I received the following email from one of my readers the other day:
I am a minority among my friends. A lot of my friends had their parents divorce early in their childhood. I have to admit when you announced you and your husband were doing therapy a year into a marriage it freaked me out. I am getting married in May, I have been with my fiance for over 3 yrs but yet 5 months into my parents bitter divorce I feel the need to go to a therapist.
I had a conversation with one of my close friends who didnt understand why I got so upset about my mom calling me to talk about my dad. Before I never understood the whole divorce thing but everyday I see it effecting me and the way I think of life. My question to you is, did you start therapy when you parents decided to divorce? I keep thinking more and more I need to see a therapist. I just feel like I need to justify it.
Boy, that's a loaded question. The truth is, it's not an easy decision to make. Going to therapy is hard because it means we're admitting we need help. It means we can't get through this dark time on our own. I'm a perfectionist and very Type A (just ask my husband, he'll tell you!) and admitting I needed therapy felt like I had failed. Then a good friend of mine told me it actually meant I was strong. Strong enough to realize what I needed to do to get my life back on track, to get happy. And then strong enough to put it into action.
I am also a minority amongst my friends -- none of my close friends have parents who are divorced. Often times I feel isolated and lonely in my struggles (that's me feeling that way...none of my closest friends have made me feel that way). But no matter how much support I get, my friends still will never fully understand what I'm going through. How can they? Unless you've been through a parental divorce, it's near impossible to understand the complexity of emotions a person can experience. That's why I chose therapy. I started going a few months after my parents separated (and honestly should've gone sooner). It was the best thing I ever did (and one of the scariest) -- and now my husband and I are going together. I can't tell you how good it feels to talk with someone objective about your problems. Someone who can see the entirety of the situation and who has the wisdom to show you how to get out from under it.
So don't try to justify therapy. It's not your place to justify it. It's your life and you're doing what you need to in order to have a healthy life and a healthy marriage. Kudos to you -- stay strong and remember that by choosing therapy, you're choosing to live.
Do you agree/disagree? Did you choose to go into therapy at some point in your life? If so, how did it impact you? Would love to hear comments/thoughts below. And of course, emails at firstname.lastname@example.org are always welcome :)