On our Facebook page, there was a post on ‎”10 questions to ask yourself before you decide to divorce.” When I read them it spurred many thoughts that I wanted to share, especially if there are people reading this who are thinking about this very question – Should I stay or should I go?

Bob and I talk with couples about this question often since some of the couples who come to see us are deciding whether they should stay together or separate. Since the average couple waits 8 years beyond the time problems begin to seek help, that’s right, 8 years, many couples coming to therapy have little or no hope that their marriage can be turned around. Marriage counseling is the last step before walking out the door.

Here is our experience and our strong belief. The decision to divorce is one of the biggest decisions a couple will ever make in their lives, especially if they have kids. If two people are willing to commit to working on the relationship with the help of therapy in a spirit of “doing whatever it takes,” we believe any relationship can improve. This relates to the first component of creating an extraordinary relationship, which is: Extraordinary relationships are Consciously & Actively Co-Created by both partners. With commitment and perseverance, couples can learn and become more conscious of their part in creating the state of the relationship at any point – in bad times and good. Our work is devoted to helping couples do the active work needed to move their relationship to a healthier, happier place.

It is important to start by assessing where is your relationship now. Our new tool, How Close Are You to Extraordinary? Find Your Personal Starting Point is an assessment tool which has 48 questions that will help you and your partner see a snapshot of where your relationship is today, and what areas and skills you may want to develop or improve to move your relationship in the direction of more awareness and understanding of yourself and your partner, and a deeper connection in what we call head, heart and hormones.

We always encourage couples to go down the path of working on the relationship first to see what can happen with a deeper understanding before they consider separation or divorce. After all, it is a decision that will affect the rest of your life and, if you have them, your children’s.