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Marriage & Divorce

Couples Therapy Can Prevent Divorce And Save A Marriage

Couples therapy and marriage counseling with a sincere desire by both partners to save a marriage can resolve many marital problems and prevent divorce. Anyone who has been married knows that divorce statistics are frightening. In America, the divorce rate is almost half the marriage rate. Divorces are so common that it makes people wonder if marriage can survive in today's world. People who are having marital problems may wonder if they should just give up, or if they should try to make their marriage work.

Many married people feel strongly that marriage is a sacred institution, and that it is specially sanctioned in the eyes of God. Some religions preach strongly against divorce and co-habitation. Religious beliefs certainly color people's beliefs about the sanctity of marriage. But a 1999 study of 3,854 adults from the 48 contiguous states found that 25% of adults had at least one divorce in their lifetime, and that divorce rates for conservative Christians were higher than those for other types of faith and for atheists and agnostics.

Conservative Christian leaders insist that the statistics are wrong. Possible reasons for the disagreement about the statistics include a feeling among conservative Christians that their faith rejects rather than supports those who go through a divorce. High ranking conservative clergy counter that many of the people polled may have called themselves born again Christians when in fact they are not. Regardless of what the real reason is behind the statistics, it is clear that divorce is very common and that no demographic is completely immune to it.

So that leaves us with the question of how to deal with marital problems. Is the answer to simply give up and file for divorce? Of course not! Ultimate responsibility for a marriage rests with the two spouses, and counseling or outside help with marital problems won't make much of a difference unless and until each spouse acknowledges his or her role and responsibility in the dissolution of the marriage. If one or both parties insist on being "right," there is less hope for saving a marriage.

If two partners have fallen into a pattern of fighting, or giving each other the silent treatment, or one partner storming off, one thing is certain, which is that the pattern must be broken for there to be a chance at reconciliation. A couple can't keep doing the same things over and over and expect a different result. Breaking that cycle of always doing the same thing in arguments, or always playing the same role in disagreements begins with each partner taking responsibility for his or her actions.

Even if you are the one acknowledging your role in the marital problems and your spouse refuses to acknowledge his or her role, you are still making a positive change by stepping outside the pattern that continues to wear down the relationship. Remember, taking responsibility for your part in a troubled marriage in no way means taking all the blame for everything that has happened. It simply means that you realize that you played a part in the situation. Whether your spouse takes their own responsibility is up to them, but your taking responsibility is the first step in the right direction.

Often this has a disorienting effect on the other partner, and sometimes it even jars them into admitting their part in the problems. Once both partners have admitted some degree of fault, the air is cleared enough that they can at least look at their individual problems and make attempts to solve them. It may be beneficial at this point to enlist in the help of a licensed marital and family therapist or marriage counselor to tackle problems directly without falling back into destructive patterns of blame and resentment. It isn't easy, but it certainly can be done with sufficient commitment, resolve, and love. True determination to resolve conflicts in a marriage can bring back the romance that each partner wishes to enjoy in a loving and caring relationship and avoid divorce.

In the event divorce is the only choice, then every effort should be made to avoid financial and other hardships on each other to continue the journey through life outside of the relationship.

Vina Pereira enjoys writing articles of public interest. Her website Divorce-Free.com [http://www.divorce-free.com] provides tips and content relating to marriage and divorce.

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