Have you seen the media reports that the number of people seeking information about divorce has spiked during the pandemic? While divorce tends to have negative connotations, often thought of as a sad and traumatic experience, that’s not always true. For a lot of people, separation or divorce means finding relief.
It seems the pandemic has created a shift around the way people think about relationships and couples therapy. It used to be that couples would enter into therapy together with the automatic assumption that the goal is to save the relationship, no matter what. Interestingly, what we are seeing at Kennedy Counseling is couples really taking the time to discern what outcome is actually going to be the best for them.
The practice of discernment can be hugely beneficial as couples attempt to navigate tough choices. Discernment is all about slowing down to assess values, what got you to the point of having to make a decision, and can help you gain clarity before moving forward. It may include assessing the current state of the relationship, how it came to be, and what feelings are involved. With that information out in the open, couples are better equipped to make an informed decision about the best course of action. For something that is a life-altering decision, it helps to weigh the options and ramifications in an intentional space with professional support.
At the end of the day, building the kind of life you want to live–with or without your partner–is the goal. Sometimes that means accepting that separation is the best path, rather than trying to force a relationship to work when it is causing pain.
Supported discernment takes the pressure off of couples as they start their couples therapy journey. As long as there is openness and intentional alignment with your values/goals, there can be hope for an outcome that feels well thought out and healthy, even if it’s hard.
As always, we are here to support you through all seasons of your life, especially the difficult ones.