Bringing Up Discernment Counseling to Your Leaning Out Spouse

In the journey of marriage, there are moments when communication breaks down, conflicts arise, and partners find themselves at a crossroads, unsure of which direction to take. In such pivotal moments, Discernment Counseling can serve as a guiding light, offering couples a structured approach to navigating their differences and exploring the future of their relationship. This isn't just about fixing what's broken, it's about fostering growth and understanding. But how does one broach the topic of Discernment Counseling with a spouse who may be resistant or disconnected? Elizabeth Dougherty Thomas and Bill Dougherty, co-founders of the Dougherty Relationship Institute, share insights on initiating this crucial conversation strategically and mindfully.

The first scenario they address is when partners are still engaged in dialogue but hit a roadblock when discussing traditional marriage counseling. In such cases, it's essential to introduce Discernment Counseling as a distinct and 

specialized form of assistance tailored to couples in similar situations. By highlighting its focus on understanding rather than fixing, partners can approach the idea with curiosity rather than resistance. This gentle introduction and a request to explore the concept together set the stage for a collaborative approach to seeking help.

In more challenging scenarios where communication has all but ceased, and one partner is contemplating leaving the relationship, initiating a conversation about Discernment Counseling can be even more delicate. In these instances, reaching out via email or text can provide a non-confrontational avenue for introducing the concept. It's crucial to emphasize that seeking help is not an indictment of either partner but rather an acknowledgment of the differing perspectives and a willingness to explore potential paths forward together. Discernment Counseling is a safe space free from judgment where both partners feel understood and respected.

Explore Discernment Counseling

Regardless of the method chosen, Elizabeth and Bill underscore the importance of asserting the value of exploring Discernment Counseling with the reluctant spouse. While it may feel uncomfortable to insist, they stress that each partner owes it to the relationship to at least consider the possibility. By gently but firmly encouraging their spouse to review the resources available, partners can shift the burden from explanation to exploration, allowing the potential benefits of Discernment Counseling to speak for themselves.

In conclusion, initiating a conversation about Discernment Counseling requires thoughtfulness, patience, and a willingness to navigate delicate dynamics within the relationship. By adopting a strategic approach and emphasizing the collaborative nature of the process, couples can take the first steps toward a more informed and empowered decision-making process. Resources and professionals are available for those considering Discernment Counseling to provide guidance and support along the way.