Why Couples Counseling is Important: A Perspective from a Divorce Mediator

In my profession, I see couples at their worst.

Divorce is pain, anger, embarrassment, failure, stress and financial ruin all rolled up into one.

So to help me get through the day, I make myself believe that couples who call our offices and seek out our services didn’t take the decision to do so lightly.

But the reality is I know from experience that’s not always the case. Some couples simply see divorce as the fast and easy way out, thinking there’s nothing they can do to fix their marriage. Never considering for a moment, they don’t have the tools or the knowledge to get the job done.

The good news is there are people like Dr. Corinne who do.

Why am I telling you this?

Let me see if I can explain what I mean by giving you an example.

When my car isn’t performing as expected, the first thing I do is call my local service station to schedule an appointment. I’m not one of those guys who try and fix it themselves or who props open the hood pretending to know what’s going on under there.

I love those guys…

I’m smart enough to “know what I don’t know” and I leave it to the professionals to ask questions, diagnose the issue and provide me workable solutions.

So how does this apply to marriage?

Well, marriages and cars actually have a lot in common.

They both need periodic maintenance, sometimes they run smoothly, sometimes they don’t and when they break down, you need to seek out the assistance of a qualified professional to diagnose the issue and help you fix the problem.

Saving your marriage is up to you

As a divorce mediator it’s not my role to force anyone who wants a divorce to change their mind. I don’t judge and I don’t take side. My role is to help two people peacefully and cost-effectively end their marriage without the use of lawyers if they so choose.

But I do personally believe before you move in the divorce direction, you should try marriage counseling first. You can always get a divorce if you and your spouse put in the work and counseling didn’t work out. But once you go down the divorce path, remember - you can’t un-ring that bell.

That’s why I personally feel if you or your spouse has any doubt about ending your marriage, you should both give it the thought and attention it deserves. And speaking with a professional like Dr. Corinne is a great way to do that.

But you have to give it time

What most couples don’t realize – because it happens gradually and often without either spouse noticing – is that it took you both a very long time to get into your current state of marital unhappiness.

Similarly, it’s not going to take just an hour or two to get things back on track.

So if you do decide that your marriage is worth saving, and you are willing to put in the work, just remember - results won’t come quickly.

Like the old saying goes “anything worth having is worth fighting for.” And if your marriage isn’t one of those things, then I don’t know what is.

So do the work, give it time and if it doesn’t work out, then and only then, call a divorce professional that can help.

Joe Dillon is a Divorce Mediator and Founder of Equitable Mediation Services; he helps client couples get a divorce without a lawyer if they so choose in Illinois and New Jersey.

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