These are common and valid concerns for what we call a mixed-agenda couple. One of you wants to stay together, and the other has put separation on the table, which leaves you both— as well as your children— in an incredibly painful limbo state. To make matters worse, couples therapists are normally trained only to keep marriages intact. So, if you’re on the fence, couples therapy can leave you feeling unheard, isolated, and even more stuck. You’re ready for a decision, an action, you’re just not sure what to do.
Signs You May Be a Mixed-Agenda Couple
While every couple has unique circumstances which bring them to this position, you may be good candidates for discernment counseling if you identify with the following:
- One of you wants to save the marriage, and the other isn’t sure that’s possible.
- You feel like you’re stuck in limbo
- You’ve tried traditional couples therapy and someone’s heart just wasn’t in it
You can feel good about your love life again, alone, or together after discernment counseling.
Therapy for couples on the brink can help you find clarity, confidence, and understanding for your decision-making process.
I understand your pain, and I remember what it was like as a therapist before this method, having to tell couples I couldn’t help them until they both became fully invested on their own. That was clearly the part they needed help with, and there was no protocol for it. It just contributed to their feelings of hopelessness. But now I guide couples through the entire process, offering clarity, confidence, understanding, and most of all, comprehensive support through this challenging period. And you know what? The vast majority of couples choose a direction in five sessions or less.
The Mountainside Counseling Center Approach to Discernment Counseling
Discernment Counseling is a chance to slow down, take a breath, and look at your options for your marriage. I’ll help you decide whether to try and restore your marriage to health, move toward separation, or take a time out and decide later.
The goal is not to solve your marital problems at this point, but rather to see if they are solvable. You will each be treated with compassion and respect no matter how you feel about your marriage at this point. No good guys or bad guys.
You’ll come in as a couple, but the most important work occurs in 1-on-1 conversations with the therapist. Why? Because you’re starting out in different places.
I respect your reasons for divorce while trying to open up the possibility of restoring the marriage to health. I emphasize the importance of each of you seeing your own contributions to the problems and the possible solutions. This will be useful for future relationships even if this one ends.