Discernment Counseling Anyone? Prefer Mixed Agenda Counseling Then?

Husband and Wife aren’t getting along.

Husband is kind of oblivious. Wife has pretty much made up her mind that she wants out.

What to do?

In years gone by, Wife might have suggested marital relationship counseling. And Husband very likely would have rejected the suggestion.

Today, Wife has another option, and it doesn’t require Husband’s participation, let alone commitment. It’s called discernment counseling (or mixed agenda counseling), and it’s a new concept.

And the purpose of it is to help Wife, the unhappy spouse in this instance, assess her options, including staying with Husband, and figure out what she really wants to do. On their own, on average, couples are stuck in an unhappy limbo for about six years.

Research shows that a significant percentage of divorcing spouses, maybe as many as thirty percent of individual spouses and both spouses in ten percent of divorcing couples, are open to reconciliation – and would avail themselves of a “reconciliation service” if one were provided through the divorce court system.

If desired, discernment counseling also facilitates coping by the spouse who wants to stay married.

Based on a small sampling of discernment couneling “patients”, forty percent opt to give reconciliation, utilizing marriage counseling, a try.

Marriage counselors advise:

  • Bring up the subject of divorce early, rather than late, to open the lines of communication up before a decision to divorce is set in stone

  • Give marriage counseling a shot if there is any conceivable chance of saving your marriage

  • Allow your spouse the courtesy of reacting and responding

  • Separate gradually

Read more in this Wall Street Journal article: When It’s Just Another Fight, and When It’s Over