DISCERNMENT COUNSELING CAN HELP
4 Signs Your Marriage or Relationship is in Trouble:
- CONFLICT: You and your partner argue a lot. You fight the same fight over and over again. There’s a lack of mutual respect. There’s little interest in listening carefully to the other and in managing conflict. Instead of sharing your concerns and working together toward a solution, one or both of you is dismissive, shutting down communication or engaging in eye-rolling or other dysfunctional behaviors meant to signal contempt and cause injury. Neither one of you is satisfied at the conclusion of your arguments. It never feels as if something was resolved. There’s no sense of having been heard and understood. The marital problems feel chronic and unable to be fixed. You feel blamed, resentful and lonely.
- EMOTIONAL INTIMACY: Neither you nor your partner consider the other to be a friend. You feel little admiration or affection for each other. Rather, you are quick to blame each other and quick to complain about each other. You don’t share intimate details about your hopes or dreams. You don’t feel your partner knows you deeply, understands you, or has compassion for you. You turn away from each other and spend less and less time together in shared activities. There’s a lack of trust and commitment. You seek companionship, connection, and affirmation from others. Perhaps one or both of you fantasizes about an affair, or has started an affair. It seems that you don’t have anything in common anymore. You’re sad that your marriage or relationship feels so empty.
- SEXUAL INTIMACY: The sex is bad—for any number of reasons. There’s no feeling involved; it’s mechanical and lacks passion and sensuality; it’s too infrequent—or, there’s not enough sex or it’s not pleasurable—you don’t feel aroused by your partner anymore or you don’t feel attracted to your partner. You’re turned off. The lack of emotional intimacy has affected your sex life. Either you or your partner has had an affair or there’s been infidelity in the marriage. You’re in a sex-less marriage; you and your partner haven’t had sex in a long time and you can’t figure out how to re-start your sex life again. You’re frustrated and feeling lonely.
- FAMILY & FRIENDS: You don’t like his and he doesn’t like yours. You socialize separately. Perhaps it started as a once-in-a-while solution, but now it’s the norm. You each go your own way. There’s little shared activity and little common ground. You don’t feel your partner is truly interested in sharing your life with you. You have little to say to each other. You’ve tried to reach out but have felt rejected. You don’t feel valued or cherished. You don’t feel important. With daily activities and with important events or situations, you don’t feel supported or part of a team. The marriage is not a partnership; you don’t work together. You feel alone, confused, angry and sad.
DISCERNMENT COUNSELING Helps Couples Decide What to do Next:
- Do Nothing
- Proceed Toward Divorce
- Engage in an Intensive Period of Reconciliation Counseling for a Limited Period To See Whether the Marriage Can Be Saved
DISCERNMENT COUNSELING Helps Couples Even When They Don’t Agree:
- Discernment Counseling treats both partners but doesn’t force any outcome
- Discernment Counseling works with conflicted couples
- Discernment Counseling is not marriage counseling