Facts About Marriage Counseling

 

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A few minutes after work, your husband arrives home, heads to the cupboard, and takes his usual bottle of wine. He sits in front of the television and drinks on his own in silence. You haven’t been talking for weeks now. Several misunderstandings regarding finances or night outs with fellow workers, but not really serious. Sex life? You don’t remember having that for some time now!

Your relationship is not doing great, and both of you know it. You really want to end the silence and fix things, but you don’t know how. Perhaps it’s time that you consider marriage counseling.

Marriage counseling may be your solution to rebuilding the bond with your spouse. It can also help you decide whether or not being together is still good for you. Either way, this type of counseling can certainly help partners understand each other better and make wise decisions.

Marriage Counseling

It is often known as couples counselor or therapy, and it assists partners – married or not – in resolving disagreements and enhance their relationship. Marriage counseling offers couples the strategies and mechanisms that improve communication and problem solving, meet halfway, and even disagree more healthily and positively.

Marriage counseling is commonly provided by qualified professionals known as marriage or family counselors. These professionals offer the same services as other counselors or therapists, although with a specialized focus, which is the relationship between couples.

Marriage counseling is typically brief. It might take you just a few sessions to help you overcome your difficulties, or you may prefer to continue for months, especially if your bond has tremendously been damaged. As with individual counseling, you usually visit a marriage counselor once weekly.

Who Benefits From It?

Most relationships – especially marriages – are not perfect at all. Each individual shares his own opinions, values, personal background, and ideas into the relationship without knowing if they match your spouse’s. The differences you both have do not essentially imply that your relationship is made to fail. In fact, your differences can complement each other – opposites attract. Your differences can also help couples recognize, respect, and embrace opposing opinions and backgrounds.

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Relationships can be put to the test. Disparities or activities that you previously found enjoyable may no longer be that interesting after you’ve spent some time together. Occasionally, certain concerns like lack of sex drive or infidelity cause conflicts in the relationship. Eventually, communication and affection collapse.

Whatever the reason is, negativity in a relationship can develop into unnecessary worry, stress, fear, strain, and other issues. You could wait and cross your fingers that your problems will disappear on their own. However, left neglected, an unhealthy bond may progress and ultimately cause psychological or physical conditions, like depression. A messy relationship can also cause complications in the workplace and impact other members of the family – even close friends and significant others.

Below is a list of the common concerns and problems that marriage counseling can assist you and your spouse deal with.

  • Financial problem
  • Infidelity
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Divorce
  • Cultural differences
  • Communication problems
  • Unemployment
  • Infertility
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Conflicts about raising children
  • Anger and other extreme tempers
  • Mental and physical conditions

Fortifying Relationships

You don’t necessarily have to have a difficult relationship to see a counselor’s help. Marriage counseling can guide couples who desire to build or fortify their bonds and get a better appreciation and respect for one another. Marriage counseling also helps spouses who are planning to get married. Couples can seek advice to reach an understanding and fix disparities before the marriage.

How It Works

Marriage counseling usually brings spouses and couples together for joint counseling sessions. Counselors help them identify and acknowledge the sources of their disagreements and strive to fix them. You and your spouse scrutinize both the bad and good aspects of your relationship.

Marriage counseling drives you to strengthen your relationship through new abilities and strategies. These abilities include problem-solving, open communication, and rational discussion of conflicts. In some situations, like substance abuse or a mental health disorder, your marriage counselor could work with other healthcare professionals to give a thorough treatment plan.

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Talking about your concerns and issues with a marriage counselor may be hard at first. The sessions could begin with long quiet gaps, and both you and your spouse could have several bouts of disagreements. But this is fine. Your counselor, in this case, will act as a pacifier or mediator and help you deal with your feelings. He must be neutral and not take sides.

After a few weeks, you may realize that your relationship with your spouse has gradually improved. On the contrary, you may conclude that your differences are no longer reconcilable, and the best thing to do is to put an end to your relationship.

