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How to Know Whether to Get Couples’ Counseling or to Get a Divorce

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Deciding whether your relationship needs professional assistance in the form of couples’ counseling or if it’s time to consider divorce is a huge decision that requires deep reflection. 

In this guide, we‘ll walk through some key indicators that might help you assess your situation better. Not every strained relationship calls for separation. Sometimes, going to a counselor is a good choice. However, it’s also crucial to identify when staying can cause more harm than good.

When Should You Consider Counseling? 

As a rule, couples should consider counseling when a minor to moderate problem is occurring in a relationship that they can’t solve themselves. If both couples agree to see a counselor, that’s a good sign that they trust one another and are willing to work things out together.

Apocalyptic relationship characteristics, like dealing with constant criticism, contempt, defensiveness, or stonewalling, are actually signs that a relationship may not work out. While counseling could be helpful for these behaviors, they may be slow going. Couples would need to be taught that these reactions don’t solve problems and often make the situation worse.

With that said, the following things are likely to be solved in couples counseling:

  • The feeling of being unheard
  • Constant verbal fights
  • The feeling of walking on eggshells
  • Trouble trusting your partner 
  • Difficulties expressing emotional needs
  • The feeling of disconnect from each other

However, there are many scenarios where hiring a local attorney, like an experienced Colorado divorce lawyer, is the best option. If you’re walking on eggshells due to the threat of physical or emotional violence, for example, then you need to speak to a professional who can help you.

When Should You Consider Divorce? 

Approximately 40-50% of marriages end in divorce for one reason or another. And while going through a divorce is emotionally taxing, it can be the right choice for the following reasons.

Your Partner is Abusing You or Your Children 

Any form of abuse, whether it’s emotional, physical, or sexual, is unacceptable. It’s crucial for your safety and mental well-being to leave that situation. Leaving isn’t always an option, but if you have the means to get out, we advise you to do so while prioritizing your safety. 

Your Partner Won’t Get Treated for an Addition

If your partner has an addiction, be it to alcohol, drugs, gambling, or anything else, and refuses to seek treatment, that’s a significant issue. Under these circumstances, you may need to think about what’s best for you. Choosing divorce signifies taking steps toward personal well-being.

Your Partner Cheated and Won’t Work Through the Affair

If your partner has been unfaithful and shows no remorse or willingness to work through the affair, this is a clear sign that your relationship may be nearing its end. Trust is fundamental in any relationship, and if rebuilding it isn’t on the table, then divorce could be a potential next step.

There’s an Unsolvable Communication Breakdown

If there’s an unsolvable breakdown in communication and all attempts at resolving it have failed, it’s an alarming sign. If you find yourself unable to discuss simple matters without arguing or feeling misunderstood, then considering divorce can be an unfortunate yet reasonable option.

There’s no Physical or Emotional Intimacy

Intimacy, both physical and emotional, is vital for a thriving relationship. If this important facet fades away completely, leaving you feeling distant or disconnected from your partner, it’s a concern. Lack of intimacy could indicate deeper relationship issues that may not be solvable.

You or Your Partner Don’t Want to Resolve Your Issues

Disinterest in resolving ongoing relationship issues is a red flag. If you or your partner no longer feel the urge to repair and restore conflict areas, it might be time to reassess your commitment. A mutual willingness to work on issues is critical and shows that you both value your union.

Your Partner Doesn’t Respect You 

Respect forms the bedrock of a healthy relationship. If you consistently feel disrespected or disregarded by your partner, it’s a serious issue. Continuous disrespectful behavior from your partner can degrade mutual trust and harmony. In such scenarios, divorce may be an option.

Your Partner Can’t Operate From a Place of “We”

In a committed relationship, both partners need to operate from a place of “we” rather than “I.” A partner who constantly prioritizes their personal needs over the needs of the couple signifies serious discord. If your partner’s actions reflect a consistent lack of teamwork, that’s not good.

Your Children Want You to Divorce

If your children express that they want you to divorce, it’s a signal that the marital discord is negatively impacting them. Kids are often sensitive to conflict and tension at home. While their sentiment alone should not be the sole deciding factor, it’s vital to consider their feelings.

In Conclusion… 

Acknowledging that your relationship may need help is the first step toward improvement or acceptance. While the decision between opting for couples’ counseling and contemplating divorce is colossal, don’t be too hard on yourself. Take the time to listen to your instincts while considering these key factors mentioned above before you make a final choice.