Marriage Counselling – Overview
A marriage lasts longer when two people in the marriage start embracing each other’s differences than finding the similarities between them. When two people come together as husband and wife, the dynamics of the relationship might change. Things don’t remain as they were earlier. They either change positively or negatively. Marriage brings up a lot of different points of view to the relationship which was never thought of earlier and thus, it can also bring a lot of conflicts between the couple which was never thought of previously. Sometimes, even the happiest couples will tell you that marriage is not smooth sailing all the time.
Marriage counseling is a type of psychotherapy that helps to resolve such conflicts between couples and tries to improve their relationship. Often families and marriage counselors enable a couple to make decisions about rebuilding their relationship or going on their separate paths. The therapy includes both partners, but sometimes one of the partners may choose to work with a therapist alone. The treatment plan depends on the situation
Related Blog: Marital Counselling: Everything You Need To Know
Reasons Why Couples Seek Counselling
There are many reasons couples go to therapy. Sometimes it’s to deal with something that has happened in the past or to deal with something presently going on or to prepare for the future. Whatever reason you and your spouse have to go to therapy, just understand that it is a huge step in showing that you care about the relationship and your family. Seeking therapy can be overwhelming at first, but it helps for a better future.
Here are a few reasons why couples seek counselling –
1. Difficulty communicating effectively with one another
Some couples just have difficulty communicating with one another. They may have been raised in families with different communication styles, or there may be negative communication habits that have formed in their relationship, making it more and more difficult for them to communicate effectively. If you feel your communication levels need some improvement, seeking support from a relationship counselor can be vital. It can help you to understand any underlying issues and/or unhelpful patterns that are getting in the way of maintaining healthy communication.
2. Trust issues
When a partner loses trust in the other one, it can be hard to trust them again. Even if the trust-breaking has happened a way back, marriage counseling can help. In marriage counseling, many couples come to understand what is hurting each other and ways they can create healthy patterns to not hurt each other and gain their trust back. For example, if one of the couples has had an affair or been deceptive in any manner, you’re likely to be experiencing a significant amount of hurt and distrust. Trust is necessary for a healthy relationship. Without it, relationships can become unhappy, often leaving a trail of further damage and heartache if no repair is made. Learning how to trust one another again can be a slow and painful process – and it’s hard to do alone. Counseling can provide a safe forum to express vulnerability, explore the betrayal, and consider the possibility of rebuilding trust and finding a way forward.
From alcohol abuse and pornography addiction to gambling and smartphone addiction, substance abuse and behavioral addictions take a toll on relationships. The use of harmful substances can interfere with a couple or a family. It is often difficult for the user to admit or recognize how the use of that substance is hurting their family. Many couples need help finding ways to strengthen their family ties and learn how to eliminate the use of substances that negatively impact their marriage or family. Quite often the partner without the addiction is the first to seek help.
4. Difficulty in parenting
Parenting can be hard and can involve a lot of disagreement within the couple. Every child is different and what works for one child may not work for another. Counseling helps parents learn ways to work with their children to improve their relationships and new parenting skills. While parenting, it is necessary to work as a team, but often, parents do work as enemies which affect the child negatively. To establish a strong bond between the couple, and to work as a team, counseling can help.
5. You find the relationship boring
Every couple goes through times that they feel they are growing further and further apart. Sometimes, they grow further apart than they ever have, and they wonder if their marriage will ever work out. Counseling helps couples find ways to grow closer and regain that connection that led them to marriage. If you feel that the spark in your relationship has been lost, counseling can help you to regain that as well.
6. Sexual issues
Issues in your sex life can be both a symptom and cause of relationship problems. Sometimes there’s a sudden drop in frequency. Other times, intimacy has slowly taken a back step with one or both parties feeling unsatisfied. An occasional sexual rut is normal. But it’s not always healthy to stay in one. It can lead to all kinds of challenges for one or both parties. A relationship counselor can help you understand your sexual desires and intimate concerns and work towards rebuilding a level of intimacy you’re both comfortable with. Incompatible sex drive is a very common problem that couples face. In every relationship, even if their sex drive is similar, there is one who wants sex more often and one who wants it less often. The range of sex drives varies. Therapy helps couples to face and improve the challenges that led them to frustratingly incompatible sex drives and learn how to improve their relationship and the compatibility of their sex drives.
