We Need to Tell the Kids we Did Everything

Andrea came to marriage counseling reluctantly. Her motive was to tell the kids that she had done everything possible before divorcing. She was currently separated from her husband Steve, whom she asked to leave several months ago.

When I inquired further, she said she had been feeling distant from Steve for seven years. Every five months she would bring up her frustration, Steve would improve his attentiveness, but eventually default to his old distant behaviors. Andrea was tired of the pattern and wanted a divorce.

The couple shared that they still loved each other and still considered each other their best friend. This was unusual for a couple entering marriage counseling. Maybe this couple still had hope?

I talked with Steve and Andrea about not being able to resolve their issues on their own—which is true for many couples. Andrea would need Steve to sustain his changes indefinitely, which would be the goal of couples treatment. Despite Andrea’s doubt, she was willing to schedule another appointment, curious what was possible despite years of frustration.

I was determined to see what this couple was capable of with professional intervention. To tell the kids they did everything was at least creating a possibility,