In his book, Take Back You Marriage, Dr. Bill Doherty discusses the research around divorce. For example, are you aware that research states that forty percent of couple that have divorced regret the decision? Now that is less than half of couple who regret their decisions, yet still many lives are disshelved due to an unnecessary divorce. In this book, Dr. Doherty discusses that for many people, they reach a point of pain and fear in their marriage which blurs their view of your marriage and leads them to using poor judgement regarding which path to take their marriage. He lists a number of indicators that you have reached this point. From his book he lists this indicators as follows:
Has your spouse told you that they are seriously considering divorce? It is not uncommon to go through a wide range of emotions, including: anger, rage, sadness, denial, and/or fear. When your spouse has told you that they want a divorce, you are frequently not your best self. Often, in a state of crisis, behavior can become binary. Either you completely disconnect from your spouse, or you completely suffocate them. You either deny that they were serious and hope for the best while ignoring the subject, or you do EVERYTHING you can think to convince them that you and your marriage are worth fighting for. It is important that you do neither if you wish to save your marriage.
Here are a number of things you can do if your spouse has begun to discuss divorce.
What does science tell us about sex and how does this shape our relationship with our partner? I often hear from couples that their sex life isn't what it was when they first started dating and that they wish they could go back to that time in their relationship. Is it true that the best sex in relationships is when you are just getting to know each other? Actually, science tells us the opposite is true.
Are you considering marriage or couples therapy, but don't know if it's too late to save your relationship? Often, people don't know if they want to continue in a relationship or if it's time to end things. The decision is just one more thing that you have to do. If you are trying to decide between trying to make things work or ending the relationship, you are not alone.
We know that, on average, problems impact a relationship for six years before a couple seeks outside help. The research also shows that by the time a couple seeks help about 30% of those couples are 'mixed agenda couples'. Mixed agenda couples come into therapy with different goals for the therapy process. Frequently in these relationships, one person is 'leaning in' (wanting to fix it) and the other is 'leaning out' (not knowing if they even want to work on the relationship). Sometimes you have two people leaning out, unsure if they want to continue.
If this sounds like your relationship, Discernment Counseling is designed for you. Discernment Counseling is a chance to slow down, take a breath, and look at goal-oriented options for your relationship. Discernment Counseling is different from typical marriage/relationship therapy in significant ways. While traditional relationship therapy is helpful for couples where both individuals are motivated to work at making changes in the relationship, Discernment Counseling is intended to help with the unique dynamics in the leaning in/out relationship. The therapist will help you decide whether to try to restore your marriage back to health, move toward divorce, or take a time to decide later.
Unlike typical relationship therapy, Discernment Counseling is short-term and takes place for 1-5 sessions. After each session you will decide if you wish to attend another. The goal is for you to gain clarity and confidence about a direction in your relationship, based on a deeper understanding of your specific situation and its possibilities for the future. The goal is not to solve your marital problems but to see if they are solvable.
The Center for Relationship and Sexual Wellness is pleased to offer this unique, specialized service. As the only certified Discernment Counselor in North Dakota and greater Minnesota, I can help you explore the relationship paths. To learn more about Discernment Counseling click here or give us a call.
Have you ever been in an argument with your partner and wondered at what point they went absolutely mad? The person you know as reasonable is no longer on the other side of the conversation, instead replaced by someone impossible to deal with in a rational way.
If you have felt this way before, you were likely feeling flooded. Flooding happens when you are in conflict with your partner and you stop thinking. You feel overwhelmed and respond by either attacking your partner or completely shutting down. At this point, in order for the conversation to be productive, it is important that you find a way to calm down.
In this quick video, Dr. Julie Gottman describes the research behind what is happening when you are feeling flooded and what you can do when this happens.