Often couples seek professional help because they want reassurance that they should get divorced. While some may feel guilty about splitting up, others want to be able to say, “We tried everything” — even if they aren’t trying to reconcile. Instead, they are hoping a professional can affirm that parting ways are a good decision.
Does Counselling Help In Marriage?
All couples experience conflict in their life. Couples counseling offers multiple benefits including an unbiased therapist who can offer options you may not have ever considered. Therapists also help to identify and change relationship patterns, understanding the reasons behind each other’s reactions and intentions. They can help you understand the consequences of your words and actions as well as identify partners’ hidden expectations and conflicts. Throughout the therapeutic process, the therapist tries to help both partners to view their relationship more objectively. They learn to stop the “blame game” and instead look at the relationship and what happens in it involving each partner. Few couples therapists attempt to change the way that the partners behave with each other in the relationship. This means that in addition to helping them improve their interactions, therapists also need to ensure that their clients are not engaging in actions that can cause physical, psychological, or economic damage to the other partner.
The short answer to this question is – YES! Therapy helps in saving the marriage or in dealing with separation healthily or communicating with each other effectively and so on.
How Counseling Can Save A Troubled Marriage
Between 40-50 percent of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, but this rate is falling — perhaps due to the excellent marriage counseling services now available. People are now ready to seek the help of a third party to save their marriage instead of breaking it down. If issues in marriage are left untreated for a longer duration, it may be too late for reconciliation. Marriage counseling offers the best results when issues are detected early and communication skills are taught early in the process. So, the earlier; the better! The key component here, though, is that both partners should be 100% willing to listen, accept, self-reflect, and learn from their mistakes.
Here’s how counseling helps to save a troubled marriage –
- Addressing the elephant in the room – Marriage counseling is like ripping the band-aid off. It hurts initially. But, once it is removed, partners start feeling better. Counseling helps to address the most awkward topics that are difficult to talk about within couples. For example – Infidelity, sexual issues, etc. Any outstanding issues must be resolved before the way forward.
- Getting to the core of the problems – It’s never really about getting irritated by the wet towel on the bed, not cooking a meal. The real problems are far deeper than that. The problems that couples see are superficial. The counselor tries to find and reveal the actual reason for the fights and the built anger. By getting to the core, actual marriage issues can be treated easily.
- Establishing the goals – It is very important during the first session or two to establish the goals of your counseling. It is necessary to know where is this heading. Otherwise, how will you know if the process is heading in the right direction? For example, A couple’s goal can be to improve communication.
- Counseling provides a safe environment to open up honestly – Counseling offers a safe environment in which no partner is ever judged. Only by being honest with each other, a few issues might get sorted, but being frank about your innermost feelings isn’t always easy when it’s just the two of you. Thus, a counselor is there to listen to you without any bias, and here couples can be honest and tell their feelings to one another.
- Re–learning to live marriage with intention – A life without purpose, meaning, and direction run the risk of being unfulfilling and a relationship is no different. Sometimes, couples feel that the ‘spark’ in their relationship is missing. Therapy can help to regain that spark and help couples relearn the intention of their marriage.
Factors That Affect Outcomes
Marriage counseling is usually the last step for struggling couples. But sometimes, marriage counseling does not work out like you expected it to work out. Overcoming tough times in a marriage can be hard, and marriage counseling may be the only way that can save your marriage, or at least make you aware of your other options.
When you are trying to fix your marital problems, remember that if you are not 100% committed and focused on saving your marriage, you are very likely to fail. Therefore, whether a marriage can be saved or not depends on various factors that the two partners bring to the counseling sessions. If both partners have the motivation and the will, you can expect positive results. Unfortunately, most couples lose the passion or the drive, making their marriages difficult to repair.
