So You Think You Want A Divorce. It doesn’t really matter how long you’ve been married. If your marriage is not a good working relationship with mutual respect who says you have to stay in it? Add abuse of any kind and wonder why individuals stay in relationships longer than they need to. I’ve been a Marriage Counselor for over 22 years and still have compassion for those who need and want to leave their marriages for all the right reasons. Contemplating divorce is never an easy decision. Even if you still love your spouse divorce can still be a viable option to your continued well being and happiness. Sometimes a relationship just runs its course.
As a Marriage Counselor, I see couples who come where one partner wants to preserve and repair the relationship and the other is leaning towards ending it. It’s obviously agonizing for both parties as they want different outcomes. In Marriage Counseling, options are discussed for moving forward. Options can include implementing the couples counseling process for a period of 6 months with a Moving Forward Plan specifically developed for the couple, Discernment Counseling where we talk about what separation and/or divorce would look like and what that entails. Sessions involve mostly individual conversations along with sharing insight about what each partner is learning in these conversations. Or the couple can remain in status quo and decide what they want to do at a later time.
Discernment counseling is appropriate when one partner wants to separate and the other wants to stay and work on the marriage. It differs from regular marriage counseling in three ways: 1) the goal is not to solve problems in the relationship, but to figure out whether the problems can be solved; 2) the process involves mainly individual conversations with each partner, since they each have different needs and agendas, and 3) it is always short term.
While in Discernment Counseling I help couples get the clarity needed about what they want from their relationships to be able to want to move forward. I help them get a better understanding of what happened to their relationship and each other’s contribution to the problems.
Discernment counseling is time-limited and can be as brief as one session and as long as five sessions. The couple decides each time whether to come back for a subsequent session. The sessions are usually 1.5- 2 hours long. Whatever the decision I respect and help the couple move towards the option selected.
Wanting to work on your marriage or believing you need a divorce is a personal choice. For more information on whether or not you want to stay in your relationship please contact me at (858) 735-1139.