Close to Divorce? Try Couples Counseling First

couple holding hands

Think you want a divorce? Consider setting up an appointment with a Cincinnati couple’s counselor to discuss your relationship, before calling a divorce lawyer. See if your marriage can be saved before you move forward to end it. Divorce has lifelong emotional, financial and family consequences. It is almost always painful for everyone involved.

Before you decide, talk to an unbiased expert who can help you determine whether divorce is the only solution.

When you are NOT ready for divorce

If you and your spouse still have an emotional connection, there is hope your problems can be worked out. Therapy provides new insight and a better you no matter what the outcome.

If you want to change the dynamic between you and your spouse then work on improving the relationship you already have.

When you are hurt or angry is not the time to begin divorce proceedings. Going into a divorce when you are overwhelmed with emotions will only create more anger and conflict. Even if you eventually decide to split up, seeing a counselor can help you see your spouse as a person worthy of respect during the transition. There is such a thing as a good divorce.

Questions to consider

  • Are you both willing to work on the relationship?
  • If one person is cheating, is this the first or fifth time?
  • Is your marital stress being caused by something temporary like a job loss, illness, problem with a child?
  • How is the discord affecting the children?
  • Is it affecting your emotional and physical wellbeing?

Discussing your answers to these questions with a therapist can help determine whether your marriage is worth working on.

Be realistic about divorce

Divorce won’t fix all your problems, and it is likely to cause new ones. Finances may get harder. You’ll have to work through grief, loneliness, and dividing up property.

Realize that if you get married again you will likely bring a lot of the same baggage with you. There will be work involved, whether you work on your marriage or work on creating a new life.

Couples therapy is often not fun; you have to be vulnerable, and talk about things you’d rather not. But bringing tough issues to light and acknowledging how they shape you can help couples bond, and reduce the fear of intimacy.

Everyone has baggage that influences how they think other people should behave. Therapy helps you understand where these beliefs come from, and why you hold on to them. It helps your partner understand you (and you, them), and teaches you both how to respect the other’s points of view.

Safety, love and esteem

If your marriage has safety, love and esteem, or can recover them, it can survive. Here are some examples:

  • If your trust is broken but both people are willing to work on restoring it, the marriage can be saved.
  • If the environment does not feel safe to one or both parties (mentally, emotionally, physically and/or financially), but there is a mutual desire to create a safe environment for each other, the marriage can be salvaged.
  • If you have no shared interests, but are each willing to develop some, there is hope.

The bottom line

All long marriages go through tough times. Yours is worth making the effort to save if you both want to save it. I can help you explore your reasons for going/staying. If you decide to work on your marriage, I can lead you in making the changes necessary to come back to mutual trust, respect and fulfillment.