How to Make Healthy Decisions in a Relationship With Discernment Counseling


A couple sits on a couch having discernment counseling to nurture healthier decisions as a therapist looks on.

Confused about whether to end your relationship? Try discernment counseling


Key takeaways:

  • Impulsive decisions stem from an unhealthy place.

  • The mind makes decisions unconsciously.

  • Divorce ambiguity leads to unhealthy decisions.

  • Discernment counseling can provide tools to aid in making decisions from a healthy place.

  • Couples who are on the fence about divorce or breaking up can benefit from discernment counseling.

Over the course of a relationship or marriage, we’re faced with many decisions. There are run-of-the-mill decisions like what to eat for dinner, what type of hand soap to buy, or what make and model of car to drive. There are also tougher decisions required, like whether to have children, where t to live, and whether to take a certain job. One of the toughest decisions you might face one day is whether divorce or breaking up is the best option.

When we make these types of decisions, we typically put a good amount of thought and consideration into them because they affect more than just ourselves. They also affect our partners and spouses.

If divorce or separation is a subject that keeps coming up in your marriage or relationship, discernment counseling might be the ticket to making a decision from a healthy place.

We need discernment to understand what we truly want and what’s best for us. Let’s talk about how to break out of unhealthy decision-making patterns, nurture healthier decisions, and if discernment counseling is right for your relationship.

The basis of decision-making


We make decisions based on a variety of factors. These factors include:

  • Fear

  • Necessity

  • Good intentions

  • Convenience

  • Apathy

  • Selfishness or selflessness

  • Emotions (ours or our partner’s)


Impulsive decisions often come from unhealthy places like fear, convenience, apathy, and negative emotions. We tend to choose what to do based on these feelings because we aren’t using logic or reason. Instead, our emotions fuel our thoughts which usually leads to poor decision-making.


We make decisions all day, every day and sometimes find ourselves unhappy with the results. That’s because we don’t make the best choices when we’re doing it from an unhealthy mindset. You might be trapped in a frustrating pattern and not even know it. It’s very important, therefore, to stop and use discernment to make decisions.


Nature vs nurture


Studies show that our brains unconsciously make choices before we’re even aware of them. This means nature often takes control of the decisions we make without us knowing it. That plays a part in the impulsive decisions we make. It’s easy to say that we are not in control of our own decisions but it isn’t that simple.


The brain is not simply making choices for us without our consent. When we slow down and analyze, we can engage in conscious decision-making. We can nurture our own ability to make decisions from a healthy place.

Decision-making in relationships


When we first get into a relationship, we might make decisions based on what our new partner wants or needs. We might decide to take an interest in something we don’t like or would have never considered because we have feelings of infatuation and we want them to feel the same about us. These types of decisions are based on someone else’s desires and emotions.


Later, after we have spent more time in the relationship, we might stop considering their feelings as much and begin to make decisions based on our own feelings, desires, and emotions.

Neither scenario is ideal when making decisions about the status of the relationship or marriage. Both scenarios can end up with one person being unhappy or hurt.


Making decisions from a healthier place


When we have one foot in a marriage or relationship and one foot out, it can be difficult to decide how to proceed. Marriage counseling is an option when both parties want to stay in the marriage and both are willing to work toward that goal. Its purpose is to improve the relationship and get it back on track.


When you’re unsure about whether you still want to be in the marriage or relationship, this type of counseling may not be the best option. Divorce ambiguity can lead to poor decisions and behavior patterns that can destroy what’s left of the marital bonds. Discernment counseling will be the better choice to provide the tools to help make decisions from a healthy place.


Do you need discernment counseling?


Although marriage counseling is designed to help couples stay together, discernment counseling can benefit a couple in which one or both people don’t know if they want to stay together. Divorce is sometimes one-sided but this type of therapy allows both parties to take steps in the decision-making process. If one or both partners are unsure about the path they want to take in the marriage, they can benefit from discernment counseling.


Discernment counseling can also help a couple enact a plan for how to proceed with their decision. If that is to remain married, they might discuss what each partner intends to bring to the marriage that they hadn’t before. If it’s to leave the marriage, they might create a roadmap for how to best dissolve the marriage as easily and peacefully as possible.


Divorce discussions aren’t pleasant but therapy can help ease the tension for both spouses.


Discernment counseling in South Florida


If you’re confused about the state of your marriage or relationship and considering separation, discernment counseling can help. This type of therapy will give you the clarity to make the healthiest decision. It can also help you and your spouse clarify your wants and needs and figure out where you want to go with the relationship.


At Love Discovery, our aim is to help you make decisions from a healthy place. Discernment counseling is one of the techniques we use to help couples decide whether divorce or breakup is the right option. If you’re unsure about how to proceed in your relationship or divorce, schedule an appointment today. Feeling hesitant about how we can help? Call 786.571.4636 for a free 20-minute consultation.


We are here to help you improve your mental health and support you through this tough time.