No marriage is perfect, and virtually every marriage could benefit from marriage counseling. No matter what, you’ll likely find your relationship stressed due to life, work, intimacy or health issues at some point. It’s at these pressure points that marriage counseling is usually recommended. However, there’s good reason to believe that marriage counseling is MOST beneficial prior to any issues developing, as it can set the stage and educate both partners on their needs, how to cope with change and stress, and develop deeper intimacy in their relationship.
Getting Marriage Counseling Sooner Rather Than Later Has Better Results
Several findings reveal that couples consider marriage counseling to be quite costly and that many couples experiencing marriage stress either do not seek support, or seek it after a considerable span of time (Sullivan, Pasch, Cornelius & Cirigliano, 2004). According to Bringle and Byers (1997), couples unfortunately receive counseling not as a preventive measure before problems arise, but after several problems develop and reach a serious state. The success rate is low for couples who seek marriage and family counseling at a very late stage. Reference this research.
There are some common reasons marriages break down: lack of intimacy or communication, sudden life events or changes, financial troubles, physical/emotional abuse and infidelity, among others. Marriage counseling can help you get through these issues and save your marriage.
Common Reasons for Marriage Counseling
Marriage counseling for intimacy issues and infidelity
Rebuilding a marriage after a partner has experienced a physical or emotional affair is difficult, but it is possible. First, both sides need to forgive and make a deep commitment to the future. That likely means therapy, and as a joint unit specifically marriage counseling. Intimacy issues, or lack of intimacy, presents another unique challenge. Some individuals and couples find it hard to discuss or even acknowledge intimacy issues, but the first step to correcting them is dialogue. A counselor can work with the couple or privately with individuals to explore root causes and help them find their path to greater intimacy with their partner.
Poor communication benefits from marriage counseling
The foundation of a strong relationship is open and safe communication. If one or both partners consistently are left disrespected, depressed or insecure following communication, something needs to be addressed. Communication that leads to physical or psychological abuse also is a huge red flag. Negative issues need to be periodically addressed in even the best of marriages; when it becomes the only communication, there is a serious problem. A marriage counseling can help both partners understand the right way to communicate to satisfy both parties.
Financial stress in marriage
Financial stress can be a huge issue for marriages, particularly in relationships where one person controls all the finances. By working with an impartial third party like a marriage counselor, partners can come to understand the role they play in financial stress, and work to correct it. They will also work to develop strong communication strategies to keep them both feeling more comfortable with their financial situation. A trip to a financial adviser may also be necessary.
How to resolve conflict in marriage
Disagreement is common in any relationship, and marriage is no exception. But couples who constantly fight and bicker and are unable to resolve their conflicts may need to turn to a third party for help. A skilled counselor can show couples how to resolve conflict — provided the both want to work toward a positive outcome.
Household responsibilities and stress
It’s sometimes taken for granted how much work goes into a successful relationship and household. If one person feels like they’re putting in all the effort, they’re likely to start feeling resentment toward their partner. This doesn’t just mean effort put into paying bills and keeping a clean house – it can be managing children’s schedule and doing the ‘emotional work‘ needed in the family.
Marriage Counseling Options in Waterford MI
As a multifaceted practice, we’re happy to offer marriage counseling to our clients in addition to many other forms of therapy. Please contact us today to find out how counseling can help you!
Every marriage is work. Marriage counseling can help spouses who have lost their way or just need to remind each other why they decided to get married in the first place.