When you decide as a couple to attend marriage counselling you may have the thought of divorce in your mind. You may wonder if this thought will be the ‘go to’ solution that your marriage counsellor will suggest. This is a common worry, and it is understandable that you might be worried that your counsellor will have a preconceived agenda when it comes to advice or suggestions.
You may decide to come to couples counselling at a time where your communication has broken down and you feel that you need help to correct it. This does not mean that your relationship is going to end, nor that there is no hope for the both of you. You are coming to these sessions to rekindle the relationship and implement change to progress your commitment together.
However, the fear of having the suggestion of divorce posed by your counsellor may prevent you from seeking out the help you require. To help ease this fear, it is a good idea to understand what the role of a marriage counsellor is.
You will have decided on the type of marriage counselling process that you would like to use and have chosen your counsellor accordingly. The next step is to make the first appointment and then to arrive at this appointment. You will make the decision together and commit to the process both as individuals and as a couple. You are looking for help, this is good, because it means you are willing to work together to overcome the difficulties you are experiencing.
When you and your spouse or partner decide to enter into a marriage counselling journey you will be working with your couples counsellor quite closely. However, as a counsellor, they are not there to give advice or tell you what you should do to make your relationship work.
Rather they are there to hold the therapeutic space and give each of you a chance to share your thoughts and feelings in a safe space. They will facilitate you and your partner exploring the difficulties you are experiencing and allow for you both to direct the solutions and goals. This could be looking at reframing a situation, to trust building exercises, to incorporating new routines.
A marriage counsellor may suggest things to try that support what you have already brought to the table. These are always suggestions to build upon what you have raised and will be there to enhance your relationship journey.
When you see a marriage counsellor, they will be there for the both of you and for the relationship. Their role is to provide this safe space that you both feel like you are heard and able to explore the underlying reasons for your relationship difficulties.
Marriage counsellors, as a rule, do not suggest divorce. However, if your partner is abusive and you are in danger, they may suggest leaving the relationship as a method of keeping you safe. This suggestion is to ensure your safety.
If this is something you want, then your marriage counsellor can help you get in touch with the correct institutions to receive help when you leave the relationship. This is usually the only time that a marriage counsellor will suggest of leaving a relationship.
Another thought that may come up when you embark on this journey is what if one of you suggest leaving the relationship or getting a divorce? What will your marriage counsellor say then? Or what if you ask them straight out?
A marriage counsellor will use this opportunity to explore the thoughts and feelings behind the question or suggestion. They will not give their personal opinion as the discussion in the room is not about them or their thoughts, rather you and you spouse are the focus and the key to any future actions.
Whilst the counsellor has their knowledge and ability to mediate and reflect on these discussions and to help you set goals, you and your partner are the experts on your relationship and the challenges that you are experiencing. Therefore, any solutions or actions are going to stem from you and if divorce is something you mention then your counsellor will help you explore the option and the reason it has been brought up.
These conversations are often difficult and highly emotional. Remembering that taking deep breaths and speaking honestly will be in the best interest of the process. Your marriage counsellor will help you work through these thoughts and dig deeper into the underlying information. This process is what couples counselling is all about – understanding the underlying thoughts, feelings, and desires.
If you do decide on following the route of divorce, a marriage counsellor can assist the both of you through this part of the journey as well. They can assist you by guiding you through the process and helping you reflect on what is happening and how it is a affecting you. This is particularly helpful if there are children involved.
When you enter into couples counselling you will be filled with many different fears and thoughts. This is normal, and alright. This is the space to bring these questions, concerns, worries, and fears. Your marriage counsellor will be there for both you and your partner to explore yourselves, each other, and your relationship. Your marriage counsellor will be there to support you and encourage you to reflect upon the deeper meaning and requirements of your relationship.
If you are in a situation where you require this type of assistance, contact us at One Life Counselling and Coaching. We have qualified and experienced marriage counsellors ready to assist you and your spouse.