Many married couples who are struggling in their relationships consider seeking professional advice from a marriage counselor, but still they hesitate. From stories they’ve heard, they wonder if counseling really works. Besides, they hate to spend money on this type of resource unless they have assurance that they will reap rewards for their investment. So the questions remain. What exactly should they expect from counseling sessions, and will they be able to save their relationship and build a stronger union?
Every marriage has its problems, and it’s unrealistic to expect yours to always be smooth sailing. What couples need to learn are strategies that can help them weather the bad times, open lines of communication, and stay happily married. They need to discover techniques that will enable them to deal with the perceived shortcomings they see in their spouses and reach compromises about how they are going to live together peacefully and lovingly. When you visit a marriage counselor, you get the opportunity to open up honest communication which is key to a stable relationship. You will learn from an unbiased third party how you can go about arguing over your issues in a much healthier manner.
No two marriages are the same, so obviously marriage counseling isn’t going to be as effective for some partners as it is for others. Yes, there’s a chance that you may end up deciding on divorce even with the counseling; however, it will certainly give you a better chance of reconciling your differences and saving your marriage than doing nothing will. At the first signs your marriage is in trouble, you should seek guidance from a marriage counselor, because your marriage will be easier to save in the early stages than it will be later on. Not that you can’t benefit when things have already gotten bad between you, but it’s far better to get an early start.
There are other factors that will help determine how successful marriage. It’s easier to resurrect a failing marriage in which the partners are both young and still in love than it is to save a more long-term marriage in which the couple has grown out of their relationship and so far apart that the love is buried much deeper. In addition, both members of the partnership need to be willing to cooperate with the counselor and each other if real progress is going to be made. Other couples that may not be as successful in counseling include people who married very young and before their relationship had a chance to mature, high school dropouts, people whose parents are divorced, those in inter-cultural marriages, those who live below the poverty level, or those who are unemployed.
The bottom line is that marriage counseling is an excellent tool for some couples and not for others. You can study the criteria listed above to see what your chances might be of engaging in successful counseling.