Do We Need Marriage Counseling? Advice on Whether Your Marriage Will Benefit
Marriage counselling is not for everyone. In many cases, marriage counselling is unnecessary and can even damage your relationship with your spouse. However, marriage counselling is usually the final place that an unhappy spouse turns to resolve trouble before planning a divorce. If you and your spouse are at the point that you're discussing marriage counselling, it's clear that you need to do something drastic to resolve your problems and revive your failing marriage.
If you're thinking: "I need help with my marriage," then take a look at Amy Waterman's Save My Marriage Today eCourse before you turn to marriage counselling. If you and your spouse read the books and work through the exercises without success, then marriage counselling may be the logical next step to save your relationship.
Do we need marriage counselling?
If your marriage is in jeopardy and you and your spouse have attempted to resolve your marriage issues in the past without success, you may need marriage counselling. Marriage counselling is designed to help two individuals learn to communicate effectively and resolve conflicts without resorting to negative behaviours which will just tear your relationship further apart. Before most couples consider marriage counselling, they typically try marriage improvement programs or seminars, reading marriage improvement books and discussing the problems with friends and family. The bottom line is: if you and your spouse have tried and failed repeatedly to solve your marriage issues, marriage counselling may be your last chance to get things back on track.
Communication isn't the problem - we communicate too much!
Oftentimes, one spouse suggests marriage counselling while the other spouse has no interest in going, or may actively argue against going to marriage counselling. The aim of marriage counselling is always to improve communication so that you and your spouse can problem-solve effectively on your own, but many spouses feel that they don't need to improve communication - in fact, many husbands in particular feel that they spend far too much time talking as it is. The important thing to consider is that talking isn't necessarily effective communication. If you and your spouse only have negative conversations around resolving issues, you're just driving your relationship further apart. The goal of marriage counselling is to teach you how to communicate positively, using kindness, respect for one another and a focus on resolving the problem.
When marriages start to go downhill, many couples see every discussion as a contest, and struggle to be 'right' or come out on top. The only way you can have a successful marriage is if you can learn to compromise with your spouse, learn not to react defensively when your spouse approaches you with a problem and learn not to invalidate your spouse's feelings. Just because you feel something isn't a problem doesn't mean it's not a problem to your spouse. Marriage counselling cuts to the heart of this type of disagreement, and is designed to put you and your spouse on the same page when you're discussing important issues. If you feel like you talk all the time but you're just spinning your wheels, you probably need marriage counselling.
What can marriage counselling fix that a nice vacation couldn't fix?
Marriage counselling usually comes after all other options have been exhausted, and rightfully so. Many of the problems that plague modern relationships can be solved if both partners sit down together and work out a way to manage the issue. In a lot of cases, that simply never happens because both spouses are too busy to devote attention to one another, feeling too alienated because of the problems in their relationship or feeling too stressed about other aspects of their lives to devote much attention to resolving marriage issues. Oftentimes, you can cure marriage problems with a little time away with your spouse. Take a mini-vacation, just the two of you. Go away for a long weekend, or for an entire week if you can afford it, and focus on spending time together and remembering why you love one another. In a neutral setting, with stress removed and time to enjoy one another and focus on each other, you can often reach compromises you couldn't reach at home. If you and your spouse go away together but are unable to resolve your marriage troubles, or if you feel worse than ever after a weekend away, it may be time to turn to marriage counselling.
Do I need marriage counselling?
If you're asking yourself this question, chances are good that you probably do need marriage counselling. Marriage counselling gives you a safe place to air your issues with your spouse, and encourages your spouse to regard the issues as serious - not just another series of complaints. Marriage counselling is often a last resort for couples for divorce, but if you wait too long to get marriage counselling, it may be too late. If you're not quite ready to try marriage counselling, but would rather try to work it out with your spouse privately, try the highly successful Save My Marriage Today ebook by author Amy Waterman.