The financial cost of divorce keeps going up and the emotional cost remains consistently as high as ever. When children are involved, the difficulties of the relationship sometimes don’t end but continue right through the divorce into the post-marital relationship.
An objective, outside perspective can be helpful for managing these difficulties and a counseling office is the right place to explore that option. In fact, in almost all situations, marriage counseling is an option that should be exercised before finalizing a divorce.
High Cost of Divorce
After 2008, when the financial world fell apart, people became worried about finances, many were losing their jobs. For the first time in people’s lives they owed more on their homes than they could sell them for. Times became hard and scary and suddenly couples could not afford to get divorced.
What used to be an argument over who would get to keep the house became an argument over who would have to keep the house. I remember couples struggling to figure out how they could come up with the thousands of dollars they needed to bring to the closing of the sale of their home.
As a marriage therapist during those years I saw many couples I would not have met otherwise; people hating their lives who came to couples counseling only because they could not afford to get divorced. During those years I saw many of those couples turn it around in therapy and find satisfaction in their lives. They fell back in love. The stayed together and figured out how to enjoy their lives. I earned a valuable lesson as a therapist during that time.
Couples Counseling can Bring out the Best in a Marriage
Marriage can bring out the best in people or the worst in people and the same marriage has the ability to do either.
When couples come into my office for counseling, their marriage is usually bringing out the worst in them. They are in pain and finding it impossible to be a good partner. The good news though, is during 15 plus years of couples counseling I have seen so many couples come in while experiencing the worst and over the weeks of meeting find the way for their marriage to instead bring out the best in them.
A relationship that is bringing out the worst in partners is unbearable and intolerable. A relationship that is bringing out the best in partners is enjoyable and self-sustaining. What I have observed is that once that shift is made from bringing out the worst to bringing out the best, couples find it possible to not end up shifting back. In fact, they like the feeling of the changed relationship so much they wouldn’t dream of reverting back. I believe that is what makes this sort of change a lasting one.
If you are on the verge of divorce, if your marriage seems to be bringing out the worst in you and your partner, then give couples counseling a try. Even if you are in-between filing and finalizing your divorce make that call. Get into a counselor. Work with them to find that way to turn it around, keep your family together and enjoy life in a brand new way. If you find that is not achievable, at the very least, you can find a way to be civil with each other and treat each other with respect and you will know you did all you could as your marriage ended.
If you are in West Michigan call the GR Therapy Group. We can help. Many of our staff are highly skilled and enthusiastic about working with couples. If you are reading this in some other part of the country, then dare to ask around. Try to find a referral from somebody you trust who had a great experience with a couples counselor in your area. Going into counseling with the confidence of a good referral can be a big help.
I’ve come to believe that falling out of love and wondering if you should stay in your marriage is a natural part of the cycle of relationships. I also think that cycle ends up occurring in almost every marriage. What I know for sure is that couples who struggle through that difficult time and make it through emerge on the other side in a relationship that is satisfying and rewarding in ways they never could have imagine existed.