Leave the Jerk

When a person is struggling in their relationship, there is a tendency to talk to friends and family about the negative aspects of their partner. Friends and family don’t want their loved one to be hurt, so they often recommend leaving the relationship.

This can also happen for individuals who have relationship problems but seek out individual counseling instead of couples counseling. Despite a therapist’s good intentions, the counselor hears about the partner’s negative attributes and may suggest leaving this difficult person. In fact, psychologist Dr. Barry McCarthy says individual counseling increases the likelihood of divorce, especially for women working with female therapists.

In couples counseling, it’s not about who is right and who is wrong. The purpose is to discover and change the relationship patterns and dynamics that create conflict and disconnection. However, if a person is in both individual and couples counseling and uses individual counseling to improve their relationship behaviors, this combination can accelerate progress.

Research shows that if a couple is having relationship issues and both partners are in individual counseling, the divorce rate is 50% higher. If you are having couples problems, couples counseling is the treatment of choice, with some approaches being 70% effective. Maybe your partner isn’t a jerk after all.