Discernment Counseling - Should you stay or should you go?
Discernment counseling can help couples decide to stay married or divorce which can be the most difficult and emotionally draining of all life experiences.
Marriage is a rocky road. Without the tools to understand each other, tempers flare, mean things are said, emotions go out of control. Sometimes, staying together is too difficult to contemplate and ending is too exhausting and scary to visualize.
What to do? There are children to worry about, mortgages to pay, families, friends and in laws to consider, staying or divorcing both seem to difficult to comprehend.
Sometimes one of the partners wants to stay, and one partner wants to continue to work things out. In Discernment Counseling we work with mixed feeling couples to come to an agreement, no matter how difficult. Processing and clarifying feelings and issues, allow couples to come to an understanding that sometimes it may be better to end a marriage rather than stay stuck and move forward.
With short term Discernment Counseling, we work on these areas to get both partners out of being stuck and try to move forward. Either they will decide to continue to work on their marriage in couple therapy, have a controlled separation, or get divorced.
After a long and difficult relationship, no matter how much both of the partners have tried to make it work, you both decide that it is time to separate. Separation or uncoupling can take many different forms. It can be a temporary separation, or what I call, a controlled separation.
During the time that the couple are separated, they continue to come to couples counseling, work on their marriage, and have weekly dates.
A controlled separation is a non-legal separation, where the partners make their own contract and rules about the separation. It is most effective when the partners decide they need a break from the constant emotionality in the home, but still want to work on their marriage in therapy. Sometimes the break gives each partner the space to see things more clearly.
Divorce is usually the last and final declaration that the legal relationship has ended. If you have children together, your emotional relationship can last a lifetime. Divorce is one of the most stressful times in the lives of the couple and children. Lawyers are more focused on the divorce and financial assets than the welfare of the partners and children. In therapy I provide a safe place to allow open discussion. The ability to make agreements out of the court system may even help you to save money. Most couples want to consider their family and assets more than their lawyers do, and they should!
The divorce can make you really dislike your ex spouse if it is done in a nasty way. Sometimes, after the dust settles, underneath all that anger is the close and warm feelings that were always there. Some couples decide not to divorce. I have even had couples that decided to remarry after the divorce.
If you are thinking about separating or divorcing, Discernment Counseling might be right for you.