Couples wait an average of seven years after problems begin to seek help. Bob and I can confirm many couples come to counseling stating we are their last hope before separation. One partner is usually very anxious to get help and keep the relationship together, while the other has one foot out the door and doubts counseling can make a difference.
We know from experience relationships often can be saved with the help of counseling. But unless both partners are invested in therapy they will not succeed. One of the initial stumbling blocks is the doubtful partner feels he/she has to make a decision to stay or go.
Bob and I give couples a different way to look at their situation. We frame the choice as between choosing to leave, or choosing to “stay in uncertainty and do counseling” for several months. After that time they will know whether or not progress is being made and the answer will be in front of them. This encourages people to give counseling a try and takes away the pressure of making an immediate decision.
In therapy each partner tells his/her story and each is heard. With blame and judgment left outside the door, we help partners try to understand and empathize with each other instead of focusing on who is “right.” (And who is “wrong.) When listening and understanding each other becomes the focus, managing conflict becomes easier and intimacy often returns.
We encourage every couple wondering if their relationship can be saved to give counseling a try. Separation is a huge decision and the life or death of your partnership and family are at stake.
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To Your Relationship,
Lori and Bob Hollander