Olivia wasn’t sure whether she had the energy to commit to marriage counseling. She and her husband Stefan sought discernment counseling after learning that he had a five year-old son from a previous relationship.
“I don’t blame Stefan, but I’m not sure if I can stay with him, either,” said Olivia. “He wants shared custody. While I respect that, I don’t know whether I can open my heart to another woman’s child, let alone have the energy to take care of a third boy. It’s exhausting enough being home all day with our two year-old twins.”
Stefan said, “My marriage and family mean everything to me, but I know what it feels like to be abandoned by my father. I could never do that to my own kid. I hope Olivia wants to work this out, but I have to accept it if she doesn’t want to help raise my other son.”
During discernment, Olivia realized that she didn’t want three children to end up in single parent households. She dug deep, and decided that she had the capacity to care for a child who wasn’t her own. Stefan’s discernment process involved pulling back on his efforts to convince her that it could all work out, and to show up as an adult in their discussions, rather than like a fatherless child.
It only took Olivia two discernment sessions to decide that the marriage was worth saving. The couple entered marriage counseling. With the cooperation of the other mother, they gradually integrated the boy into the family.
Giving Marriage Counseling One Last Try
Crisis does not necessarily mean the end of the marriage. Sometimes, slowing down and asking the question, “Is my marriage worth saving?” opens the door to the possibility of healing. Discernment Counseling provides the opportunity to hit the pause button long enough to explore that question.
Do you feel like your marriage is heading toward divorce but have not totally ruled out marriage counseling? Discernment counseling in Berwyn, PA and Margate, NJ will help you slow down the speeding train and put you on the right track.