Couples therapy or divorce? This is a question that most struggling couples ask, and the answer really depends on a number of things. While marriage counselors can’t “fix” marriages, they can help willing couples work through their issues, start making changes, and hopefully, avoid divorce. Every marriage is different, but there are some tell-tale signs that a couple is headed for divorce. On the same token, there are also signs that a couple is ready and able to resolve their issues and enjoy a fulfilling marriage once again.

When Can Couples Therapy Help?

Couples therapy is most effective when both partners are motivated and on the same page. They’re ready to explore their problems from a different angle and really hash through their issues to reach some kind of resolution.

Both partners need to take responsibility for their own part of the problem and be willing to accept the other person’s flaws. If a couple is motivated to repair the relationship, counseling can help them avoid divorce and repair their broken relationship.

There are so many benefits to choosing couples therapy over divorce. Aside from the obvious benefit of saving the marriage, couples can also avoid having to put any children through a stressful and traumatic situation. Couples can also enjoy a more fulfilling relationship and gain the tools they need to continue growing as a couple.

When is Divorce the Best Option?

While couples counseling has helped many people save their marriages, it’s not the best option for every couple.

If both partners have no interest in truly repairing the relationship and aren’t willing to put in the effort to make changes, divorce may be the best option. Counseling is not a magic miracle “pill” that will instantly repair a relationship. If no one wants to put the work in, counseling will be a waste of time and money.

The same can be said for couples with mixed agendas. Sometimes, one partner is just not motivated to repair the relationship and wants a divorce, but won’t tell their partner. He or she sees the counselor as a way to “soften the blow” when bringing up the topic of divorce.

As you can see, there is one underlying theme here: motivation and willingness. If one or neither partner has either of these things, counseling will likely be ineffective.

That being said, a partner who is on the brink of giving up can be turned around and relationships can be healed through couples counseling. Feel free to call our counselor in St. Paul at (612) 643-1920 with all of your questions.