When you exchange wedding vows with your partner, you’d like to think that the two of you would never require marriage counseling later on into your relationship. But the future holds unexpected surprises that could rock even the strongest of marriages, and sometimes, marriage counseling is the only way to ride out the storm and make it through to the other side.
If you’re considering marriage counseling, it’s important first of all that you understand exactly what it is. You need to be certain that marriage counseling is appropriate for your relationship issues and the goals that you’re hoping to achieve through outside help. Keep reading to learn everything there is to know about marriage counseling and how it works.
What is marriage counseling?
Marriage counseling is a method of psychotherapy that is designed to help you resolve the difficulties that might be threatening to harm your relationship. It’s not necessarily intended to keep couples together – rather, it encourages you to make thoughtful and practical decisions about the best outcome of your relationship.
Why is marriage counseling needed?
You might need marriage counseling for a range of different reasons; each couple has their own specific purpose for seeking professional support.
You might not even have a specific issue that you want marriage counseling to support – it’s okay to take up marriage counseling simply to strengthen your relationship in general. Other reasons for taking up marriage counseling include helping to work through specific relationship problems, like issues involving children, financial disputes, affairs, work issues, or problems with other family members.
How does marriage counseling work?
The actual structure of a marriage counseling session varies from couple to couple, depending on their own specific requirements. However, there are a few basic aims of marriage counseling that you’ll experience in any session regardless, including:
- Encouraging productive communication, helping you to discuss your problems without switching to argumentitive mode. This should help you to work together to solve problems more effectively through listening to one another and actively working to find a solution.
- Developing goals to strengthen your relationship, which you can work through with your marriage therapist once you have identified your relationship’s key issues. Your goals might be as simple as bringing back the passion in your relationship, or more complex and specific. Whatever they are, marriage counseling will help you to reach them more easily.
- Helping you to develop patience, trust, and other skills to enable you to handle relationship issues outside of a marriage counseling session. It’s likely that you knew how to use these skills once upon a time in your relationship, but you need a reminder of how to use them once more.
- Setting work outside of sessions to further strengthen your relationship in a non-supportive environment. Some of these tasks might include keeping a diary to record your feelings in your relationship, practicing intimacy with your partner, or working through a recommended self-help book together.