Finding the perfect partner can be difficult. What is even more difficult is to set-up and maintain a healthy relationship with him. Divorce rates are on the rise and we keep hearing about financial difficulties influencing our personal relationships. Is it possible to reunite after a serious fight with your partner?
To answer this critical question, we first need to think when marriage counseling is a good idea? How is a marriage counselor going to help you fix your relationship? What are the most common relationship issues that lead to marriage counseling?
Let’s try to answer these questions one by one.
When marriage counseling is a good idea?
There are cases that it is important that you seek marriage counseling in order to get help from an expert. When there is a difficulty to enjoy the relationship to the fullest, when there are unresolved issues, hard feelings, conflicts and secrets, when they feel that there is something that doesn’t let them be happy anymore and they can’t deal with it alone. These are all signs that marriage counseling is probably what the couple needs in order to fix their relationship.
The target of marriage counseling is to bring the couple into a position where they find the root cause of the problem. However, there are a lot of people that seek marriage counseling in order to start playing the blame game. Often, the very first thing you hear in marriage counseling is “tell me, am I wrong?” or “tell her that it’s her fault that we don’t have quality time together”. The marriage counselor task is to explain that even when some one has greater responsibility, finding out who it is does not solve the problem. The final outcome of marriage counseling should be to remind the couple how it is to enjoy the company of each other again.
What are the most common issues in marriage?
The list is long because every case is different. Conflicts, strong emotions like rage, fear, jealousy, shame, cheating or difficulties raising children. There are also more serious cases associated with emotional sickness like anxiety, panic attacks, severe stress or even depression. On the other hand, there might be more trivial cases like when you feel bored in the relationship even when you tried everything.
Other common issues that make a couple seek marriage counseling are linked to communication. We often hear complaints such as “he doesn’t listen to me” or “she doesn’t understand my situation”. Another common source of conflict is having different needs: “I want us to be together but all he wants is to go out with his friends or watch football”.
Couples seek marriage counseling when they are in front of a serious dilemma such as relocating. Some times there is an issue with responsibility sharing (ie. who does what in home) that can create a confusing environment for both partners.
Sexual disorders are also a common reason why men and women seek marriage counseling. Not having a healthy sexual relationship can cause all sorts of issues, especially when one of the partners is really trying and the other is not responding. Divorce is the ultimate scenario when people seek post marriage counseling especially when they have children and they want to minimize their trauma.
And the list goes on. What’s important is to give the chance to understand one another through the identification of the symptom. Moreover, it’s critical that both partners get a better understanding of their own personalities, they get a chance to look deep inside them and discover their fears, their weaknesses and their real interaction with the other party.
What exactly happens during marriage counseling?
The couple is sharing their experiences, stating the facts and telling the most important stories that happened since the last time they had a marriage counseling session. The marriage counselor is extracting all the necessary information he needs to help the couple understand what’s going on in their relationship through conversation.
At this point, we need to stress that marriage counseling is not a trial. The marriage counselor is not the judge who is going to take a side. The target is to fix the relationship, not to validate the man or the woman who is angry.
Can marriage counseling solve all relationship problems?
As long as the couple wants it, if it’s what both the wife and the husband desire, then marriage counseling can really solve everything. It’s really up to the couple to identify early enough that they are facing relationship issues and that they should seek professional help with a genuine desire to overcome these issues. As long as both partners wish to keep their marriage alive, they can manage to forget the times that they thought divorce was the only solution. And when the point of no return has been reached, marriage counseling can at least help the couple deal with the painful process of a divorce and make it as civilized as possible. And that’s more important when children are involved. We need to be extra careful in these scenarios and marriage counseling can be extremely helpful in the process of separation through a divorce and how to deal with the new situation.
Big ego is very common these days. Not so long ago, couples used to have respect for one another and the recognition of what each party brings on the table. The man would bring the money and the food, the woman was the housewife. Now things are much more complicated and the modern lifestyle makes roles more unclear. Marriage counseling can help get this straight and build an overall healthy balance in the relationship.
So, don’t treat marriage counseling as a taboo anymore. It can really benefit you as a person and your partner in helping you overcome some issues that you wouldn’t be in a position to deal with without professional help. Depending on your family situation, it can work wonders. Be open, be ready to listen and try to save your marriage with the help of a marriage counselor. Do your research and find out who is the best professional marriage counselor in your area. If you feel comfortable discussing this topic, you can ask around and get advice from your friends or colleagues. You will be surprised by how many people actually seek marriage counseling every year. There is nothing wrong with it, on the contrary it has so much to offer that you should at least give it a try and see if it’s the right approach for your marriage.