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Should you try counseling to save your marriage?

How do couples know when it is time to pull the plug on a bad marriage? Should they attempt counseling first before throwing in the towel?

Counseling is not a panacea to heal all marital ills. But one licensed family counselor and university professor claims that skilled counselors can succeed at keeping couples together as much as 80% of the time.

Couples who have young children might find that counseling is a worthwhile effort. At the least, if they do wind up in divorce court, they can say that they gave it their all.

But counseling can be useful when other factors are the glue holding the marriage together. For instance, if a couple has a shared business they have invested heavily in with both their money and time, they may not be so eager to split it in divorce. That could be the impetus that forces them into counseling to try to save their marriage.

Counseling can help you hold a mirror up to your own actions to see just how you might be contributing to the erosion of trust and positive growth in your marriage. Very few marriages fail solely as a result of one partner's actions or inactions. A counselor can help you recognize and own up to your own role in the demise of your marriage.

Sometimes, one spouse is far more invested in saving the marriage than the other. In these cases, counseling might not ultimately save the marriage. It could, however, bring the spouse who is unwilling to divorce to the point of acceptance that the union is irretrievably broken and needs to end.

Counseling can also show couples concrete ways to reconnect with one another. Couples can fall out of love with one another yet have no real animosity toward their spouses. Learning how to reconnect this way can rekindle long-dead sparks enough to keep a marriage intact.

There is no right or wrong answer whether couples should try counseling. Regardless, if the end of the marriage appears inevitable, both sides should seek qualified legal representation before filing for a divorce here in Georgia.

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