Leaning Out Spouses

You may be on this page because you found it yourself or because your spouse asked you to come here.

You’ve probably told your husband or wife that you are deeply unhappy in your marriage, and you may have brought up divorce. This is hard time, one you never thought would come to pass the day you got married.

But you’ve not started the divorce process yet, or if you have started, you’re not certain it’s the right step. That’s why we suggest you consider Discernment Counseling to help you make the best decision about the future of your marriage.

Are you talking with friends or family members about your decision? They may be taking sides: saying either that you should move on from your marriage now or that you should keep trying to make it work. It’s hard to know where to get an objective perspective. That’s something our Discernment Counselors can give you.

Your spouse may be making things worse by reacting strongly to your feelings about ending the marriage. This is normal—most of us are not our best selves when feeling threatened with such a loss. But their reactions—anger, sadness, clinging, promising to totally change—may tempt you to give up on the marriage prematurely in order to escape the current turmoil and stress. Discernment Counseling calms these waters and gives each of you a voice about your distress and your hopes.

Here’s what Discernment Counseling offers you:

  • More clarity and confidence in a decision about the future of your marriage
  • More understanding of what has happened to your marriage and the part each of you has played in the problems
  • A set of learnings that you can carry with you into future relationships if you end this one, and a better chance to be good co-parents if you have children.

Surveys find that up to 40% of divorced people have regrets about their divorce decision, often because they feel they (and their partner) did not try hard enough to see make the marriage work. Are there rocks not turned over and looked under in your marriage, thoughts and feelings not expressed, mistakes not acknowledged, help not sought?

In this brief counseling service (a maximum of five session, and often briefer), you will be supported, honored for where you are, and asked to look at what you would need to change in yourself to have a healthy relationship —whether in this marriage or in a future one. You can’t divorce yourself.

Couples who go through Discernment Counseling most often come out the other end more settled and confident about their next steps, whether to make one, last, all-out effort in couples therapy to restore their marriage to health, or to move forward with divorce. Our research shows that about half of couples choose the reconciliation path in couples therapy, and most of the other half proceed directly to divorce after having carefully considered their options. Divorce lawyers tell us these couples are calmer and the divorce process is smoother because of the work done in discernment counseling.

We hope you consider this new service for couples like you, on the brink. You may end up with a realistic plan to restore your marriage to health. Or you may end up with a decision to divorce that you will be less likely to regret in years to come, and with learnings about yourself that you can carry with you into new relationships.