Relationship or couples counseling is often the last step for marriages on the verge of divorce. Some couples are proactive and start counseling at the first sign of problems in their relationship. Counseling is something that couples should not be afraid to try, no matter how small the problem may seem. Catching small problems early with counseling can prevent bigger problems down the road and can sometimes prevent a future divorce.
It is no longer uncommon for marriages of 30 or 40 years to end in divorce which is a shame as often times these couples have not been open to counseling and they will never know if their marriage could have been saved. Baby Boomers seem more eager to try new things, which makes counseling a good option.
Whether you’ve been in the relationship for 3 months, 3 years or two decades. It’s never too late to try counseling to resolve problems. And it’s never too late to try to keep small problems from becoming big ones. If the relationship is relatively new, you might think that you’re admitting to problems and admitting that the relationship is rocky by suggesting counseling. But that’s not true. By facing any obstacles now, you’re making the relationship stronger in the long run.
Although every marriage has its ups and downs and many problems can be worked through, sometimes a divorce is the only logical choice and holding on pointlessly can be damaging and unhealthy. Once divorce is inevitable, and while it is one of the most painful and distressful points in a couples relationship, it does not have to be the destructive and costly experience that we have all heard about.
As with couples counseling where therapists seek to guide couples to a healthier future, a professional Divorce Mediator seeks to helps to facilitate and guide couples through the end of their marriage to a future that considers parenting plans, asset disposition, expense management and all of the unique and important particulars of the couple and their children. While the marriage may be ending, the responsibilities that come with parenting need to survive the marriage and mediation helps couples to to achieve this rather than leaving these delicate affairs in the hands of the court system.
It is so true, from my 30 years of specializing in Relationship and Trauma issues, that couples put off the possibility of repair to their relationships for a number of reasons. Many people cannot imagine how someone else could solve their problems. People are also quite private and don’t want their business “out there.” Research says that couples usually seek help long after their problems have surfaced and the time is often six years into their marriage.
We don’t know what we don’t know. A professional who has been trained to see the big picture of the complexities of relationship, can sit in front of a couple and begin to formulate their individual styles of relating, the unconscious patterns which dictate their behaviors and their perceptions, the years of resentment which have built over time, often because of unrealistic expectations – “He should know what I want.” “She never initiates sex” And on and on.
They often come to me having engaged in affairs or compulsions which are damaging to themselves and deeply damaging to their partners. I help couples move beyond betrayals and pain into loving, respectful communication and do deep healing through what I call the “magic” of EMDR which is a researched and well validated process that goes into the core of painful issues and memories and brings clarity and relief
Healthy relationships with revived trust, fun, sex, honesty are born – better equiped to last through the challenges of life. Now you are really with your best friend who knows and honors you and your bond.
And, if this is not the result, and couples decide from a solid place that they can no longer live with each other, then I assist in the respectful ending of their marriage, keeping in mind the children – adult or young – who will suffer from this ending.
When you think of this holiday season, and you look over the last year, does your marriage need a “check up?” This is your one life and I suggest you honor it and yourself by seeking an opportunity to nurture and g row this sacred commitment you made to each other.