Freaking Out Doesn’t Help When You’re On the Brink of Divorce

If your partner has just told you that they’re having serious doubts about the marriage, your first instinct might be to panic, defend, or placate (or all of the above!) But it’s essential in this moment to stay calm, even though it seems impossible right now. Your cool head can do wonders for ultimately saving …

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Marital Doubt: Are You On the Brink of Divorce?

People usually keep their doubts about their marriage to themselves. I’m not talking about ordinary concerns about the relationship, or even feeling stuck in a pattern. I’m talking about worries about whether or not the relationship will survive. It’s scary to think about. If you tell others, you might get unhelpful suggestions like “go with …

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How to Manage the Problems That Make Couples Divorce

Once upon a time when divorce was rare, most people were driven to it by what I call The Three A’s– affairs, addictions or abuse. Divorce meant that someone was chronically cheating, repeatedly intoxicated, or physically violent. These Three A’s are known as “hard” reasons for divorce because they represent dysfunctional behaviors that impact human …

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Who to Tell (and NOT Tell) About Your Potential Divorce

I’ve worked with people in your shoes. You want to announce to someone that you’re considering divorce because you need some support. It’s a difficult and highly emotional place to be, so let’s set some guidelines to avoid making mistakes. One mistake is not telling anyone. When we do this, it’s often out of shame, …

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A Marriage Isn’t Over Until It’s Over: Research on Divorce Ambivalence

We generally assume that when people enter the legal divorce process, they’ve come to accept the reality that divorce is inevitable. Even therapists and lawyers tend to assume that when the papers are filed, ambivalence about divorcing is gone and the only task ahead is to help couples have a constructive end to their marriage. …

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Sick of Arguing About What Defines Cheating?

Some of the muddiest waters of couples counseling are in the area of infidelity. What one partner defines as “friendship” may look like a budding romance to the other. This can lead to a lot of fights about what defines cheating in a relationship. Does it have to involve physical touch? Does there have to …

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