4 Factors to Consider in Marriage Counseling and Divorce

Many friends and clients have asked me whether they should try marriage counseling before or during a divorce. The answer depends on several factors.

  1. Make sure that the counselor is an experienced psychologist holding at least a master’s or PhD. degree and who does marriage counseling on a regular basis. They are usually much better trained and more insightful as to understanding the underlying emotional problems each party is feeling, individually and as part of a married couple.
  2. It is also important to understand that if counseling has a chance of succeeding, both husband and wife must actively participate with the goal of making the marriage work. They must also be prepared to accept that the marriage might not be right for them and to move on without malice.
  3. Be aware that there are three situations where marriage counseling will not work unless these underlying problems are addressed and favorably resolved first:
    • Ongoing affairs outside of the marriage
    • Alcohol and/or substance abuse
    • Ongoing mental and/or physical spouse abuse
  4. Couples engaged with a competent counseling professional should see at least some small incremental progress after three or four weeks in counseling. If not, then marriage counseling will probably not work to save the marriage. If that’s the case, then individual counseling is suggested to smooth the pathway to divorce.

If you have questions or are looking for advice about your specific situation, please contact me directly at 248.855.5656 or [email protected].