Marriage is Not Easy
Marriage is difficult. There is no certificate or degree given to ensure that we are a competent and loving partner. In many cases, we try our best in terms of what we've seen modeled by our parents. Sometimes this is not a helpful guideline. Like anything else, success in marriage takes work, commitment, and action steps. In many areas of life, we have no problem seeking experts for help when we need them. We call dentists, medical doctors, physical therapists, mechanics, plumbers, fitness instructors, business coaches, and tutors for our children. However, in the most important relationship in our lives which also has a crucial impact on our children, we often try to succeed in a vacuum without any external counsel, support, or input on the areas of most difficulty.
The Barriers to Marriage Counseling
There are many married people who feel their marriage is either adequate, very challenging, barely survivable, or lost who will not contact a marriage counselor. Many couples view counseling potentially as a sign of weakness or defeat. They often carry on playing out the same dysfunctional dynamics and arguments for years without changing the rudder in their marriage to move in new directions. Whatever the barrier, not seeking marriage counseling to enhance your relationship as well as deal with significant problems is akin to never taking your car in for an oil change. Like the car, the marriage will eventually falter and potentially break down, or plod along for years without either partner being truly satisfied. Divorce may seem appealing at moments. However, it is an expensive, grueling, and disruptive process to your life, finances, children, and family. At the least, it makes sense to give marriage counseling a try before coming to any conclusions.
First Steps to Marriage Counseling
Working with a competent marriage counselor could have a substantial impact on both the success and the vibrancy of your marriage relationship. When compared with divorce and the multitude of expenses, pain, and impacts upon children, the potential fees and time investment in marriage counseling is minimal. The first step is to identify the need to improve. Secondly, reach out to a trained counseling or psychology clinic to find out about options. Many clinics provide free consultations to assist with the process of choosing the right therapist, setting goals, and coordinating schedules.
Six Benefits of Marriage Counseling
1. Marriage counseling will help you learn how to communicate effectively. It can equip you with communication skills, including active listening, which can help you to listen to one another and understand one another more clearly.
2. Marriage counseling will help you learn how to resolve conflict in a mutually respectful manner. It will equip you with tools to hear one another's perspectives in conflictual situations and come to mutually beneficial decisions.
3. Marriage counseling will assist you to set appropriate boundaries with both your spouse and other people. Managing boundaries (the lines that separate your person, thoughts, and feelings from another person's) are a crucial part of healthy life and relationships.
4. Marriage counseling will assist you to understand how past relationships, including your immediate family, have an impact on the dynamics in your marriage. It is surprising to many how these early developmental relationships powerfully influence how we relate to our spouses in the present.
5. Marriage counseling will teach you how to speak your truth with your spouse as well as hear their unique perspective. It will equip you to better understand and express your perspective and learn the ability to hear your partner’s perspective without being defensive.
6. Marriage counseling will help you to practice healthy relational dynamics so that you can move into a phase of thriving together in everyday life. It will give you the ability to solidify new healthy patterns of daily life together that can result in a sense of trust and long-term mutual satisfaction for each of you.
Like anything in life, marriage requires a set of attitudes and skills to be a success. A marriage counselor or psychologist can teach you these skills while continuing to monitor your progress, assist in mediating challenging conflicts, and giving objective feedback to assist you to grow together.
It’s Not Too Late for Marriage Counseling
If you procrastinate regarding marriage counseling, things can reach a point in which it feels extremely hard to make gains and correct long-term conflictual patterns. However, have hope. It is a myth that marriage has to dull over the years and become a state of being simply a roommate and co-parent. It is never too late to take steps today to grow your marriage toward the type of relationship that you desire to have tomorrow.