Marriage counseling is an avenue to explore when your goal is to improve your marriage and learn to cope with problems in a healthier way. If you and your spouse are having frequent arguments and one or both of you is considering divorce, counseling will either save your marriage or give you confidence in the decision to divorce. Marriage counseling for couples provides an opportunity to have open conversations about what each of you is feeling, without fear of reprisal. Often this safe environment and coaching is all you need to save a marriage.
An estimated 70% of people who have committed to marriage counseling report positive results. This was the case whether they were able to continue the marriage or not. In fact, learning to communicate in a more productive, healthy way contributes to a smoother divorce process as well. Couples that have gone through marriage counseling find it easier to pursue and amicable divorce through mediation, which is less expensive than an attorney led litigated divorce.
Will it Work for You?
While it’s true that the marriage counseling success rate is promising, every couple is different — and every situation unique. Depending on the nature and seriousness of the marriage problems you are trying to resolve, success rates will vary. And a lot rides on the willingness of both spouses to do the work the counselor suggests; each must learn to be open and honest with their thoughts and feelings.
Generally, the longer a couple is married, the more their typical communications become a repeating pattern. If this pattern involves unhealthy habits, such as constant criticism, yelling, and blaming — rather than taking responsibility for issues that come up — resetting your pattern is vital. A good counselor helps you develop a way to do just that, so you can make your conversations productive.
Timing is important as well. Waiting until you are bitter and cynical can certainly decrease the chances that marriage counseling will work for you.
What if Only One of You Wants to Seek Counseling?
Many marriage counselors will perform individual counseling if requested, although a couple’s problems are more easily addressed when the process is not one-sided. Improving communication between a couple is not very effective when only one spouse attends the sessions, or if one spouse agrees reluctantly and then refuses to participate once in the room. In that instance, it’s entirely possible that the reticent partner is already considering divorce.
The reality is that counseling can be helpful, but it’s not a panacea. When people are extremely unhappy or have fallen out of love, dissolving the marriage is often a better option. This is especially true when they choose one of the worst reasons to stay married, like not wanting to look like a failure to others, or because it’s not a good financial move.
If you do believe it’s time to part ways, The Buncher Family Law divorce attorneys in Orange County are here for you. We understand that navigating the legal process is difficult enough — doing it while going through the stressful process of divorce can be overwhelming. Our goal is to assist couples with an amicable divorce. Whether it be attorney facilitated mediation or simply representing one spouse and negotiating on their behalf with the goal of staying out of the court room, our team can help you achieve your new beginning.