Couple’s Therapy
By: Morgan
December 23, 2022

“I really don’t know if I want to be in this relationship anymore. I just want to know that we tried everything we could.” I hear different versions of this statement from a new client at least once a month. It can pose a challenge, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a death-sentence to the relationship. Couple’s therapy can help.

Checking the Box

I like to call a spade a spade, and I often consider couples who come in with this type of mindset to be “checking a box”, or ensuring that they did everything the “right” way before fully arriving at a conclusion. This happens, I find, even when someone may already have already reached it in their own mind. I am of the belief that this is not an inherently negative thing, but rather something to be acknowledged in order to move forward in the therapeutic process. Bringing this up relatively early on in the process lets both parties know that staying on the fence won’t be a long-term option.

Getting on the Same Page

Without a common goal, being in couple’s therapy doesn’t make a ton of sense. In my own therapy, I ensure we are working toward a common goal fairly early on in the therapeutic process. After I am finished with the initial background assessments of the clients and their relationship, I will begin to explore goals. These may include working toward divorce or separation or working toward reconciliation. When the couple doesn’t seem aligned, I may have a variation of the same conversation multiple times to allow all outcomes to be explored by both partners. 

The Role of Therapy

Couple’s therapy can provide a variety of different roles in a scenario like this. I always recommend both parties are ready to begin working toward whatever “same page” the relationship is headed. Sometimes, this does end up being reconciliation, sometimes we simply have a few sessions to wrap up loose ends or to set a plan for separation or divorce.

On occasion, I will have one client who’s ready to start co-parenting counseling. In these instances, I typically recommend taking a moment for the other partner to “catch up” so to speak. I have seen co-parenting sessions be worthwhile when both partners are ready to accept the end of the relationship and move forward. This can be rather emotionally difficult work unless the couple has moved into a more business-like relationship.