When attempting to save your marriage on your own is not working, the next step is to seek marriage counseling. In the beginning, you may flip-flop on your decision to attend. It can be intimidating to sit in an office and describe what is happening in your marriage, especially if you have never attended therapy or counseling before. However, it is important to remind yourself that this is going to save your marriage. It is also useful to know what marriage counseling is like.
What can you expect from marriage counseling? Let’s find out.
What Is Marriage Counseling?
Marriage counseling is sometimes also referred to as couples therapy or couples counseling, though the focus of these three things is slightly different. Marriage counseling has one main goal: of helping married couples figure out the problems within their relationship and work on finding and acting upon solutions. The other purpose of marriage counseling is to provide you and your spouse with a safe environment where you can speak your mind.
As you know, communication is integral to the health of any relationship. Marriage counseling utilizes communication and also teaches you the skills needed to discuss issues more effectively with one another. You will be guided by the therapist or counselor so that you may both reach a mutual understanding.
Who Should Attend Marriage Counseling?
A lot of people see any form of therapy or counseling as a negative. There is an unfortunate stigma attached to seeking therapy, one that makes people believe that it is a last resort. The truth is that no relationship is without conflict or struggle. You do not have to be on the brink of a nasty divorce to seek out a marriage counselor.
Also, you do not have to be married to attend marriage counseling. Regardless of your relationship, whether you are partners or want to resolve issues before tying the knot, marriage counseling is available to you.
Here are some more specific instances where a couple may seek out marriage counseling:
- You are fighting every single day and cannot come up with a solution that appeases both of you
- There are disagreements about parenting, lifestyle, and financial choices
- You feel there is a lack of chemistry
- Neither of you can communicate effectively and would like to learn how
- There has been a tragic loss or experience within the family and you are both struggling to process it
- One of you has had an affair
- You or your partner are dealing with substance abuse or mental health struggles
- There is a feeling that the marriage is stagnant and that you are going nowhere
Yes, marriage counselors like those at Couples Academy can assist you with remedying all of these issues and more.
What Can You Get From Marriage Counseling?
What can you expect from marriage counseling and how does the whole process work, you ask? Well, the reality is that it works much like any other therapy session. You also gain a lot from even a single session, but it works a lot better if you commit and put in the effort. Marriage counseling helps you and your partner learn about yourselves. By resolving some individual issues, as well as working through relationship problems together, you start to build a stronger, healthier connection.
It may sound odd, but marriage counseling can even resolve issues before they begin. That is why some couples seek marriage counseling before getting married because they want to tackle difficulties preemptively.
When attending a session, the therapist will prompt you both to let out everything you have been bottling up. In the space your therapist creates, there is no judgment or criticism. Thoughts and feelings are validated. There will also be instructions on how to solve problems, communicate effectively, and process negative emotions in a more healthy manner.
What You Learn From Marriage Counseling
Here is a glimpse at some of the things you can learn or resolve in marriage counseling:
- Discover each other’s triggers: Marriage counseling can help you both identify what triggers your partner, so you can navigate your relationship more productively.
- Effective communication tactics for you both: People communicate differently, so it is important to understand which means of communication is best for you and your partner. You also learn how to express your desires and needs, as well as comprehend your partner’s.
- Overcoming and managing fears: Marriage counselors can help you find the root of fear and teach you healthy coping methods so that your fears do not control the relationship.
- Less reactive, more proactive: In marriage, avoiding immediate emotional reactions is important. Learning how to be proactive will help you in arguments, conversations, and planning.
- Compassion and kindness: It’s easy to forget how to be a compassionate person. Marriage counseling helps you make it a priority.
- Conflict resolution: Having trouble working through arguments? Take those issues to the counselor and find a solution together.
- Healing trust issues: When trust has been betrayed in marriage, rebuilding it is going to be incredibly difficult. Attending marriage counseling gives you a space to work towards forgiveness.
- Future planning: Discussing your plans and values for the future is important. Marriage counseling gives you the space and tools to figure it all out.
- Boundary setting: Sometimes you forget that you are still an individual in this partnership and that you have your own life. In therapy or counseling, you can learn how to set healthy boundaries and honor your partner’s, too.
Ready To Try Marriage Counseling?
Marriage counseling is going to be unique for everyone because every couple is made up of two unique individuals with their own stories. That said, marriage counseling is for everyone and can be extremely beneficial. Attending a session will be calming, cathartic, and eye-opening. If you would like to give marriage counseling a try, consider Couples Academy. Let us help you both build a stronger connection and a brighter future. Contact us today for a free discovery call or to schedule your first session.