"Once the word 'divorce' is mentioned, the marriage is over." - Edward A. Dreyfus, Ph.D.*
Nothing could be further from the truth. The power of the word "divorce" is like hitting someone over the head witha two by four saying, "now that I've caught your attention, can we talk?" People let things build to the point where drastic measures are often needed to serve as a catalyst for change. Just as a heart attack can serve as a wake up call indicating that a lifestyle change is in order, the "D" word can be that wake-up call for the marriage.
Frequently, when a spouse uses the "D" word it is out of exasperation and frustration. The spouse feels stymied as to how to effect a change in the relationship. Not knowing how to express the magnitude of their discontent, the spouse says, "I want a divorce." It is at this point that couple should decide to do some serious work repairing their marriage rather than ending it.
Couples do not really listen to one another. They do not attend to the cues along the way indicating that something is wrong with the marriage. They dismiss the complaints and minimize the concerns expressed by the more outspoken spouse. Sometimes in an attempt not to cause an upset, a husband or wife will suppress grievances, hide hurts and upsets, thinking that they are trivial. In either case, the issues linger and accumulate until one day they become overwhelming. Using the "divorce" word is a signal that those minor annoyances demand serious attention.
The "D" word can be a beginning, not an end of the marriage.
However, once a couple has decided to pursue divorce, divorce counseling can assist in mitigating the pain. Divorce counseling helps couples deal with the emotional issues inherent in dissolving a relationship. Divorce counseling can help you learn from your relationship so that some of the same mistakes can be avoided in the future. Divorce counseling helps the individuals cope more effectively with the separation process and begin planning for the future. Divorce counseling does not focus on trying to reconcile the relationship. It assumes that you and your partner want to end the relationship, but would like to do so in a way that you both can move on with your life. Divorce counseling is often very valuable for couples going through a divorce to help reduce the acrimony and pain allowing the divorce to move ahead more smoothly.