Marriage is hard. It takes a lot of work to sustain a healthy relationship, and sometimes that work isn’t enough.
If your marriage is struggling and you’ve reached a point where the two of you don’t communicate anymore, the best treatment is to talk with a professional counselor specializing in relationships.
There are certainly ways to improve your relationship and bring back the emotional bond. Sometimes, marriage counseling sessions are all that’s needed for partners to restore harmony in their marriage!
Keep reading to find out how the right help from a qualified counselor can save your marriage.
When Should Couples Seek Marriage Counseling?
As soon as you start feeling uncomfortable in your marriage, it’s time to talk with someone. Unfortunately, many people who experience issues in their marriage spend months, even years, trying to resolve conflicts on their own, which often leads to further tension between couples and, eventually, divorce.
If you want to avoid this, it’s key to address issues in your marriage as soon as they arise. The right marriage counselors help couples start feeling closer again and work on the underlying issues that damage their relationship.
More importantly, it’s worth noting that your relationship is more than a “degree of difficulty” problem. Many couples feel like they can’t seek help for their marriage because it’s just a normal level of difficulty. Every marriage indeed has its challenges, but this doesn’t mean that those issues should be ignored.
The earlier the issue is addressed, the better. Many couples wait for things to get worse before seeking help through counseling, but that might not be enough anymore. A marriage counselor can help each of you get back on the same page and restore closeness early on. This is especially important if there are children from your marriage.
Also, remember that marriage counseling can save a marriage from divorce or from being torn apart after infidelity or irreconcilable differences. So it’s worth it!
What Does Couples Therapy Consist Of?
Marriage counseling is a process as unique as the couple seeking help. Each marriage counselor has a different technique and different rules for their sessions. While marriage counseling focuses on fixing your relationship, it’s up to you and your spouse to actually go through with it and work together towards the goal of making things better again.
But that doesn’t mean that marriage counseling is unstructured. Some counselors may structure their sessions by starting new topics each week, while others focus on specific issues and help couples address them individually.
One of the most common ways for marriage counseling to be structured is for the marriage counselor and couple to meet together as a team and then also meet with only one person or one partner at a time during the session to talk about what’s happening at home. The counselor will then offer both individual and joint advice on how couples can address their issues together.
Another important part of marriage counseling is that it guides you through exercises that can help each spouse see things from the other’s perspective and enhance communication. This can be incredibly beneficial; seeing things from your spouse’s perspective allows you to see why they act the way they do, and communicating in an open conversation brings about mutual understanding.
In all cases, marriage counseling can be an emotional journey that requires you to take a good hard look at your relationship and yourselves as individuals, which can be of great benefit.
Thinking About Marriage Counseling? Here’s the Most Important Thing You Should Know
The most important thing to remember about couples counseling is that you should never go into it thinking that it’ll be a one-time solution. Most couples need help from a marriage counselor for several weeks or months, sometimes even longer.
While the right help could bring about incredible results in your relationship, you have to put in the work as well to make marriage counseling work. Couples counseling isn’t a magic fix for your marriage, but the right help can make all the difference in your relationship.
Also, if you’ve been struggling alone with issues in your marriage, couples counseling can be a lifesaver. Don’t let fear hold you back from getting help and improving your marriage. You owe it to your relationship and future to get the help you need.
Many people are concerned that their counselor won’t accept them or tell them to just stay together for the sake of the children. But the truth is, most therapists aren’t focused exclusively on your marriage. They’re trained to help couples strengthen their relationship and save it if they can.
In other words, a counselor can’t force you to stay in your marriage. But they are trained therapists who have dealt with relationship problems before, so it would be worth talking to them about your concerns and feelings.
Lastly, if you’re wary of couples counseling, here are some things that might help put your mind at ease and encourage you to seek counseling:
- You don’t need to go to marriage counseling together. If you’re hesitant about bringing up the idea of seeing a therapist or your partner refuses to go, then just start by attending one or two therapy sessions individually. It can help you process some of your feelings before discussing them together with your spouse.
- Your marriage therapist may offer you advice on how to improve your marriage, but it’s up to you whether or not you actually want to follow this advice.
- Counselors are trained mental health professionals with an interest in helping couples reconnect and strengthen their relationships. But keep in mind that they aren’t miracle workers.
- If you do decide to end your marriage, then a counselor can still provide a supportive ear and help with the process of separating or divorce.
What Type Of Help Can You Expect From Marriage and Family Therapists?
The main role of a marriage counselor is to help you understand what’s happening in your relationship and develop better communication skills. This includes listening to your problems and giving you advice on how couples solve these problems.
Your therapist may also encourage you to try different communication techniques, including active listening or assertiveness training. This could help you see the other side’s point of view and better communicate with each other. Plus, it entails learning how to ask for or give constructive criticism and take responsibility for your part in the relationship conflict you’re facing.
You might also benefit from couples counseling by learning how to set boundaries in your marriage. This includes learning how to say no, what you are and aren’t okay with, and how to show that you love each other but still set healthy boundaries.
Couples counseling can be a lot of work and require significant effort from both parties involved. But if you want to save your marriage, then working with a couples therapist could help get you on the right track to moving forward.
As for a family counselor, they can offer you many of the same therapy services as a marriage therapist, but they tend to focus more on family relationships rather than marriages. They may use similar therapies and treatments, including individual therapy, couples counseling, family therapy (including step-families), and parent coaching.
Basically, a family therapist is more focused on the relationships within your family system as a whole as opposed to being married. They could help you and your family process difficult feelings or solve problems that affect the whole family more holistically.
What Is the Success Rate of Marriage Counseling?
Many factors contribute to the success rate of marriage counseling, including how long you have been married, how severe your problems are, how many therapy sessions you’ve attended, and other factors. But again, there isn’t a magic number. If you’re going to marriage counseling and you feel like you can make it work, then a counselor will do everything they can to help if your relationship is worth saving.
In Conclusion: A Marriage Counselor Can Save Your Marriage!
Working through your problems with a marriage counselor can help you to work out how to better communicate with your spouse in a safe space. It can also help you learn not to take things personally and understand one another’s needs.
Marriage counseling isn’t just for partners who are having relationship issues. It’s also a great way to strengthen your marriage, resolve disagreements, and learn more about yourself and your spouse in the process (see also marriage counseling in Spanish and bilingual marriage counseling here).
On a related note, we also shared tips for overcoming issues in a lesbian marriage. Marriage counseling teaches same-sex couples how to resolve conflicts amicably and effectively. Through constant practice (see gay marriage counseling), couples learn and adopt techniques aimed at moving past such obstacles together. Similarly, irrelevant of sexual orientation, black couples prefer black marriage counselors.
So, whether you’re struggling with issues in your marriage, feel like it’s time to reach out for help, or just need to vent about something that’s bothering you in your marriage life – don’t hesitate to seek marriage counseling and schedule your first session today with a licensed marriage and family therapist!