through troubling feelings stemming from the divorce. Bottling these feelings up will only bring you down later.

Handle the divorce slowly. With all the inevitable changes, moving things too quickly will only stir up more emotion and grief. Do not attempt to settle any marital disagreements while you are still trying to accept the divorce.

Remain hopeful for the future. There is life after divorce, and you will be able to heal and move on from your partner, in order to build a new life for yourself.

Of course, as the divorce affects the entire family, it will often feel as if you are walking on egg shells around your children. However, this is necessary in order to help them ease through the unsettling process of divorce. Though you and your spouse might have come to terms with the impending separation, it will possibly take your children much longer to accept the news, and they might blame themselves for the divorce or struggle with picking favorites and trying to make both parents happy. Though children are not to blame for the divorce, they are facing insurmountable changes that are out of their control, and it will be sometimes be very difficult to handle.

Guidelines for a Friendly Divorce

Keep in mind that your children are children. They are not your marriage counselor. They are not your divorce attorney. Though you want to include your children as much as possible with the changes taking place, do not include them in your marital disagreements. It will only cause more stress on them. Try the following steps in order to ease the stress of a divorce on your children.

Do not encourage your child to pick sides. They can equally love both parents.
Contain your hostility. Do not express hatred or argue with your spouse in your children’s presence.

Co-parent peacefully. You are both still the parents of your child, regardless of your personal relationship. You need to remain civilized when dealing with matters regarding the children.

Do not badmouth your ex or your ex’s family. This will only conflict your child as they love their grandparents and other relatives.

Agree on concerns about your children including bedtimes, homework, curfews, etc.
Take a parenting class or attend family therapy in order to make peaceful agreements about your children.

Reassure your child that it is not their fault. It is common for children to feel guilty and try to take blame for the divorce, but this guilt will become hard to bear.

Reassure your children that you and your ex love them, care about them, and will spend as much time with them as possible. Explain that you want them to be happy. Do not close the door for communication.

With over 40% of marriages ending in divorce, it is hard to remain hopeful that your relationship can be saved. However, there are many things you can do to keep the flame going, and a healthy and happy relationship is not unrealistic.

Tips for Divorcing Parents

Talk openly with your partner: Communication is key in relationships. Lack of communication makes a successful relationship impossible, and being afraid to openly and honestly communicate with your partner will leave all issues unresolved. Though talking about difficult subjects can be hard, keeping an open flow of communication and trusting your partner to listen to your concerns produces the most effective relationships.

Keep your relationship fresh. Dating is not just for twenty-somethings looking for a boyfriend or girlfriend. Dating is important to foster your love and interests together, and therefore build on your foundation as a couple. Stepping outside your routine and keeping the relationship interesting is vital for a long-lasting marriage.

Every relationship will face challenges, and every couple will fight. However, if you are having the same fight repeatedly, counseling might be beneficial. Arguing over the same thing will not solve your problems, and counseling can help you move past the barrier. Even without current challenges, counseling for the sake of marriage education is also beneficial and can foster a strong, long-lasting relationship.

Healthy Relationship Tips

There are many counseling options both during the marriage and during the divorce. Even if you think a divorce is inevitable, your relationship might be able to be saved. Handling conflict appropriately is the most effective way to avoid divorce, and it can be done with the help of a counselor.

Saving Your Marriage

Divorce does not happen immediately. Divorce is the buildup of negative emotions, failed communication, and piled-on resentment. Divorce happens as a last resort, when figuratively the straw has broken the camel’s back. Marriage counseling provides many benefits, such as:
  • Conflict resolution
  • Effective communication
  • Expression of emotions without resentment or anger
  • Learning how to be assertive without being offensive
  • Processing unresolved emotions
  • Understanding spouse and his/her motives

Seeking counseling as early as possible provides you a better opportunity to save your marriage, or at least amicably divorce. Counselors can mediate and help you work through your issues without the tension experienced when problem-solving alone. Counseling can help save a broken relationship, or can help you learn how to coexist for your children.

Seek Help: Sign Up for Marriage Counseling

Our trained counselors can help you embark on this new journey. Contact us today to start the process. Check out our Counseling Processes in order to determine if counseling is right for you and your family. Set up your appointment today.
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Lexington KY, 40509
Phone: 859-338-0466
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By Paul Dalton 05 Feb, 2016
So you live in Kentucky and only a few more weeks until spring. Everyone should be happy and feel better about that, right? I think most of us get a sense of relief and hope, and that cognitive energy to bust out of the winter season and get moving. For some, the spring can be a rough time. Depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, and relationship issues prevent the spring season from being all that it could be. Following are some reasons that these and other conditions may worsen in the spring, a few resources for you, and some concrete strategies you can implement to help yourself. 

