Marriage is hard! It takes work, sacrifice and compromise. And it helps to have a childhood with parents who had a good marriage, which is not that common. But even if you had good roles models from your parents, you still can go through tough times in your marriage. All long-term marriages go through ups and downs. So what do you do if you’re in one of those down times?
You have several choices:
1. Do nothing. You can detach from your partner, do your own thing and hope you both let things go. Eventually things could get better.
2. Ask for a divorce. You’ve been unhappy for a while and you’re sick of feeling this way. You don’t know what else to do so you think that divorce is the only answer.
3. Marriage counseling. An experienced marriage counselor can help you work through past hurts and build new skills that can improve your relationship.
4. Marriage retreat. This is where you spend a weekend with an experienced professional, and other couples who are struggling, and work intensely on improving your marriage. You can make a lot of progress in a relatively short amount of time.
5. Individual counseling. Individual counseling is never a bad thing to do. You’ll benefit no matter what happens to your marriage.
What if your spouse won’t agree to do anything? Then you have a limited amount of choices but you still have choices.
What if you’ve tried marriage counseling and it hasn’t worked? Then individual counseling or coaching can help you make the decision about what you want to do.
There are many people who stay in unhappy marriages because they’re too scared to do anything else. And it is scary to face your problems head on. But if you have the right support, you’ll be amazed how strong you are.
Reach out if you need someone to walk with you through this journey – whether it’s how to save your marriage or how to get yourself prepared for divorce. I’m a marriage counselor, individual therapist and coach and I can support you wherever you’d like to go. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jill Barnett Kaufman, MSW, LCSW and Certified Parent Educator is an experienced clinician who helps clients discover new ways to resolve a variety of challenges and bring more happiness and peace into their lives.