Finally, if your spouse is hesitant to join you in marriage counseling, you can simply go independently. It may be challenging at first, especially since you’ll be the one learning new things for your relationship. But ultimately, you can always benefit from learning more about your behavior and responses in your relationship.

 

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What I Learned About My Partner Through Couples Counseling

 

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I recall vividly the first few sessions I had with my counselor when I was telling her that my marriage was failing, and I think it’s really over between my partner and me. I sought counseling on my own because I didn’t even have the courage or the eagerness to invite my partner to come with me. My counselor then allowed me to open up to her and express my sadness, frustration, and disappointment. There was very little hope left in me, and Alba, my counselor, was merely there to be a sounding board to listen to the whole gamut of feelings and issues that I had.

After a few months of counseling, I slowly instilled hope in myself, and I decided to ask my partner if he was willing to try and fix our marriage. Surprisingly, he wanted to. That was the beginning of the end of our constant blaming and arguing. We eventually came to look forward to our visits with Alba, as everything we learned about forgiving, understanding, and accepting, we learned from counseling.

One crucial thing that I want to share with you is that my partner and I – just like you and your partner – have numerous differences. Perhaps like us, you too will come to learn how to recognize and embrace each other’s differences.

Below are some things that I learned about my partner:

  • His Way Of Communicating. We have our unique ways of connecting with others, both close to us and those with whom we are just establishing relationships. We communicate with each other, and how we deal with our partners and their desires is vital in keeping a positive and healthy marriage.

 

  • His Way Of Handling Conflict. As with communication style, we have various ways of handling conflict, but often we don’t exert enough effort and time to understand how our partners deal with conflict. In couples counseling, the third party (the counselor) observes and determines methods to handle conflict and meet each other halfway to avoid misunderstanding.

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  • He Is Not Perfect. You might be wondering, “It’s obvious why they need to see a counselor.” However, we frequently have high standards for our partners that we do not even extend them with the patience and kindness that they have earned. In our sessions, I realized that my partner is not perfect, but so am I. But despite the imperfection, we must only find ways to fill each other’s flaws so that the marriage is ‘perfectly’ established.

 

  • Differences Are Not Insufficiencies. I sometimes hear people say that they are the exact opposite of their partner. Realistically, we are all uniquely and wonderfully made. My partner and I have distinct personalities, beliefs, and values, as we were raised from different backgrounds. We committed to work through our various personalities and learned strategies to help us avoid conflict.

 

  • He Has His Own Love Language. My partner knows that he easily sways me when he buys me plants to add to my garden, and a short back massage can change my most unpleasant mood. A healthy serving of my baked chicken with gravy, on the other hand, pacifies him. Indeed, my partner and I have a different love language, and I am thankful that we learned that through counseling.

 

  • We Don’t Connect In The Same Way. As a couple, we often struggle to look for ways to connect, which was a major factor that led to conflict. Through counseling, I learned that my partner would rather talk it out in person because he hates texting or chatting, but I don’t really mind if I talk with him on the phone for hours. It seems that I can’t get enough of him when he’s not home!

 

  • He Has Other Priorities – And That’s Okay. Going to my parents’ house on weekends is a priority for me outside of my marriage. However, my partner makes it a point to go fishing twice a week, and I used to find it impractical and costly. I learned, though, that it was his way of relaxing and spending time for himself. It keeps his mental and physical well-being at bay.

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  • He Needs Me For Most Things. Before we went to counseling, I always thought my partner was too clingy and dependent on me. However, I didn’t think I was too selfish when I obliged him to keep me company when I went shopping because I didn’t want to drive – and he does it anyway. Counseling helped us realize that we had different needs from each other and whether they were relatively simple or complicated, they are needs that we both can provide as partners – because we loved and respected each other.

Conclusion

Couples counseling has played a tremendous role in saving my marriage and helping my partner and me establish a healthy and positive relationship. Are you having problems with your marriage? Try to consult a counselor in your area. He might be what you and your partner need.

 

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