Divorce Counseling – Do You Need It?
What help does divorce counseling offer to couples who are on the brink of ending their marriage? Is divorce counseling necessary? Does it save your marriage if you opt for divorce counseling?
My husband, James, and I had been married for 20 years when I found out about his extramarital affair with his former secretary (which is a definite reason for divorce counseling). I overheard his friends joking about it while they were fixing a car in the garage. Then, I heard my husband shushing them because I might be nearby.
When I confronted my husband, he tried to deny it at first. When I refused to talk to him for hours, James finally admitted to his mistake and told me that it was just one time during the early years of our marriage.
James’ alibi only angered me further, though. I questioned every word that came out of his mouth. For one, why would he go drinking alone with his secretary when he was already married, and he knew that she liked him? Guys would only drink with the opposite sex alone when they had other motives most of the time. That time, I wasn’t even considering divorce counseling. It was only divorce in my head.
I thanked God that I learned about it when our two children were already in college. They were both technically adults, making it easier for me to decide to divorce my husband that night and move to the house that I bought for myself before getting married.
I asked my best friend, a divorce lawyer, to officially end my marriage. I told her about what James did and how I felt that was unforgivable. She whipped up the divorce documents immediately and sent them to my husband because I did not want to see him again. Our kids were also aware of our situation at that point. Although they were obviously unhappy about it, they supported my decision because they knew that their father messed up.
Divorce Counseling Proceedings
My friend and divorce lawyer already warned me that my husband might not agree with the divorce at once. She was right – he contested it and filed a divorce counter-affidavit. He practically said that it was silly to throw away a 20-year marriage over one mistake that happened decades ago.
The nerve of that guy to downplay the issue! But since he filed his own papers, I had no choice but to see him during the first divorce hearing.
The divorce hearing was emotionally exhausting because I had to listen to James recall what happened back then, especially during his affair. It became even more exhausting when the judge ordered us to get divorce counseling before deciding how we would move forward.
Was divorce counseling really necessary?
What do divorce counseling experts do?
Divorce counselors typically help married couples on the verge of divorcing decide if they genuinely want to part ways for good. They also help the husband and wife realize the cause of their impending divorce and possibly resolve them to save their marriage. If it’s unsalvageable, divorce counselors step in to hold divorce counseling sessions to ensure that the divorcing couple can separate peacefully and prepare them mentally and emotionally for the divorce.
What are the signs that you should get a divorce?
- Lack of Happiness: The first sign is a mutual feeling of unhappiness.
- Negative Interactions: If you can only notice the awful things that your partner does – and vice versa – it’s possible that you need to separate soon and perhaps do divorce counseling.
- Avoidance: Avoiding the person you are supposed to cherish for the rest of your life is not a sign of a healthy relationship. You want to avoid your spouse even during divorce counseling sessions.
- Lack of Sex: Physical intimacy is as important as emotional intimacy. Without sex in your relationship for no valid reason at all, it may mean that your love for each other has become platonic.
What is the meaning of marriage counseling?
Marriage counseling refers to a type of counseling that has been designed for couples who cannot resolve their marital problems in their town. The marriage counselor practically acts as a mediator between the two until they reach an agreement.
How do you know when your marriage is over?
You will know that your marriage is over when your spouse does something, and you cannot forgive them. Forgiveness is vital to keep the relationship going. If you stay together without forgiving each other, your life will be miserable. If you plan on getting a divorce, it would be more organized to go through divorce counseling.
What questions are asked in marriage therapy?
- What are your biggest marital issues? – You and your partner can lay out every problem that you think your marriage has.
- When did the issues manifest? – This question aims to see your awareness of the problem. After all, some individuals are oblivious and do not know how to answer it.
- How can you improve your marriage? – The marriage counselor will not dictate how you can improve your marriage. Instead, the mental health professional will help you realize your problems’ roots and think of what you should do with your marriage. If this doesn’t work still, you might consider divorce counseling.
How can I regain my marriage?
This question might come up before you think about divorce counseling, which means your marriage might still have a chance.
- Control Your Critical Side: One issue that people complain about is their partner’s ability to pinpoint their mistakes all the time. It may not always lead to divorce and divorce counseling, but it undoubtedly makes the marriage dry and almost platonic. If you don’t want divorce or counseling, you need to count your spouse’s positive aspects and let your critical side take the backseat.
- Focus on What You Love About Them: Everyone has flaws – even your spouse – and it may be impossible for them to fix those during counseling. If you want to avoid divorce, you need to stop counting their faults and think of what you love most about them.
- Create New Experiences Together: This definitely helps avoid divorce and divorce counseling! Relationships typically fall through the cracks when couples settle into a dull routine. To regain your marriage, you need to be spontaneous and try new activities together.
- Nurture and Support Each Other’s Interests: Being married does not entail that you should have the same interests in life. It is best to acknowledge what your partner loves to do as a person and support them no matter what.
- Talk: Often, a small problem intensifies when couples do not communicate with each other well. If you can learn to talk as much as possible, that will be beneficial for your relationship. Don’t just talk when you’re already going through divorce counseling!
Can a toxic marriage be saved from counseling for divorce?
Yes, a toxic marriage can be saved and you can be spared from divorce counseling, but it cannot happen overnight or when only one-half of the relationship wants it. Both parties should make an effort to work through their marital and personal issues during counseling before thinking of saving their relationship.
How do you trust someone again after they hurt you?
Trusting someone again after getting hurt starts with forgiveness. You cannot fully trust someone if you are still holding a grudge against them or recalling the awful things they did to you.
Similarly, the other person must work hard to earn your trust. If they continue in their disastrous path, you may never be able to trust them again. Here, to regain trust, you don’t need divorce counseling but rather marriage counseling.
Is it better to divorce than stay in an unhappy marriage?
Some people prefer to stay in an unhappy marriage because of the kids, but a divorce will always be better than that. Divorce is better because the kids will not see their parents fighting or barely talking or forcing themselves to act happy when they are around. That cannot be good for child development.
The divorce will also benefit the adults’ mental health since they no longer need to live under the same roof with someone they don’t love anymore. Divorce will allow them to find a new love and find happiness.
Do people regret divorce?
Yes, many people tend to regret divorce during counseling, even though it is for the best. That is especially true for divorced individuals who cannot find new love afterward. That’s why counselors recommend divorce counseling before filing for divorce.
During divorce counseling, the divorce counselor mostly counseled us with the questions we were supposed to ask each other. The more my husband confessed about his infidelity, though, the more I realized that I could no longer be with him.
I could say the divorce counseling worked because my husband finally accepted that I could not be with his lying ass anymore. There was no custody battle involved after divorce’s counseling because the kids were already adults, making our divorce and counseling peaceful. Before the divorce, we agreed to get together during the kids’ milestones, such as their college graduations, birthdays, and even weddings in the future.