We typically encourage people embarking on a new romance to make a decision of complete commitment to their partner, a decision that from here on in, this is all there is. But are there no exceptions?
Many couples have come to us for marriage counseling with the goal in mind to “save the relationship.” They are full of doubt and fear and are somewhat suspect about the path we will lead them on in therapy. They are certain, however, that they must do whatever is necessary to prevent the dissolution of the relationship.
John and Elaine Leadem are licensed clinical social workers whose combined investment in the field of addiction treatment spans more than sixty years. Their commitment to helping recovering families has provided the core inspiration for the development of a "A Decision to Be IN Love"© which has helped many couples move from the traditional parallel model of recovery to strong united core support group. They are both certified Sex Addiction Therapist and have co-developed a model for treating couples during the crisis stage of recovery.
Editor: Muhammad Talha
Most are surprised and somewhat disappointed to find out that we do not have a plan for their relationship. In fact, we do not even know if the relationship warrants being saved. Many have admitted in moments of honesty that they would not want their own children to remain in a relationship identical to the one they are trying to save. Yes, we believe in commitment and marriage, but saving a relationship that no longer resembles the one you signed up for does not always make sense to us either.
If you have waited until you are ready to throw the relationship at the mercy of a therapist, there has been a great deal of injury. Is it really in the hands of a therapist to decide if your marriage is worth saving or not? It should not be. You must ask yourselves what you are looking for in a relationship, not whether or not a professional believes that your relationship can be fixed.
If you are looking to save the relationship then we suggest that you go back to the beginning and examine with your heart exactly what the two of you had in the beginning that you have either failed to nurture or have abandoned. You can learn more about this process by reading our article titled No Longer In Love? – Perhaps You Need To Get IN.
If you are not looking to save the relationship, we suggest that prior to finalizing the end of your relationship you first work through and become free from the pain that brought you to this point. If you are looking for “permission” from a therapist to end the relationship, it is probably because you believe that the ending will bring about freedom from emotional discomfort of some kind. We suggest that you not end a romance or a marriage with the sole agenda of avoiding pain. First develop other mechanisms for coping with pain so that your final romantic decisions can be made wisely. You may be surprised at what you discover about yourself and your partner.
If you need our help, do not hesitate to contact us but accessing therapy is not always easy and certainly not always necessary.