There are many ways that people get to this point. Lack of communication tops the list. Without communicating clearly to each other about feelings and concerns, a marriage can become mechanical.
Talking about the things that are going on, such as financial concerns, expectations, having children, how the children will be raised, and a host of other topics will keep you and your partner connected. You start to think of what’s happening to this relationship. Will it be divorce or marriage counseling?
You will feel like you are working toward the same goal. The paths you take to get there can be different, but reaching the goal together is what is important.
Trust is also a factor to consider when marriage changes. Honesty is perhaps the most important aspect in a relationship. When the initial spark turns routine, when looks have faded, trust and compatibility are all that remains.
Lying to your spouse or not being forthcoming about factors in your life can destroy trust, changing the relationship over time. To be able to trust in one’s partner completely is the most freeing experience humans can know. Jeopardizing that can ruin a relationship faster than any other factor.
Some marital problems are not as dynamic as money or trust issues. Some marriages just fizzle. Boredom can lead to finding stimulation elsewhere. That could entail having most of your social life occur outside of the house with other people, in effect, living separate lives, or it could open the door for infidelity.
Listen to what this clown has to say:
Men and women see things differently. This is fact. If you are considering marriage counseling or even divorce, you have undoubtedly discovered that. The point of views taken by men and women during arguments, the way they communicate, body language, the notion of consequences – all of it is viewed differently. Learning each other’s language is an important step in bridging the gap.
Have you noticed the pattern of issues and how they intertwine? Without communication there can be no trust. Without trust neither person is able to express themselves freely.
If you and your spouse are considering divorce for whatever reason (boredom, just plain getting on each other’s nerves, issues are at a stalemate, you feel more like roommates than a married couple, money concerns, infidelity) perhaps marriage counseling can help. Therapy provides a forum where a neutral party (let’s face it, mom is always going to be on your side!) listens to both sides of the story and provides strategies to get through not only the current issue, but also future issues of the same sort. They mediate, allowing both parties the ability to speak without being interrupted and giving both the time to say what they need to say. They also provide coping mechanisms to help you communicate better as a couple. The therapist is a sounding board, there to catch the raw emotion and help you channel it into something helpful in your situation. Couple work allows for both perspectives to be brought to light in a safe environment.
The tools you get from marriage counseling should help you handle issues that come up outside of therapy. But remember, it is a process. One session will not cure all that ails the marriage. It probably won’t even stop you from thinking about separating. But within the confines of therapy, you will be able to investigate your options and weigh them in an informed manner, rather than making decisions in anger. The process will be uncomfortable, but frankly, if you have been thinking about divorce, you have already been uncomfortable for quite some time. If you remember that you are in therapy to understand the problems and make a healthy next step, which may or may not include saving the relationship, you will benefit from the experience.
If you are having concerns in your marriage and are interested in talking with someone, be sure to find someone that suits both of you. This is very important. Both of you must feel comfortable speaking freely in your sessions or else the exercise is pointless. Speak to the counselor candidates you find. Get a feel for their personalities and methods. Confirm their credentials (social worker, counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist) and remember to check your insurance to determine what is covered. Once you’ve gathered all of this information, weigh the pros and cons of each.
Whether or not to separate isn’t something to upon decide lightly. If you are ready to take the next step in working through your issues, counseling can help you make the next step in your relationship.