If you’ve hit a rocky patch in your relationship, and you can’t find a logical way to get out of it, marriage counseling might seem like your best solution. For many couples, marriage counseling offers their best chance for improved communication, by providing them with practical steps to handling their relationship problems going forward.
Sometimes, however, marriage counseling doesn’t work quite as expected. There are no guarantees that it will solve your marriage problems, and, in fact, it might even fail.
Here are some of the most common reasons why marriage counseling might not work for your relationship:
If one of you is suffering from an individual trauma
It’s often the case that couples go in for marriage counseling to fix a trauma or issue that relates to one person. While marriage counseling can help couples to better deal with the probems that arise from such a trauma, it’s most likely that that person needs to schedule in their own private therapy appointment that can specifically help them work through their issues.
If no-one wants to be there
Marriage counseling will only work if both parties are willing to put aside their pride and focus on bringing the relationship back to what it was. If one party is forcing the other to attend marriage counseling sessions, or worse, no-one really wants to be there, you’re going to get very little out of the therapy. You have to be prepared to open up to the feelings that will emerge during marriage counseling sessions to see success.
If you can’t agree on a goal
One of the most helpful things about marriage counseling is that it can enable you to create a relationship goal that you hope to reach by the end of your sessions. This goal can change over the course of the sessions, but it has to be a mutual agreement. If both parties can’t decide on a joint relationship aspiration, it’ll be hard to work through your issues in a marriage counseling environment.
If you want to keep it private
When it comes to marriage counseling, you have to be prepared to lay it all out on the table: the good, the bad, and the ugly. This means having the emotional strength to discuss the things that are most private and personal to you, with someone who is effectively a stranger. If you just don’t feel comfortable opening up to your marriage counselor, and find yourself struggling with honestly, marriage counseling probably isn’t for you.
If the therapist isn’t right
Marriage therapists all work in unique ways, and you might simply find that the therapist you’ve chosen simply isn’t the right fit for you. In this instance, it might not be that you need to rule out marriage counseling entirely, but find somebody who better suits your way of working. If you want the highest chances of achieving your relationship goals, it’s important that you’re being guided by the right person for the task.