So why do people struggle some in the spring when it should be all flowers and sunshine? 

1. Sleep
Many times the spring season causes a change in our circadian rhythm . The sun wakes you up in the am, it is difficult to keep a routine, and restlessness all contribute to the sleep problem. Our eating in the winter and spring can affect how much we sleep. Caffeine, napping, undereating, and how much we are moving, all contribute to how much we sleep. Spring likely has an effect on melatonin in the body, which aids in sleep. 

Strategies that help are EXERCISE and EATING RIGHT! If you keep moving with the help of  a tool like a Fitbit or utilize regular exercise of 45 minutes or more 4-5 times per week, you are far less likely to have sleep problems. Exercise helps you sleep. Exercise helps you eat better. Eating and sleeping adequately can reduce your stress and fight any symptoms you may have. Eating healthy keeps your mind, body, and spirit in a positive place. When your body is well, your mind has a great chance of being well too. Sounds too simple? Give it a try!

The sleep foundation can help here :  Sleep Foundation Healthy Sleep Tips
Eating Right For Spring
Here is a good link to read on symptoms getting worse in the spring: Spring Makes Symptoms Worse

2. Spring Fever is Real
Our office has existed for over 15 years now. I can tell you that March to May is our busiest time of the year, always. Bipolar disorder, marital infidelity, depression, and anxiety are the main reasons people call us in the spring. The real causes of spring fever include longer days that produce more sunshine and increased energy, changes in hormone production, sleep cycles, nutrition and diet changes, body needs, and possibly, a lack of self care. When we bust of out winter here in Kentucky we sometimes forget that it takes a little time to get our minds and bodies in shape for yard work, spring cleaning, and for many, an increased workload all the way around. Here are some links to let you know spring fever is real. 

Spring Fever
WEB MD-You Give Me Spring Fever
Wiki Spring Fever
Spring Time Bad for Depression

3. Expectations Are High

Sometimes in spring we have been thinking about all the things we should of, could of, would of done if we had lived in San Diego or Florida during our winter days. The reality of being human can set in when we find out that spring has sprung, it is time to get moving, and we don't have the energy or drive to complete our list of high expectations. Many people are disappointed in themselves and these outcomes. Don't worry about it. 

Strategies you can use include setting small attainable goals you can feel good about. Work on your list a little at a time. Make goals that regular people can reach with time built in for you to EXERCISE AND SLEEP. Do a mix of things that you enjoy and are healthy for you while completing your responsibilities. If you deny yourself from pleasure too long, that strategy is likely to backfire. Have a good balanced approach. Use a checklist that has 3 sections. One section is for today. One section is for the week. Reserve one part of the list for things your are really wanting to do. Put a vacation or planned fun activities on a calendar. Look up things you might want to do during that time online. Planning, thinking and dreaming are fine. They keep us hopeful. 

Tiny Buddha Expectations and Disappointment
Expectations at The Silent Blog
Three Ways Expectations Can Hurt You

4. Allergies

If you live in Kentucky, you know about allergies. Kentucky is known to be one of the worst states when it comes to spring and fall allergies.  Louisville is ranked as one of the worst cities in the entire country to live in due to allergies.   Many times people are unaware they are being affected. Sometimes the symptoms are less obvious than a runny nose, cough, and cold like symptoms. Many times people are lethargic, grouchy, have headaches, and have cognitive deficits. The allergic affect we have in Kentucky can quickly turn into a sinus infection, bronchitis, ear infections, and other maladies that make us mentally and physically drained. That flower below can cause us some issues! 

Get to a doctor. Take a seasonal allergy medication. Some are mild, like Allegra (please get your physician's approval before taking allergy medications) and can be taken everyday. Prescription nose sprays may help, but may also have some cognitive or mood altering side effects. Be careful, but don't suffer! Get help from an allergist if you need it. 

Allergy Resources
Pollen Map
How to Beat Spring Allergies by WEB MD
By creekmoremarketing 21 Sep, 2015

Welcome to our website!

Therapy is a great choice. It works, and I hope you make a commitment today to start. Most people find the idea of attending therapy with a therapist or counselor far more scary than the actual process itself. Here is a link that describes how the process works at our locations.

