Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


When Your Think Your Marriage is Over, Think Again!

posted by Linda Mintle

Sarah and John were at a family dinner. During a trip to the restroom, John pulled Sarah aside and said, “I’m done. No more of this. I want out of this marriage. ” Sarah, stunned and speechless, wondered what prompted such a big decision. She, like many spouses, was unhappy in the marriage but had not gone to counseling.

According to the Gottman Institute, unhappy couples wait an average of six years to get help. And the wait doesn’t usually make things better. But should this couple divorce over their unhappiness?

Not until they’ve tried a few things first.

One of those things is something rather new called “discernment counseling.” Developed by veteran marriage therapist, Bill Doherty, at the University of Minnesota, discernment counseling aims to help couples decide if divorce is really the next step. The idea came to him after talking to a family court judge who told him that many couples he saw in court handled their divorces so well that he couldn’t really understand why they were divorcing. Doherty figured that the judge was on to something. A reconciliation service may play a role in helping couples stay together.

In typical couple therapy, one spouse usually wants out while the other wants in. Doherty built his model of help around this dynamic. He processes with couples what is good about the marriage and how they arrived at this point of contention. He also asks what they have done to try and save the marriage.

Three options are suggested: 1) Keep things as they are 2) Try a 6 month reconciliation with marriage therapy or 3) Divorce. So far, 25 couples have gone through his process with 40% choosing the reconciliation option. The rest are considering their options or pursuing divorce. Basically, Doherty is offering a service for high risk couples, giving them time and space to really talk about what went wrong, decide if the wrong can be repaired, and discuss their willingness to try options before declaring divorce is inevitable.

Because marriage is a sacred covenant, the idea of slowing high-risk couples down, and allowing them time to process their most important relationship, seems like a great idea to me. Regardless of the outcome, couples owe it to each other to think through their relationship and try to repair it. This process takes time. During that time, some may find that there is reason to salvage the marriage.



Previous Posts

Honey, Do Your Know Where My Glasses Are?
It's a running joke in our house. Where are mom's glasses? Mom, that would be me, is constantly putting them down and forgetting where they are! I don't think it is an aging thing because the misplaced glasses have been misplaced for years. Oh and this happens to my cell phone on a regular basis

posted 7:00:14am Apr. 17, 2014 | read full post »

It's Tax Day But How Is Your Emotional Bank Account Doing?
Yes, today is tax day and many of you will make that last minute run for the post office before midnight! Why? Because you don't want to be penalized by the federal government. But what about your emotional bank account?  Do you need to make more deposits when it comes to your relationships? An

posted 7:00:26am Apr. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Bully Targets Not Who You Think
A high school sophomore takes two kitchen knives to his school and goes on a stabbing frenzy in the hallway of his high school wounding 22 people. According to his lawyer,  he was well liked and not a loner. The typical bullied pattern of a loner, social awkward teen may not fit this time. Bully

posted 7:00:07am Apr. 14, 2014 | read full post »

Chew on This If You Chew on Gum
When that new flavor of gum hits the grocery store, its tempting. Watermelon sour, triple berry fruit...sounds like dessert in a stick, but what is the skinny on gum chewing? As a mom, I didn't let my kids chew gum, probably because I am not a gum chewer, so we never had gum in the house. But I k

posted 8:05:16am Apr. 11, 2014 | read full post »

#NOT TALKING TO YOU #FIGHTINGAGAIN: Tweeting Our Way to Conflict
TWEET: You didn't follow through on your promise today#madatyouagain TWEET: How about the way you responded #outofcontrol TWEET: No way. Call me @JohnSmith. I'm over Tim! TWEET: #overreacting. #outofcontrol and trying to blame me. I guess I eat out tonight! TWEET: Seriously, no dinner wi

posted 7:00:41am Apr. 10, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.