in a Sexless Marriage and wondering if you should divorce? Avoid
the disaster of a wrong choice!”
wise and base your decision to divorce on your emotions balanced
with your logic… it’s the only sane way!”
got some terrific, practical advice for you from someone who
has struggled through the jungle of issues involved in this
critically important question:
do you think you need a divorce?”
Augustine went around and around this question, and suffered
along the way. Finally, out of desperation, he sat down and
intentionally focused on the question.
began to methodically work his way through the jungle of issues,
until he arrived at clarity.
wasn’t easy, but Karl arrived at a decision that he new
was right, and he knew he could live with.
through his “Practical Guide to Deciding Whether
or Not To Get A Divorce,” Karl is sharing
the step-by-step process he discovered as he carefully navigated
his way from one issue to the next.
I especially find valuable is Karl’s map.
has given us a wonderful map of the process he went through,
a map that clearly shows you all of the “forks in the
road.” A map that gives you the tools to decide which
fork is the best one for you and for those that are important
Karl’s process necessarily easy?
Definitely not. But….
and over again he affirms you
and encourages you.
are encouraged to put your thoughts and your feelings on the
table, in plain sight, so that you can make the best decision.
Such honesty can be difficult, but it is the only path to take.
third path that Karl takes you on is one of “definitions.”
The way you personally gave definition to your marriage at the
outset might have changed over time. The same might be said
for your spouse’s definition of marriage. Things do change.
Your definitions for a “good marriage” might be
different today. Your definitions of a “good sexual relationship”
might also have changed.
and again, Karl encourages a step-by-step
logical process that sorts out your definition of
marriage from your partner’s definition.
the focus isn’t on all the negative memories of the past,
or all of the conflict in the present. No, not at all. There
were good times in the past, and there are probably good times
in the present. If it were all horrible, you wouldn’t
be in this dilemma!
marriage? Bad marriage? Good sex? Bad sex? Should I go, or should
I stay? Sooner or later you will make a decision, one way or
it be good to be able to predict something of
how everyone will react to your decision?
there are always other people involved when there is a divorce,
especially if there are children. The research on the impact
of divorce on children is not good.
want to think ahead and consider the impact your decision to
stay, or go, will have on everyone else. But, you do
not what to sacrifice yourself for others. That doesn’t
am I being selfish and rushing to judgment?”
a reasonable and good question. You want to be very careful
because the consequences are going to be enormous.
Chapter 6, Karl provides a specific process for getting right
at the logic behind the critical question: “Why do you
think you need a divorce?”
question, but if you come up with the wrong answer, you might
well live to regret your decision.
you get through Karl’s 7 Steps, you will have greater
clarity. You will know which path to take.
do you have the courage to do what you know you must do? If
you decide to try again, to press for a healthier relationship,
to get into therapy and work at reconciling and building your
relationship… it will take a lot of courage on your part,
and on your spouse’s part as well.
if you decide to take the other path, that will also take a
lot of courage!
you work your way through the jungle of
issues, will you make the right choices? Will
you go down the right path?
years I have been telling people, “It is easier to change
your actions, than it is to change your thoughts, than it is
to change your feelings.” Everyone wants to change their
feelings, but that only happens when you change your thoughts,
and you can often change your thoughts by changing your actions.
course you do. You know you have to do something different or
your feelings aren’t going to change. But you are being
thoughtful and careful. You are considering the consequences.
And you don’t want to miss anything as you make your decision
whether to work on your marriage, or not.
you start down the path of your choice, you will have to engage
in some serious forgiveness, and it isn’t just your spouse
who needs forgiveness. That’s Chapter 8.
do you hear the voices in your head?
is you talking with yourself over and over again, second-guessing,
trying to anticipate, on and on… into the night!
you communicate with yourself is more important
than how you communicate with your spouse.
you know that? The research says its true. 30 years of personal
and professional experience says its true. Your own common sense
will tell you it is true.
no! You have looped back and you’re at the same old fork
in the road, or you are at a brand new fork… “One
trick that is helpful and works to clarify what road to take
is to think ahead.” (p.32) “But,” you say,
“Karl, tell me how to think ahead when I am overwhelmed
with my feelings and confused about all the issues! I don’t
know what is right to do!”
That’s just what Karl does. And, he does it step-by-step.
He will help you to get clarity. He will help you to have a
crystal clear picture of what you want out of your spouse, and
then he will help you with “interim goals.”
how about the practical stuff, like real estate
and my grandmother’s silver?”
material possessions getting in your spouses way? Is someone’s
attachment to material things grounded in emotional insecurity?
Are your priorities lined up correctly?
11 will help you THINK it through, instead of allowing everyone’s
emotions to run amok.
I leave just because we aren’t
having sex,or good sex?”
obviously, is a critically important question for so many, many
people. I’ve worked with hundreds of people who are stuck
right here. Karl Augustine can help you to reason your way through
to a solid decision.
I stay married for the sake of the children?”
question. Only good and compassionate parents ask this question,
so you must be one of them.
where is the line between what is good for you, and what is
good not only for the kids, but for everyone else? If it is
good for the kids, but bad for you, what should you do?
is a perfect time to “catastrophize” this whole
thing – to blow it way out of proportion, to make a molehill
into a mountain. No, it’s better to think your way through
this, to reason it out to a logical conclusion, one way…
or the other.
at least make your choice after
considering all the issue and all the options.
are the kind of questions that Karl takes you through, and he
helps you to come up with your own reasonable answers.
there an affair that drove you to this fork in the road?
whether you cheated, or your spouse cheated… this is really
hard stuff to deal with. Your emotions can paralyze you, or
make you incredibly reactive.
who should feel guilty about what? What is really going on?
I’m afraid to decide!”
is easy to understand. The stress and anxiety can make it so
very difficult to think your way through to the best decision.
will get caught trying to pick the least damaging path, instead
of the one that holds the greatest potential. That is a very
common mistake. But which, is which?
are spending more energy on making this
decision than you spent deciding to marry
in the first place.”
made that observation to many a person sitting in my office.
this is really complicated… and we are all lucky that
somebody like Karl had the foresight to write down a detailed
step-by-step map for working through this tangled jungle of
you feel like you have lost yourself along the way, don’t
I chose to stay in my sexless marriage
and deal with those issues which frustrate me
alone, or should I divorce and run the risk of
upsetting the apple cart?”
when you can reasonably think your way through to a clear decision,
you will make the right choice for yourself and for everyone
else that is important to you, and you will know it.
Karl’s last chapter is he takes you on a real “gut
check” about the whole decision. Reality time! Wow.
as it is to face the truth, it is better to face this stuff
now, than be surprised by it in the future when your energy
is down and your resources are depleted.
line from Karl: “If you’re sure, you’ll
know it. If you don’t know, then you aren’t
sure… if you aren’t sure, you’re 100% guaranteed
to be in for some pain.”
to be 100% sure? Certainly you do.
in a Sexless Marriage and wondering if you should
divorce? Avoid the disaster of an unreasonable
to know if you should stay and work on your sexless marriage,
or if you should leave?
left out so much of the excellent, practical help that Karl
offers, but I know where you can learn more. Just CLICK
Andrew D. Atwood
Marriage and Family Therapist