By Shauna Zotalis, M.A.
Divorce. It can be such a scary or exhilarating word—depending on the day of the week or which spouse you are—the one leaning into the marriage or the one leaning out.
Thinking about ending a marriage can be incredibly difficult. Sometimes deciding to leave is not clear cut—for many reasons. Perhaps you never thought you’d be a divorcée or you have children and worry about how a divorce will impact them. Maybe you wonder if you can afford divorce. Whatever the reason—we know that divorce is a big decision with significant consequences, and it is worthy of solid deliberation before arriving at a conclusion.
When your marriage is on the brink and you are uncertain about the future of the relationship, oftentimes people consider couples therapy; however, couples therapy operates under the assumption that both people are committed to making the relationship better and doing difficult work to elicit change individually and as a couple. When you have one person who is leaning out of the marriage and one person who is leaning in, another approach that is relatively new called Discernment Counseling may be the best fit.
In Discernment Counseling, the counselor helps you decide whether to try to restore your marriage to health, move toward divorce, or take a time out and decide later. The goal is for you to gain clarity and confidence about a direction, based on a deeper understanding of your relationship and its possibilities for the future. The goal is not to solve your marital problems but to see if they are solvable.
If you’re miserable in your marriage and wondering if divorce is the solution or you really want your marriage to work and your spouse has one foot out the door, then consider Discernment Counseling. You commit to only one session at a time and it lasts no longer than 5 sessions. Discernment Counseling also provides a safe and contained space to grapple with one of the biggest relationship questions in life: “should I stay or should I go?”
Mended Families now offers Discernment Counseling. For more information visit our webpage.