You will never do anything more difficult than getting a divorce. It impacts us emotionally and financially. It tears up the known, familiar ways of living and relating, forcing us to develop new ways that do not feel comfortable. It alters our sense of who we are. It puts us into frightening and expensive legal conflict, where the stakes are high. Most couples return to court about 3 times after the final decree.
A bad marriage can end but a bad divorce can go on interminably. That is why it is crucial for couples in all stages of marital distress to sit down together in counseling. When the couple has arrived at a decision to divorce, their work in counseling, particularly if they have children, is to develop respectful ways of talking with each other and making agreements on issues that need to be settled, such as children and money. Couples work on letting the marriage and the married life go and mourn those losses. They may be able to understand on a deeper level how the marriage failed and who did what to whom, which provides a sense of relief and resolution that lets the couple move on to new relationships in their new post-divorce life.