Couple Counseling Or Divorce? Is is Over?

The common dilemma of marriage and couple counseling clients. 

Couples often contact me looking answers. They ask me “ Is my marriage over?” Or “Can we really find “us,” again?” Couples come with complicated questions and my answer is “it depends!” It depends on motivation, investment in each other, and the willingness to find out if your marriage can improve. 

Common reasons for beginning couple counseling often fall into three categories. One, both partners have a common goal to reconcile their marital or couple conflict or disconnection. Two, one partner is grasping for hope while the other is ambivalent or partially accepted the end of the relationship. Third, the partner is looking for a “caretaker,” for the other partner as they have already decided to end the relationship. 

Truth be told, it is important to choose a therapist who has experience working with couples and is able to recognize the couple and individual needs. It is important each partner is comfortable with the therapist and feel a mutual connection. 

In terms of timing, it  is unfortunate most couples are “late,” to therapy. According to Dr. John Gottman, couples wait an average of six years of being unhappy before seeking help. It is not unexpected for couples feel hopeless, disenchanted, and at times preoccupied with self-preservation. 

I have often found that most relationships are not over. Most challenges are opportunities for growth and deeper understanding of each others needs that in turn reflect disconnections. A motivated couple can begin to explore their problems from a new perspective. Even the most complicated situations including infidelity have provided opportunities to heal and grow together.  It is important for couples to see conflict as an inevitable part of a relationship and working through issues requires both partners to take responsibility for their own behavior.

Couples counseling is one of the most popular means of resolving conflicts from major betrayals, reconcilable differences, dealing with unsolvable problems. 

Couple counseling works to assist couples to focus on hidden issues, fears and desires, to work on acceptance and forgiveness and work toward positive experiences and teaching emotional connections. I work with couples to determine and identify unhealthy patterns and help the couples do something about it. To create a more accurate picture of who their parter really is. Determine relational habits that affect the relationship and develop more effective approaches to communication and attunement. Let me help you turn toward one another and not away! 

Please contact me below for additional information on the couple counseling process and my specialized intensive couple counseling program. 

Paul B. Sheesley, MA, LPC, LCPC, LCADC