Counseling for Couples on the Brink of Divorce
If you’re reading this, chances are you or your partner is in the throes of a decision about divorce. You're living in separate worlds - one of you is “leaning out” and the other is leaning in. You're no longer able to communicate effectively, and your chances of being misunderstood couldn’t be greater. As friends and family weigh in with their inevitable one-sided advice and opinions you find yourselves moving further apart further and further apart - and closer to a tragic ending.
The Leaning-Out Spouse
The “Leaning Out” spouse is the partner who first brings up the idea of divorce, usually after mulling it over internally for a long time. If this is you, it’s a painful and complex world you live in. You may or may not have felt safe enough to confide in anyone, and by the time you utter the “D-Word,” you may even feel worse. Or, just the opposite; you may feel a sense of relief now that your inner thoughts are out in the open, and divorce might seem the only realistic option. And yet you're still not totally convinced. It's no wonder you feel like you're riding an emotional roller coaster.
The Leaning-In Spouse
If you're the “Leaning In” spouse you feel blindsided and devastated. All of a sudden you're living on the brink of divorce, and desperate to preserve your marriage. You find yourself moving rapidly between anger, crying, begging, scolding, and feeling defensive. It seems like every effort to make the changes your spouse is asking for is met with coldness or more criticism. You are at your wit's end and just don't know what to do. No wonder you feel like you're riding an emotional roller coaster.
Hit the pause button
Couples on the brink of divorce are living in a monumentally hard place. The decision to split up or stay together is excruciatingly difficult and painful. Even under the most challenging of circumstances, most couples have a shared history worthy of making every effort to honor their relationship - especially when children are involved. This is why an unnecessary divorce is one of life’s greatest tragedies.
If one or both of you are thinking of divorce, but you’re not completely sure that it’s the best path, it might be time to stop and take a deep breath. Discernment Counseling offers couples on the brink of divorce a chance to hit the pause button. Think of it as a “rest stop” or even an “exit ramp” on the superhighway of divorce.
You have three choices: do nothing, end the marriage or commit to saving it
The truth is about one-third of couples moving towards divorce are not sure their marriage has to end; they remain open to reconciliation as a possibility - even after the legal divorce process is well underway. Often a marriage that is on the brink of divorce can be transformed into a better marriage than ever before, but only if both partners commit to learning the communication skills necessary to be successful in their relationship.
Discernment Counseling seeks to provide couples with the clarity and confidence to choose one of three paths: to move forward with their relationship: do nothing and stay the course, end the marriage, or commit to saving it with an "all hands on deck" effort to repair and restore it.
Research at the University of Minnesota’s Couples on the Brink Project has found an overwhelming majority of couples reported they felt more calm, clear, and in control of their decisions after Discernment Counseling… no matter which path they chose in moving forward.
If you want to find out more about how Discernment Counseling can help you better understand yourself, your role in how your marriage got to where it is, and what to do next; connect with me to schedule a free 30-minute consultation. I can answer any questions you might have, about Discernment Counseling and see if we're a good fit to help you move forward in a respectful way.