One questions that seems to come up often when people are experiencing turmoil in their marriage is: does marriage counseling work? Can going to see someone who barely knows you and your spouse actually help resolve the conflicts and problems the two of you are experiencing?
Does Marriage Counseling Work? Laying It on the Table
Marriage counseling is great to get all those feelings that we have trouble communicating out in the open. Most people aren’t great at sharing their thoughts. Either they just don’t feel comfortable revealing parts of themselves or they just don’t know how to clearly define what they are feeling. Seeing a counselor is a great way to help with getting these emotions out so they aren’t bottled up anymore.
Does Marriage Counseling Work? Going It Alone
If your spouse for one reason or another is reluctant to go to counseling with you, that doesn’t mean that you can’t go by yourself. By seeing a counselor you can learn new communication skills and gain new perspectives that can help you see your relationship with your spouse in a new light.
Also, don’t feel ashamed to be seeing a counselor. This is by no means an admission that your marriage is a total failure. Many couples without “serious problems” will see a counselor on a regular basis. Think of it more as a “relationship tune-up” rather than waving the white flag of defeat.
Going to counseling alone may seem awkward, but you must understand that you cannot force your partner to do something that they do not want to do themselves. By going to counseling on your own, you will learn to let go of all the pain or frustration you may feel from your relationship and discover new ways to love your spouse despite any shortcomings they may have.
Also it can be helpful if both of you do individual counseling sessions. This often takes the pressure off of both of you. Many times one person in the relationship will feel defensive as if the counselor and their partner are “teaming up” to cast all of the blame on them.
Doing individual counseling sessions is an excellent way to honestly share your feelings with someone else without feeling as if you are being judged or as if you are somehow in the wrong.
Does Marriage Counseling Work? The Hidden Dangers of Counseling
You should also be aware that marriage counseling will only work if both you and your spouse are willing to be completely, 100% honest with the counselor. If the counselor does not have all the information that they need about a situation, then they may identify the problem.
If you are reluctant or skeptical about counseling, try to put aside any reluctance you may have and give it your all. If the counselor mis-identifies the problems because you withheld your feelings or other facts, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy that “counseling doesn’t work.”
So does marriage counseling work? Yes, it can. But you must be committed to saving your marriage and not walk into it half-heartedly. Be open-minded and share you genuine experience and emotions with the counselor and you may just end up surprised to find that your marriage starts to improve.
Do you want to know the next step to saving your marriage? Find out here.