Life is filled with tragedy. Not all marriages can survive, and some marriages are so destructive to health and human dignity that they should be dissolved. Sometimes couples come to therapy when one spouse has made an irrevocable decision to divorce.
In other words, there are times when every experienced marriage therapist knows that the cause has been lost and that the best approach is to help minimize the damage of an inevitable divorce. There are responsible divorces, and therapists can assist in that process. But that does not mean that we hold the view of one prominent therapist who says, “The good marriage, the good divorce—it matters not.”
Like a surgeon facing a wounded limb, we first want to find a way to save a marriage, even if at first a spouse is demoralized and feels like giving up. A good marriage therapist, in our view, offers hope and works hard to help couples succeed in their marriage, and then accepts their ultimate decision on the future of their relationship.