As a married couple, you may have heard someone bring up the suggestion of marriage counseling for when you and your spouse are having some problems. But what is marriage counseling, exactly? And do you and your spouse need it? If you think that you and your spouse may need marriage counseling to resolve a problem or problems in your marriage, then read on to find out more about how marriage counseling works and whether or not your marriage may need it.
How Marriage Counseling Works
Marriage counseling is not a quick fix, one-size-fits-all solution to marital problems. Marriage counseling means establishing rapport with a counselor who can help you and your spouse explore your marriage; its strengths, its weaknesses, as well as problems and conflicts that need to be resolved.
Marriage counseling will typically work by having you and your spouse attend sessions together with a counselor. In some cases, the counselor may suggest individual sessions in addition to couple’s sessions, but this will vary from couple to couple.
Over time, the counselor can offer their opinions about conflict in your marriage and suggest resolutions and help you and your spouse work towards improving your relationship and resolving conflict in a healthy and effective way.
Do You Need Marriage Counseling? What to Consider
Not everyone needs marriage counseling, however, many marriages can benefit from marriage counseling at one time or another. Marriage lasts a lifetime and during that lifetime, there will be moments when you may need outside help to keep your marriage strong.
For the most part, however, people reserve marriage counseling for instances when "layman" conflict resolution employed by you and your spouse simply isn’t working; or for situations where you and your spouse are experiencing more severe problems that require a neutral, professional third party who can help you work through them.
Marriage counseling is especially recommended in the following cases:
Infidelity, when you or your spouse has been unfaithful and you want to work through the infidelity and remain married
Recovery from substance abuse, gambling, and similar problems that have impacted your relationship with your spouse
Conflicts that have been unresolved for a lengthy period of time or which can’t be resolved through conflict resolution on your own
Long-term disagreements regarding finances, building a family or other topics that impact your day to day lives
Any situation where you feel the stability and future of your marriage is in danger
Marriage counseling can also be recommended for newly married couples and couples who have been married a long time - such as a few decades, due to the fact that these two periods in a marriage (the early stages and years-on) put married couples at a higher risk for conflict than other periods in a marriage.
If you believe that you and your spouse can benefit from marriage counseling, make sure you look up a professional counselor in your area. If possible, ask around to see if anyone has personal recommendations for someone who worked well for them.
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