Is it worth seeing a therapist if you're pretty sure the relationship is over? I am honestly not sure that we should stay married...I don't want to see a therapist that is just going to tell me to "communicate better" or have more sex to save a relationship that might not be worth it after all. 

If you no longer want to remain in a relationship and you have no children, end it. No one requires you to have an agreement that it's over. It only takes one person to exit.

I don't know what you mean by "pretty sure." 

That's a wide area that I explore with people who call.

"Pretty sure" means "I feel bad, but I'm not into him/her anymore and I don't want to try."  

If you don't want to try, don't. Why are you writing to me, then?

It can mean "Because I have fallen out of love, I think that's the end of it, and there is nothing more I can do."

People fall in and out of love many times over a marriage. That doesn't mean there is nothing more you can do. It means you aren't feeling "in love." If you are willing to face that feeling and explore it, it may be personally useful to put the effort into it. People often feel weird telling someone they've fallen out of love with them, and the person hearing it usually does a lot of hair-pulling and grief hearing it. It's actually a pretty normal state of affairs. It's a chapter, not the last chapter. It's only the last chapter when you zip your lip and refuse to talk about it.

You say that the relationship "might not be worth it after all."

Worth what, exactly? Worth being honest with your partner? Worth talking to them honestly? That's what we couples therapists mean when we say "communicate better." We mean telling the truth, your truth, as painful or plain or ugly as it may be. Tell the truth and then see what happens.

Many people have no taste for telling the truth. They want to mention something vaguely as the door hits them as they walk out. They just can't stand being "the bad guy" or the "one who left." So they make it unbearable for their partner to stay. They say: "It's not worth it" which simultaneously means "You're not worth it" and "I'm not worth it."

I would probably suggest that if you don't want anyone to tell you to have more sex, it's probably because you aren't having any. Or feel pressure to have some because your partner wants to be sexual. Or that the sex sucks, so you don't want anyone to tell you to have more.

So you don't want to have someone tell you to open up and to be honest and you don't want to be told to open up physically and communicate that way.

But, despite the fact that you don't want to talk about it, you are "honestly" not sure that "we" should stay married. 

I'm not sure what you mean by "we." I think you'd be better off deciding if YOU should stay married and then talk about it to your "better half."

Marriage isn't an equation. It's a friendship. So let's re-write your comment:

"Is it worth talking honestly if you're pretty sure the friendship is over? I am honestly not sure that we should remain friends...I don't want to talk honestly because I'm not sure it is worth it. I don't see the point of saving a friendship that might not be worth saving."

It kinda sounds like a "slacker" talking, doesn't it? A slacker is defined as: "a person who avoids work or effort."

You don't need to see a therapist for your marriage, but it might be worthwhile to see one on your own to discuss the quality of your connections to people you are involved with. And why you are involved with people at all. Are people really worth it? Is it worth being honest with people? Are they worth living with? Caring about?

Most people who frame a comment like this are talking about money, but these same people will go into debt for something they value, like a cool car. They just don't see the value in people as much.

And that's really something to talk about with the people you are involved with. It's something they should know.

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Dr. Kathy McMahon


Dr. Kathy McMahon (Dr. K) is a clinical psychologist and sex therapist. She is also the founder and president of Couples Therapy Inc. Dr. K feels passionate about couples therapy and sex therapy and holds a deep respect towards those who invest in making their relationship better. She is currently conducting online and in person private couples retreats.

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