Here are a few factors that affect the outcomes –
- If one of the partners is not ready to open up – Marriage counseling can be tough. Few open up easily whereas few take some time to open up. Taking a little extra time is fine. But, when one of the partners is reluctant to open up about the issues, it can create a mess, and then, there are chances that counseling does not work.
- If any one partner thinks “It’s useless” – Many times one partner is willing to take an effort for the relationship to work out whereas, one thinks that the process is not going to help them. At that time, counseling might not be helpful. Counseling needs 100 percent dedication from both partners. They both should surrender to the process, then it can be useful.
- When any one partner has a prejudiced mind – If any one partner has a prejudiced mind toward counseling or towards the other partner, counseling has fewer chances to work out. Also, if one partner is sure of taking the divorce or does not want to live with the other partner, counseling is less likely to work out.
- If any major event has happened – Any dramatic big scale incidence in the couple’s life can interfere in their life which can lead to anger and frustration from the other partner. These dramatic episodes often include affairs and threats of divorce and are usually the last straw before seeking help from a marriage counselor.
- Addiction – When one of the partners is addicted, it becomes difficult for the other partner to carry out the relationship. Despite counseling, if the partner is not ready to give up or reduce the addiction, the other partner may feel helpless and give up on the relationship. At that time, counseling is less likely to work out.
- Domestic violence – If any one partner is suffering from domestic violence and despite many sessions with them, if the partner continues to do so, it becomes troublesome. It’s better to give the relationship up in that case instead of suffering. In that case, a marriage counselor can help to get out of the relationship positively.
What Happens After Marriage Counselling?
The first step in marriage counseling is to eliminate the out-of-control issues that are damaging the relationship. These immediate issues need to be stabilized for the process to move to the next step: working out the underlying causes of these problems. In a counseling session, the counselor may mention the importance of you and your partner’s willingness to learn new things about your relationship, yourselves, and ways of communicating with each other. The counselor needs to know whether you and your partner can let go of selfishness and accept responsibility in areas where you may have previously failed in your marriage. Marriage counseling requires long-term commitment and motivation.
After sessions are done, even though the process is complete, the efforts should not stop there. It is not an end. It is a new beginning. When the sessions get over, couples should implement whatever they have learned from the sessions into their daily lives. It takes time for a relationship to bounce back. How much time will it need, that depends entirely on the couple – it can take just a few days to even months to stabilize their marriage. If issues are tackled early on, a couple might need just a few sessions to get through an issue. However, it may take some months or even years to work through it all. Often, with the guidance of an expert, couples gain new insights into their relationships and they start to take steps to build a better bond.
The Bottom Line
While people often wait until their relationship problems become unbearable, seeking help early on may be helpful. Learning to work on your communication, finding effective ways to resolve conflicts, and rebuilding your emotional intimacy can help strengthen your connection and help you feel closer to your partner. No marriage is perfect or completely free of conflict. If you feel like you might be facing a problem as a couple, marriage counseling can be a helpful tool to help you get your relationship back on track.
Marriage counseling can help but, results may vary from case to case. While some couples have solved their issues and saved their marriage, for others, it made them realize that separation is the best solution to their discord. A counselor’s job is not necessarily to save a relationship. Sometimes it can also be about how to make a split amicably.
How Waitt Can Help in Couples Counselling?
Marriage, like anything else, requires work and maintenance. For many couples, marriage counseling is just the thing that helps them move through their struggles and endure as a couple. Marriage counseling may not always be easy, especially at first, but your marriage is worth the work.
With the help of a skilled marriage therapist, there are several things you can do to increase the possibility that your marriage counseling will be a success. We at WAITT provide the best-skilled counseling services. If you and your partner want to seek help and choose the best option for you, we are here to help you. To book a session with us, please click on the link here.