Do marriage counselors ever tell a couple they are better off to split up??
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Do marriage counselors ever tell a couple they are better off to split up??

I've been married 30 years with two grown children. In those thirty years we have had sex maybe a dozen times and almost no physical contact for the last 20 years. My wife is a good person, and we have focused on being good parents. The children have left the house a year ago and the lack of affection has really come into stark contrast. I've come to resent the lack of affection and my wife treats me completely in-differently. We do not have real conversations, just quick discussions on perfunctory topics, like who let the cat out, are the dishes done, etc. My daughter wants us to seek professional help from an MC. After the last 20 years its obvious my wife does not like to be with me and resents my intrusion when I attempt to have a conversation. On my part, I've long ago given up hope of re-kindling any love between us. I truly believe we would both be happier separated.

We have both agreed to so an MC. So to the question, do marriage councilors ever come to the conclusion you are better off no longer married? It seems to me it's in there best interest, financially at least, to take months or even years to try and reconcile a broken marriage, even if the obvious answer is each partner would be happier with a split. I do not have the desire, energy or finances to spend years trying to fix this relationship.
Will an MC give me an honest assessment of our situation. What experiences have others had with MC's?
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do marriage counselors ever tell a couple they are better off to split up??

One of my girl friends was telling me that with her first husband, they went to the first session and afterward, the counselor pulled her aside and told her run, don't walk, as far as she could go. The guy was very abusive and the counselor could see immediately that MC wouldn't work in their case.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do marriage counselors ever tell a couple they are better off to split up??

It doesn't hurt to give the marriage another try with help from an outside perspective. You never know, things might actually work out for the better and if they don't at least you gave it one final push.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do marriage counselors ever tell a couple they are better off to split up??

I think you need individual counselling to uncover why you tolerated and stayed in such a marriage for so very long.
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Old 05-12-2012, 12:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do marriage counselors ever tell a couple they are better off to split up??

.

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Old 05-12-2012, 12:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do marriage counselors ever tell a couple they are better off to split up??

Yes I'm sure they do... some marriages are just not worth saving. Most are but not all.

Why have you lived like this for so very long with someone so cold and indifferent towards you? I don't understand how you get out of bed each day.

Oh.. I re-read your original post. I gather you stayed because of the kids...

You deserved a better life than this.

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Old 05-12-2012, 01:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do marriage counselors ever tell a couple they are better off to split up??

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Old 05-12-2012, 01:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do marriage counselors ever tell a couple they are better off to split up??

I think most counselors really want to help and won't keep you coming back forever just to collect the fees. Ours met with us together once, individually once. She then told me at the end of my individual session that while she is pro marriage and almost never recommends divorce, in our case she didn't believe my husband could ever be the man I needed him to be, that his behavior was too destructive. I really had to respect how she handled things, especially because I am Catholic as is she. She was very intuitive and honest. They won't all tell you to just stay together - the good ones anyway. Just make sure you do some research, find someone who feels right to you...and change if that one isn't working. Ending a marriage is a big deal, so make sure you are getting good informed advice before pulling the trigger.
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Old 05-12-2012, 02:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do marriage counselors ever tell a couple they are better off to split up??

Do you feel that you need someone's permission to end the marriage?

I agree that you would benefit from individual counseling to explore why you put up such a bad situation for so long.
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Unhappy Re: Do marriage counselors ever tell a couple they are better off to split up??

Thanks everyone for your thoughts. Seeking individual counseling is a good idea, although I'm pretty sure I know why I have tolerated this situation so long. It's simply because I wanted a stable family life for my children until they were grown and because I did not want to face the humiliation of getting a divorce. I had naively hoped that we would begin to connect as a couple once the kids were out of the house. It hasn't happened of course, and I think things are worse now that we don't have kids to focus our energy on.

I'm also seeking an MC, not for permission to end the marriage, but because I promised my daughter I would do so. Interestingly, she did not say we should see a councilor to fix our marriage, but rather because she says we are both great parents and deserve to be happy. I think she senses that the odds of a reconciliation are not good. I think my daughter's generation is a lot more practical and uninhibited with regards to relationship issues.

I also want to give the relationship one last chance with the help of an outsider, but I want an honest assessment if this is practical. I also would like to know what i have done, that in her mind at least has caused her to resent me so. I'm sure i have my faults, but they are not obvious to me. I have a very stable job, make good money, I even run a side business to bring in extra income. I don't drink to access, I don't gamble and i have never cheated on her ever. I'm not abusive in any way that I recognize. certainly not physically abusive, i don't ever belittle her, talk bad about her in public or to our children. I learned recently from my son, that she did not show me the same respect and tried to get him to side with her by talking down about me. I've tried many times over the years to get her to talk to me about how she feels, but can't get her to open up. If I have some destructive behavior that hurt our marriage I want to know about it or I doomed to always continue this behavior or carry it over into any new relationship if we split.

Anyway, thanks to all of your that took time to reply. I will proceed with MC and go from there. Which leads me to another question, but that is for another thread.
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