Marriage counseling, often referred to as couples therapy, can be effective in improving any marriage where both partners are willing to put in the work. There are many different reasons why a couple may feel the need to seek out marriage counseling, and there is nothing to be ashamed of.
No matter what you and your partner’s reasons are for seeking out marriage counseling, there are certainly benefits to be gained from doing so. But first, you’ll want to be aware of what kind of people benefit most from marriage counselling.
Couples Who Gain from Counseling
Some kinds of couples will gain more from counseling than others, including:
- Couples who have lost their way
- Those who are open to the idea of therapy
- Those willing to make the necessary changes
- Couples willing to reflect on themselves and their flaws
Couples Who Won’t Gain from Counseling
Then, of course, there are some couples who won’t gain as much from going to therapy, because of the mindset they have fallen into. Some examples of these kinds of couples include:
- Couples who’ve waited too long to seek help
- Parners are closed off to suggestions
- When neither partner opens up to the idea of fixing things
While marriages that have these kinds of issues in them are more difficult to fix, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re impossible.
Benefits to Marriage Counseling
If you’re still unsure as to whether or not your marriage needs couples therapy, here are some benefits that might sway you:
- Learn to Resolve Conflict in a Healthy Way
One of the key benefits to participating in marriage counseling is that you’ll have a trained professional who can teach you and your partner how to communicate with each other in a healthy way. This involves not only listening to your partner, but also understanding what they’re saying and why – what can you do to help resolve the issues that are tearing you apart?
Many conflicts within marriage are rooted in misunderstanding; a marriage counselor can help sort through these misunderstandings, and find a common ground for solutions.
- Learn to Communicate Effectively
Many partners in a struggling marriage believe that they are communicating with each other. However, once they get to counseling, they’re able to realize that they’re not communicating as effectively as they could be.
Effective communication involves both partners being able to talk freely and openly, without feeling like they’re unsafe doing so. As partners, both parties should be able to verbalize their concerns and feelings, and be able to work through them via an open line of communication. A marriage counselor can help to bring this kind of communication into a relationship.
- Learn to be Assertive, not Offensive
Going off of the idea of effective communication, partners must be able to talk about what is bothering them without fear of hurting their spouse. There is a fine line to walk between getting what you need as a partner and ensuring that your partner gets what they need as well. With marriage counseling, you have the chance to learn how to make your needs known without creating unnecessary conflict.
- Learn to Process and Resolve Issues
Marriage counseling can provide a safe environment that you may not otherwise have in your own home. In a counseling session, both you and your partner are given the opportunity to express any unhappiness that you may be feeling, and have a professional weigh in and offer solutions. In this portion of counseling, it’s possible that you will learn that your spouse is willing to put in the extra work and effort to save your marriage – and if that is the case, great!
- Gain Deeper Understanding of Your Partner and their Needs
In a lot of struggling relationships, one or both partners are unable to express their needs or understand their partners. With counseling, you have the opportunity to consult an outside source who can shed light on the issues within your relationship and offer possible solutions.
While many struggling relationships face arguments which they need help solving, others seek out therapy because of an overall lack of intimacy.
If your relationship feels as though the spark has gone out and you can’t get it back, marriage counseling can be the bridge that gets you there. While at the beginning of your relationship you and your partner may have seen every part of the journey as exciting and new, over time it might have grown stale; this is because routines set in. While this generally isn’t a bad thing, many couples wish to gain back the spontaneity they once had, and marriage counseling can do just that.
Preparing for Marriage Counseling
In order to prepare for marriage counseling, the most important thing to do is to find a therapist who is going to provide real and substantial results. When trying to find the right therapist, here is what you should be looking for:
- Education and experience: Different therapists will have training in different backgrounds; finding a therapist who focuses on marriages specifically is going to be key.
- Logistics: Is the office is close to your house, do they have hours that work within your schedule?
- Schedule: How many sessions does your therapist suggest and how long are the sessions? Can it be fit into your schedule?
- Fees and Insurance: What is the fee for each session? Does your insurance policy cover therapy sessions?
There is often a stereotype relating to marriage counseling, which makes out that your relationship is in trouble. While this may be true to an extent, if you and your partner are both willing to attend sessions and work on the relationship, then you’ve already taken the first step in getting things back on track.
Through communication, understanding, and conflict resolution with a specialized outside source, you can save your relationship. With marriage counseling, and all the benefits it has the ability to provide, you will be on the road to rekindling the fire of your relationship in no time.