All too often, if a couple is considering a divorce, they don’t think therapy is worthwhile. After all, if it seems like the marriage has run its course, what’s the use of counseling? This is an emotional response and not rational thinking. In fact, most couples who consider divorce end up staying together, and it’s less of a miracle than it seems. When you invest in intensive therapy, you end up reinvesting in and reinventing your marriage. So if you’re on the fence about therapy, read on to see how intensive couples counseling can not only save your relationship from crumbling but also strengthen your marriage for years to come.
Consider Your Similarities
When couples are considering divorce, they’re laser-focused on their differences and the myriad ways they are incompatible. However, there’s a lot to be gained by looking at your similarities. Both partners want to be loved, appreciated, and desired. In that respect, you actually share similar needs and desires that have probably been left unmet for far too long. In some cases, both partners carry similar childhood wounds. These traumas can be repaired only if your relationship is solid. Counseling will help you get on the same page about what you both want and how to rebuild the relationship in order to heal and thrive.
Deal With The Relationship First
The relationship between two people is the foundation on which you can build a marriage. Regardless of the legal formalities of marriage, you will continue to have the relationship, especially if you have kids. Imagine yourself at your child’s graduation or wedding, or other family gatherings. It would be great for you and your partner to get along and make it pleasant for your children and relatives whether or not you are married. So put the question of dissolving your marriage on the shelf for the time being. Meanwhile, work on getting your relationship to a healthy place. Even if you’re convinced you’re headed for a divorce, it’s helpful to get some counseling. Couples counseling can help fix and maintain your relationship as it will likely be with you for years to come.
Considering Divorce? Know The Data
A number of studies have shown that as many as 40% of divorced couples regret their decision later. You may think that second marriages tend to hold strong, but the data shows a different story. Second (and third) marriages have increasingly higher divorce rates. The same issues tend to reappear over and over again. You may think a new marriage is a fresh start, but if you haven’t dealt with issues or past wounds, they will reappear. Problems don’t just go away with each new marriage. In fact, they can multiply with the added complexities of blended families, interactions with ex-spouses, and the like.
Marriages have life cycles, just like people. If you find yourself navigating a particularly difficult phase in your marriage, know that not only is this perfectly normal, but is also probably recoverable with time and care. Raising a family, caring for aging parents, tending to a career and managing financial worries are all stressors which can have a major impact on your marriage. For example, The Gottman Institute found that 67% of couples experience a decline in satisfaction in the first 3 years of their child’s life. Given this, it is surprising that Gottman’s research also found that on average, a couple waits 6 years before seeking help for marital problems.
How Intensive Therapy Can Heal Your Marriage
If your marriage is in trouble, it’s better to deal with relationship problems right away, before it becomes a full-blown crisis. Therapy will help you heal past wrongs, resolve conflicts and build a path forward. You will also improve your communication skills and learn strategies to effectively resolve future conflicts on your own.
If you and your spouse still feel that dissolving your marriage is the right next step, your counselor can help support you through the process. Not all marriages are built to last. Divorce can be the right solution if there’s been irreparable damage, if it’s just too much work or it’s more responsibility than you can handle. It’s important to understand your own wants, needs, goals and triggers. This will ensure that your next relationship has a better chance of being sustainable. A Marriage Quest retreat will help you put these puzzle pieces together so that your future relationships have a better prognosis.ma