Our therapists are located in Lexington, Frankfort and Richmond, KY. See individual profiles of our therapy providers here . I hire our professionals personally and attempt to provide you with someone that will care about your outcome and treat you well. These are experts at counseling and therapy and provide services you will want to tell others about.

Our clinicians care, and you will know they are different in that respect. Providing therapy in Central Kentucky is much more than a job to our therapists. It is a profession, and a way of life.

Please let us help you today!   Contact us here   or at 859.338.0466 now.

Sincerely,

Paul D. Dalton, MS, LPCC, CADC

By creekmoremarketing 21 Sep, 2015

 In the most recent months I have watched people and family members experience the loss of loved ones. It is by far one of the most painful things we as humans can experience. Some of us try desperately to avoid this painful process at all costs. What we know about grief is, it is inevitable. It is not a matter of if we grieve but when. We all grieve differently. In realizing that most people have unrealistic expectations of their own grief process I wanted to share a few things that might be helpful. There are stages of grief defined by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross her book “On Death and Dying.” They are as follows: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. We will experience these somewhat in this order but can move in and out of these various stages. It’s important to recognize your feelings and deal with them throughout each stage.

There is no timeline for grief. The first year is tough. It’s the first time you are experiencing life events without your loved one. Be patient with yourself. Do things to memorialize and honor your loved one. Allow yourself to be sad. That is perfectly normal and expected. Take care of yourself. Rest, eat well and exercise even if you don’t want to. Do not make any major decisions the first year unless it is absolutely necessary. Ask for help and support from family and friends and if necessary seek professional help in dealing with the loss. Write about your loss. It will help sort through your feelings and will encourage the grief process to move forward. Lastly, remember that no matter how much pain you feel, you WILL survive this grief and loss.

Carrie Koontz, MSW, LCSW, CADC

Carrie Koontz works at The Offices of Paul D. Dalton, MS, LPCC, CADC in Richmond, KY. Her office website is http://www.counselinglexingtonky.com/richmond-ky-counseling-and-psychiatry/   and the office Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/pages/Offices-Of-Paul-Dalton/344785342269140

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/grief-loss/coping-with-grief-and-loss.htm

http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-5-stages-of-loss-and-grief/000617

http://www.whatsyourgrief.com/types-of-grief/

https://www.griefrecoverymethod.com/blog/2013/03/over-40-life-experiences-you-might-have-cause-grief

By creekmoremarketing 21 Sep, 2015

Last night at my son’s baseball game it was dark too early. It starts to creep up my spine every fall. Don’t get me wrong, I love a nice fall day with crisp mornings and dry air. My body does not. My mind and physical self become enemies once again. My biology screams eat and sleep. The normal everyday cognitive side says work hard and have fun and eat and sleep normally. Living in Kentucky, allergies seems to work themselves into this mix too and before long, the body starts to win out. I think I know what a bear feels like right before winter! I just don’t think anyone will let me go to a cave for 5 months, although that is where a grumpy bear belongs, right?

Humor aside, Seasonal Affective Disorder, now Depression with Seasonal Component is very real in Kentucky and many states where the weather changes are dramatic. Here is an older article I wrote to refer to:   http://www.counselinglexingtonky.com/2014/03/10/seasonal-disorder-holiday-blues-equal-therapy/

Remember the symptoms from   WEBMD

  • Feel sad, grumpy, moody, or anxious.
  • Lose interest in your usual activities.
  • Eat more and crave   carbohydrates , such as bread and pasta.
  • Gain weight .
  • Sleep more but still feel tired.
  • Have trouble concentrating.

National Insitiute of Mental Health

  • Sad, anxious or “empty” feelings
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Changes in weight
  • Thoughts of death or   suicide

What helps?

  • Exercise
  • Having something to look forward to on your schedule you enjoy
  • Lights, Custom Light Boxes, Regular Exposure to Sunlight
  • Eating healthier than average and limiting fat
  • Staying socially active and involved
  • Normal sleep including wake up and sleep times that are stable and consistent
  • Medication options that might be temporary
  • Therapy including cognitive therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Vitamin D supplements

What hurts?

  • Sleeping too much
  • Overeating
  • Isolation
  • Staying indoors
  • Lack of sunlight

If you get in trouble with seasonal depression or your mood is down, call us today at 859-338-0466 or click here   for all of our offices in Lexington, Frankfort, and Richmond KY. We offer counseling, therapy, and psychiatry services to help you be happy in the colder months here in Kentucky.

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