What I Believe About Marriage and Divorce
For better or worse can often mean every marriage has some rough patches. Marriages grow and change over time and this can sometimes cause people to grow apart. As a counselor, I often work with couples who are having difficulties communicating and find themselves considering divorce. In these cases, I use a counseling technique called discernment counseling. Discernment counseling consists of working with couples to help them decide if divorce is their best option, or if working on their relationship through counseling for a few months can help the marriage be healed and restored.
Based on my training with the Couples on the Brink Project at the University of Minnesota, these are the principles by which I work:
What I Believe About Divorce:
- Divorce is usually an attempt to solve a problem that people think can t be solved in any other way.
- Some divorces are necessary in order to prevent further harm in a destructive relationship (emotional and physical abuse, ongoing infidelity, addictions).
- Some divorces are ultimately unavoidable because one party decides on divorce despite the wishes of the other party.
- Some people behave destructively or emotionally disengaged enough over a long time that they lose their claim on their spouse's commitment.
- However, many of today's divorces could be prevented if both parties took steps to work on their marriage before it was too late.
What I Believe About Marriage:
- Healthy, life-long marriage has unique value for individuals, families and communities.
- Children have an important stake in the health and endurance of their parents' marriage.
- Marital commitment brings obligations to work on a troubled marriage before giving up.
What I Believe About Healing:
- Human beings have the capacity to move past anxiety, distrust, and hostility and relate to each other from our highest selves.
- Restoring a marriage must not come at the expense of one of the partners. Love and fairness must go hand in hand.
- The key is whether or not both spouses want to restore the marriage to health.
- When both spouses devote themselves fully and with proper help to restoring their marriage to health, they can usually make it.
If you are interested in pursuing Discernment Counseling, contact me or call now for a free 10 minute consultation: (212) 799-1157.
Being a registrant with Marriage Friendly Therapists means that I agree in principle with that organization’s view about marriage and the practice of therapy, as written in their Values Statement. If interested, you may read this values statement at My Professional Values