To Divorce Or Not To Divorce

To Divorce Or Not To Divorce. 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 25 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.

To Divorce Or Not To Divorce

As a Marriage Counselor, I see couples 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:

  • Status quo – keeping things the same and being miserable
  • Move Forward with a plan specifically developed for you both. Implement for 6 months
  • 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.
  • Move on – Separation and divorce

Discernment counseling is appropriate when one partner wants to separate and the other wants to stay and work on the marriage.  It differs from traditional 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 couples get the clarity they need to help them decide what they want from their relationship 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.

During my divorce from my first husband was difficult as we both still cared about one another.Understanding my options helped get the clarity I needed for moving on.

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.


Discernment Counseling – To Divorce or Not To Divorce

Discernment Counseling – To Divorce Or Not To Divorce. Do people even know what discernment counseling is? As a Marriage Counselor couples often come into Marriage Counseling not to seek help for their marriage, but seek help deciding whether or not to stay married. No one wants to leave their primary relationship. No one really wants to leave the father/mother of their children. But sometimes, especially if change isn’t accommodated, people have to. Stacie, a woman who has been married for 21 years claims she loves her husband, but is not “in love” and has not felt the “in love” feelings for him for some time. Her husband, Kurt, states he loves her with all his heart and she is the “love of his life.” How can two people with such disparate feelings be in the same relationship and expect to find happiness? Then there’s Elaina, whose husband can be verbally abusive. She still loves him, but refuses to tolerate his bad behavior. What to do?

First of all, what is “in love” feelings? I believe Stacie wants to feel the passion and intimacy that one feels when they are in the initial stages of any new relationship. Where she feels the excitement just because he calls her and says he’s thinking about her. Where the sex is intense and enjoyable.  Where she feels beautiful and the compliments feel real. For men, they want to feel important, like they really matter where they are appreciated and feel like they are truly loved by their woman exercising their “Love Language“.

After a period of time when couples fall into a routine and neglect to do the things that are needed to nourish their relationship what do you think will happen to that relationship? Stagnation and boredom which can lead to finding other interests outside the relationship.

 Courtesy of and photostock

What is particularly important is if the lines of communication are not established at the beginning of the relationship and the lack of expressing feelings are ongoing coupled with Conflict Avoidant Behavior (where you never want to bring up a problem for fear of upsetting your partner or creating an argument), intimacy cannot continue to develop hence, the “not in love” feelings will eventually pop it’s ugly head.

Discernment Counseling – To Divorce or Not To Divorce

In Marriage Counseling I help Couples acquire the skills to effectively communicate so that they redevelop the intimacy that has been lost.  In doing so they must be able and willing to share their thoughts and feelings with one another and be comfortable with the vulnerability that comes from that process. Being vulnerable is taking a risk to becoming emotionally hurt. For most individuals this is very uncomfortable. It can be difficult at first, however, that is what being vulnerable is all about.

For more information about whether or not you want “to want” to move forward in your relationship please contact me at 858-735-1139. Please go to my website for additional information on how I work with Couples at or call me at (858) 735-1139.