Have you made plans to leave, consulted an attorney, or even filed for divorce, but hope “one last shot” of couples therapy might stop divorce?
Every day at Couples Therapy Inc. we help couples who have almost given up on their marriages. Whether or not you've spent money on attorneys, you maybe be asking yourself:
"Could it … Could we work again, with the right therapist?”
Why stop divorce?
Because there is a lot riding on your marital happiness.
And there's a lot of misinformation about the benefits and drawbacks of divorce.
Spend a weekend in a Couples Retreat. Just the two of you and one highly skilled therapist.
You may have tried weekly 45-50 minute couples therapy, like so many of our clients have. You’ve suffered for an average of six long years (1) with serious problems.
Maybe a lot longer.
Fights about Nothing have made doing the simplest things together impossible.
Coldness. Contempt. Disdain.
There is a very good chance that we can, yes. We do "miracles" like that every day.
We hold private intensive couples retreats all across the USA and in Ireland, South Africa, and in New South Wales in Australia.
We call it "Last Shot Couples Therapy" when couples have started to given up hope...but are still hanging on.
These are offered by highly skilled specialists at helping couples.
Isn't that a shocking fact?
Research reveals that the severity of your marital troubles has very little to do with how likely you are, in the end, to be happily married. Even marriages with serious problems survive and eventually prosper.
Relationships where there is ongoing physical violence are exceptions. But even in these extreme cases, 8% of violent couples radically changed the way they relate to one another, and ended up happily married 5 years later.
While there is a general cultural bias that now favors divorce when an individual is in an unhappy marriage…in a careful analysis of nationally representative data with extensive measures of psychological well-being, researchers could find no evidence that divorce or separation typically made adults happier than staying in an unhappy marriage.”
As the researchers wrote:
Many currently happily married spouses have had extended periods of marital unhappiness, often for quite serious reasons, including alcoholism, infidelity, verbal abuse, emotional neglect, depression, illness, and work reversals. Why did these marriages survive where other marriages did not? The marital endurance ethic appears to play a prominent role. Many spouses said that their marriages got happier, not because they and their partner resolved problems but because they stubbornly outlasted them.With time, they told us, many sources of conflict and distress eased. Spouses in this group also generally had a low opinion of the benefits of divorce, as well as friends and family members who supported the importance of staying married."
We can help you learn how to get the needed support from friends and family to stay together, and work out your problems. We'll teach you how to draw on your friends and relatives for marital support, and not take sides.
And don't stop divorce, only "for the sake of the kids" (which most of us disagree with). Stay for your ultimate happiness, as well. But don't assume that divorce will bring you that happiness.
...researchers could find no evidence that divorce or separation typically made adults happier than staying in an unhappy marriage...
Only 25% of divorcing couples had sought out professional help of any kind to rescue their relationship. The ones that did only saw a therapist an average of 4 sessions. This is not giving the marriage a "fair shot," for couples about to divorce. What's worse, like me, many found "All Purpose Therapists" who saw them for 50 minutes... just enough time to get them fighting, but not enough time to help them move through it. That's not evidence-based treatment.
While there is a general cultural bias that now favors divorce when an individual is in an unhappy marriage, researchers couldn't find the evidence. What a real shame considering the damaging impact divorce has on families. More...
That means 75% never gave their marriage a chance (3)
And even those who did, seldom go to a skilled couples therapist who uses evidence-based treatment methods.
"Evidence-based" means it works. Methods that have been Proven Effective.
Sadly, research also confirms (2) that 25%-30% of divorcing individuals who finished court-required classes, answered "Maybe" or "Yes" to the question:
That means the need for help should be fast-tracked. Don't put it off. Moving costs can be paid again. Real marital happiness is priceless. Take a weekend, and get the guidance you need to know how to proceed.
"Moving out" doesn't mean it's over, unless that's what you want it to mean.
Men often ask for Last Shot Couples Therapy, at twice the rate of divorcing wives. The same is true at Couples Therapy Inc.
One partner, often the wife, is usually more hesitant to enter couples therapy, when it is: "Last Shot Couples Therapy."
These reluctant wives say: "I asked him to get help and he refused!"
Then she stopped trying, got her own life in order, and now threatens or initiates divorce. Michelle Weiner Davis calls it the "Walkaway Wife Syndrome." Watch her video below, or watch more on my Knowledge Base Page. They believe, deep down, that if anyone is going to stop divorce in their marriage, it will now be their husband's turn.
Many wives tell us they feel too scared, too vulnerable to try again and risk another rejection. A wife will sometimes tell her husband: "You have the problem. You go get help!" But the truth is, it takes two to kill a relationship and it takes two to heal one.
If your spouse has refused your invitations for couples therapy, we offer as many as three free phone consultations on how to try again to talk to them about it.
Just give call at 844 - 9 - COUPLE and speak to Daniel. He's a Marriage & Family Therapist and our Clinical Intake Coordinator. Or Nicole, his assistant, can also answer your questions about the process.
Couples on the brink are facing the end of a relationship that was uniquely special to them.
They once meant everything to each other. They know a lot is riding on their capacity to work it out. If they have already separated, they now realize that this doesn't suddenly fix everything. Living apart presents its own unique challenges.
It is so painful to be in a relationship that is cold and distant. Or one that is filled with anger and animosity. It feels hopeless and futile to expect things to change.
And science tells us why:
It's called "Negative Sentiment Override." Learn more about why it feels so hopeless. More...
...here couples learn they can heal a relationships damaged by infidelity.
But you also know that if you don't give it an honest try, you will no longer remain married. It's as simple as that.
25%-30% of divorcing individuals in a court-required classes, answered “Maybe” or “Yes” to the question:
“Could your marriage be saved?”
Don't second-guess yourself only after it is already too late. Be confident in your decision-making. before you finalize your divorce.
These are serious decisions, despite the media hype singing: "I've gotta be me, without you..."
And we won't waste your time.
It all starts with an assessment, a: "State of the Union" assessment so you can save the "face-to-face" time for serious issues, instead of routing questions.
After a careful review, you will be provided with clear feedback about whether you can stop divorce, and exactly how.
We'll give you a treatment plan to consider.
Then you decide whether to move forward.
We have 5 Gottman Certified Therapists in all. That's remarkable, given how few there actually are in the world."
Because I saw a need no one was filling. Most therapists didn't believe couples would pay for evidence-based treatment, so they settled for doing ineffective 45-minute insurance-based work.
That horrified me.
I'd say: "But 45-minutes does more damage than good."
One therapist stunned me by saying:
"Ya, but I gutta eat."
I believe in the Hippocratic Oath to "First Do No Harm," and 45 -minute sessions were hurting marriages according to research findings.
So I decided to do things differently. I searched (and continue to look) worldwide to find the most talented couples therapists on the planet.
These are clinicians who believed that doing good work matters and should be rewarded. They are paid well for their services as they set their own fees.
What's it worth to preserve my family? How many different therapists are we willing to try out before we give up? How many have we already tried that were science-based or certified in a science-based method demonstrated to be effective?
I go through hundreds of resumes and thousands of websites owned by psychotherapists claiming that they can do couples therapy. But few have credentials to prove it. It's a specialized skill, and I look for someone with a passion to do this tough job, and credentialing that tells me they've put time, effort, and their own financial resources toward becoming the best at helping couples.
Every day our skilled clinicians see real progress. Couples who were about to divorce starting to work together. They identify highly problematic patterns in the way they were relating, and do things differently. And science tells us how big a difference that can make. 70-92% effective.