How do you know when a marriage is over?
It might sound a strange question but we see a lot of clients who either aren’t sure whether there is any chance of saving their marriage, or who have been told that the other person wants the relationship to end but they don’t. So this begs the question how do you know when a marriage or relationship is at an end?
Firstly, any relationship needs two people to want it to work, and for it to be able to work. If one person feels that the relationship is really over and they are not willing to try relationship mediation (and by this we mean discussion about the future of the relationship with a coach or other form of professional) or counselling (i.e therapy together as a couple to try to help you work on the problems you have identified in the relationship) then that means the other person really has no alternative but to start the process of accepting the end of their relationship. This is far from easy and we have written a lot about healing after divorce and how to get through a divorce and you can look through our other blog topics for more on this.
But what happens if neither party is sure the relationship has broken down completely? It’s one of the things that we will explore in our initial meetings with clients. Sometimes discussion about divorce or separation is purely one person’s way of saying “I have had enough” or “I need things to change” and it is sufficiently a warning light to make the other person take notice. If both parties are on the same page with both these things (i.e that the relationship hasn’t completely broken down and that steps need to be taken to change things) then it may be possible to work things out by using some form of relationship counselling. We have details of local relationship specialists so that we can point clients in the right direction if they feel that there is a possibility of reconciliation and marriage mediation or relationship mediation.
In our experience it really depends on whether both people are at the same point at the same time. Where one person has been struggling with problems for some time, and contemplating ending the relationship as a result of this, and the other is either unaware of how their partner feels, or only aware to a limited degree, it can make things much more difficult. Sadly sometimes the point at which one partner becomes willing to try is after the point (or at the same point) at which the other partner decides they have reached breaking point and wishes to end the relationship. We believe communication is key to all things relationship which is why we’re so passionate about family mediation. In the same way we believe that talking and communicating helps couples who separate to move on after divorce in the best possible way, we believe communication during the relationship can help to address issues at an earlier stage. We haven’t blogged about this much because our role, as family mediators, is only to get involved once the relationship has broken down and the couple need separation mediation and are starting the healing after divorce process. But we feel it’s worth talking about this because we do see couples where reconciliation is a possibility and there is little point undertaking work to effect a separation if there is still a possibility of saving and improving the relationship.
If you would like us to pass on details of local relationship therapy then please get in touch by calling 01306 646690 or email firstname.lastname@example.org