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

Adrian Peterson: When Does Spanking Become Abuse?
This week has been filled with reports about NFL Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's accusation of reckless or negligent injury to his four-year-old son. The incident has once again raised the controversy surrounding the use of corporal punishment. Three issues are key in this deba

posted 6:00:52am Sep. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Would You Allow Your Teen to Have Sex in Your House?
A friend of mine was having coffee with me and mentioned something that took me aback. Someone we know is allowing her son's girlfriend to live in the house with them and have sex under their roof. Neither of these "kids" are 21 and the family claims to be Christian. Honestly, I don't understand!

posted 6:00:33am Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Does Porn Affect Your Relationship?
During an evening talk show  there were plenty of jokes about pornography. And as the host and celebrity guest settled down, it was evident, porn, in their opinions, is no big deal.  If fact, many of the tabloids and even a few respected marital therapists, will tell you that a little porn is fi

posted 6:00:38am Sep. 16, 2014 | read full post »

5 Ways to Live in Financial Harmony
Money can't buy you love but it sure can make love difficult. Especially if you are in a relationship and not managing your money well. When it comes to money, here are 5 tips to live in relationship harmony: 1) Decide how your credit cards will be used when you enter a relationship. One person

posted 6:00:28am Sep. 12, 2014 | read full post »

Understanding Depression: Let's Keep Talking
This week, Janet Parshall had me on her radio show, In The Market, to talk about a topic the church and society have  a great deal of trouble discussing--depression. The phone lines were constantly lit up. People wanted and needed to talk. Emails were sent asking for help. With  1 out of 10 peo

posted 6:00:22am Sep. 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.