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Marriage Counseling When You Want a Divorce

What are the benefits? by Emily Somma

Photo by Anthony Shkraba from Pexels

There’s no doubt about it—breakups genuinely suck. Regardless of why you are considering divorce, ending a long-term committed relationship is disruptive. It can signal the beginning of a rocky journey through the valleys and hills of intense and contradictory emotions. No matter how amicable you and your partner try to make things, divorce can cause high-level anxiety and stress for everyone, particularly when children are involved. If the divorce is unwanted, you may be feeling afraid, despondent, and depressed.

Even if the divorce is wanted, the idea of creating a new life for yourself can be frightening. Somewhere inside, you hope and believe things will get better in time. And you're right. Things will get better. But, at the moment, you are facing the end of a relationship you once believed in with all your heart. That said, why wouldn’t you go for counseling, even if just for you, to find out more about yourself and how you’re feeling about all the changes happening now in the deepest levels of your life?


If you’re wondering what a divorce counselor can do for you, top of the list is that he or she can help you and your partner decide whether your marriage can be saved.

  • A counselor can teach you how to listen to each other and communicate more effectively than you currently do.

  • Another advantage of pre-divorce counseling is that it can greatly help you develop a parenting plan and address any divorce-related parenting issues in ways that cause your children the least amount of trauma and emotional pain.

  • He or she can help you understand why your relationship failed and figure out if there were mistakes made that are better off not repeated.

  • If the decision still is that your marriage is over, a divorce counselor will guide and support you through these pain-filled and uncertain times while giving you the tools and perspective you need to move forward in the most healthy and positive ways possible.

  • Are you furious or bitter? Do you feel betrayed? Has your self-esteem suffered as a result of a third party's involvement, causing you to doubt yourself? Pre-divorce counseling can help you identify and work through the plethora of confusing emotions you may be experiencing, as well as teach you healthy coping strategies to get you through this challenging time of monumental change.

  • Lastly, with guidance and support from a counselor, you may be able to reduce the impact of your divorce on your children, minimize their trauma, and safeguard their wellbeing.


There is a grieving process to ending a long-term relationship. In her book titled On Death and Dying, Swiss psychologist and grief expert Elisabeth Kübler-Ross identified and described five stages of grief we go through to arrive at the point of acceptance.

  • Denial: This is not happening

  • Anger: I can’t believe he did this

  • Bargaining: Please make it stop

  • Depression: I can’t deal with this

  • Acceptance: It is what it is

Acceptance is the day you wake up and start to see a spark of light. It’s when you’re not sad or angry all the time and there’s space inside you now for healing. You reach a point where you accept your new reality and, while you may not feel like doing the Cha-Cha Slide or turning cartwheels, you feel hopeful about the future. Acceptance marks a turning point in your life as you begin to look ahead.

Getting a divorce is a difficult choice to make. Although time does heal everything, there are certain things you can do that can make everything feel a little bit better. Counseling is one of those things.



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