Divorce Counseling: What To Expect And What Are Their Benefits
Divorce is a setback, especially after you have been in a marriage for a couple of years. Deciding on heading for divorce is always tough hence most couples opt for divorce counseling to give their relationship one more chance. It is a form of relationship therapy where couples can vent out all their stress and problems regarding the relationship and work on it with professional guidance. In most cases where the issues are not too major, the results are quite good. It results in improved emotional and psychological state of the couple and an overall improved quality of life.
10 Pre-Counseling Questions Troubled Couples Should Ask Themselves
1. What are the main issues we are facing?
The first thing a couple needs to look into and ask themselves before going to therapy is what are the main issues they are facing. Sometimes both you and your partner are not even on the same page with regards to the issues you are facing. For example, you might think that the main issue is that you don't spend enough time together whereas your partner while having financial issues with you. Hence it is important to know what exactly the issue is.
2. Do you want a divorce?
If even one of the two partners think that things might work out, it is better to go for therapy than immediately heading for a divorce. You don't want to rush in such a big decision and regret it later. Decisions that are as big as a divorce should be the last option. If both of you are willing to work on it and change if needed, professional help might make a big difference in your lives.
3. What bothers you the most about me?
One of the most important questions you should ask your partner and even yourself before heading for counseling is what is that thing that bothers either one of you the most about this marriage. If the problems seem way too complicated, don’t stress too much because that is what counseling is for.
4. Do you trust me?
If there are trust and respect in a relationship, any other issue can be looked after and sorted. If you trust your partner, you can sort out all other differences given that you are willing to make it work. However, if you have issues trusting your partner, then it is extremely hard to keep a marriage going as trust is one of the fundamentals of a successful marriage. If the answer is negative from either side, a counselor can help restore that trust by looking at the situation through an unbiased perspective and professional advice.
5. Are you satisfied with our intimacy?
If you find that you are not sexually satisfied with your partner and if this is one of the reasons for a divorce, you should definitely go for marriage counseling. Try to find ways to bring back the intimacy and chemistry in your relationship. There are several ways a couple can spice things up in their bedroom and if that doesn’t help, counseling might!
6. Are you into someone else?
Sometimes the problem isn't you; it is the unwanted presence of a third person in your relationship. You might feel everything is good but your partner might have already found someone else and doesn't want to continue with this marriage. However, if your spouse is into someone else, this is cheating and betrayal and this case counseling might not help a lot. You need to ask them this clearly if there is no chance of working to save this marriage. If the answer is in the negative, you can suggest couple’s counseling but you can’t force it.
7. Do you want us to try and work things out?
Divorce should only be an option when both or either one of you are absolutely sure that they cannot find happiness in this marriage anymore. If there is even a slight doubt about it, both of you should give your best to try and save it. In this scenario, you need to ask yourself and your partner this question. Do I want to try to save this marriage? Do you want to try and work things out?
8. Do you feel you can share things with me?
Sometimes the only reason for a failed relationship or failed marriage is not sharing things and minor misunderstandings due to lack of communication. Before you head for marriage counseling, you should ask your partner if they have issues opening up to you. It is important to have a relationship where you are comfortable in communicating anything you want to.
9. What are your expectations from counseling?
Another important question to ask before starting counseling is what are your expectations from counseling? If you go in for marriage counseling with the intention that you don't even want to try and end things right away then nothing can help you.
10. Are you willing to change?
This is one of the most important questions you need to ask yourself as well as your spouse. If you want the state of your marriage to change, you need to be open to changes in your personality as well.
10. Post-Counseling Online Activities That Couples Should Try
1. Uninterrupted listening
If one of the major issues in your relationship is lack of communication and misunderstanding, then one key activity you should start post counseling is uninterrupted listening. Do not just listen to answer instead listen to understand your partner.
2. Write down the qualities of your partner
Whenever you feel that you are in a dead end relationship and you are all negative towards your partner, start writing positive things about your partner. List down all the good qualities in them, this activity will help you look at the good side of your partner that is often blinded by the temporary negativity going on in the relationship.
3. Conflict resolution worksheet
This is an effective way to resolve the conflict. Some of the basic rules of conflict resolution are to focus on the problem and not the person and use reflective listening in order to find a solution to the problem. You can find an effective worksheet online to assist you and your partner to meet halfway in a conflict so that both of you are involved in solving the issue at hand.
4. Give compliments
Start giving compliments to your partner. Learn to appreciate them and also do little things for them like surprise them at work or help them with their household chores. This sounds small but goes a long way and fills your partner’s heart with appreciations and love for you.
5. Ask each other 5 things you’re grateful about in this marriage
Whenever you feel things are going off track, ask each other five things you are grateful for in this marriage. This is bound to take your minds off of what’s going wrong and focus it on the bright sides and why you need to fight through this temporary phase.
6. Extended cuddling
Start spending more time together and extend your cuddling time. This is one of the best ways to end your day. Even though cuddling might sound childish but trust me when I say that it will effectively increase the comfort and understand between the both of you. You will feel more relaxed in each other’s presence. Cuddling is also known to release chemicals in your brain that fights off stress. So, cuddle away!
7. Soul Gazing
This is a great way to develop a deeper bond and connection with your partner. Just sit close together and look into each other's eyes. Try not to talk for a few minutes and just look into each other's eyes. It might be a little awkward at first but this helps a lot in improving your connection with your partner.
8. Travel together
No matter how old you are and how many years you have been together for, it is always important to have that intimacy for a healthy marriage. Sometimes we get so caught up in our daily hectic routine that we often forget to spend time with our partners which eventually leads to major problems. Traveling together can be great for maintaining that bond and intimacy because you will explore new aspects in each other which will excite you along with exploring the beautiful sights together.
9. Painting or cycling together
Another great way to spend quality time together post counseling is doing little things together like going cycling together or painting together etc. It can be a fun way to distract yourself from your monotonous life and focus on your partner and you.
10. Learn to appreciate the little things
No relationship is perfect. There will always be problems no matter how much you love and respect each other, the important thing is to learn to appreciate the little things in your partner and in your relationship. Talk to each other and try to be friends with each other more than just partners.
Marriage is one of the most important relationships in anyone's life but it requires a lot of effort too. Life cannot always be a bed of roses; you will have to give your best to make things work. If you are having a hard time in your marriage, consider talking it out with someone who is a professional. Marriage counseling helps a lot if you only have minor issues with your partner. Remember that no human being is perfect, there will always be some flaws but you need to look at the good side of your partner. If you love your partner, you can always put aside your ego and make things work.