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If you’re in a rocky relationship, this may help you decide if marriage counseling is a good fit for you.
This is a fantastic guest post for those having relationship problems
Marriage counseling has been getting slammed in the past six months as people bring into question whether marriage counseling really does help a marriage or whether it puts the final nail in the coffin.
After all, how does it help to have your dirty laundry aired to be judged?
Not only that but is it healthy to have old wounds opened up to be examined? The question is, does that method cause healing or is it a reminder to the couple why things will never work out?
Many people have claimed that marriage counseling didn’t work in their own marriages
But why doesn’t it work? And just because marriage counseling didn’t work for a select few do we throw the whole system out?
We need to take into question what factors are involved that can either cause failure or success of marriage counseling for a couple in need.
By knowing potential pitfalls we can determine whether seeking marriage counseling is what’s best for a marriage
The Journal of Marital and Family Therapy did a study that reported that seven out of ten people see a positive result from seeking ou
t counseling for their marriage issues.
While that is all well and good other studies have shown that two years after therapy some couples found their relationship to be worse. So why the difference in opinions?
Maybe part of the problem is the idea that people expect that when they go to therapy that the counselor is going to fix their marriage when really it comes down to the other two people in the room. Relationship struggles can be heartbreaking.
Plus it also helps if the couple seeks out help right away instead of sitting on their issues for years or even decades.
A marriage expert by the name of John M. Gottman states that most people who seek out help have been dealing with the issues for at least six years.
A lot of hurt can happen in that time so imagine how hard it would be for a couple to then try to deal with issues at hand that are years old. And when you heal the hurts you can get that spark back.
There are many circumstances that come into play that hinder a couples chances of getting help with marriage counseling.
If the couple has been dealing with the issues in their marriage for more than five years it’s going to make it hard to then deal with them with a counselor. The issues can be deeply ingrained at that point and at times one or both partners don’t want to deal with those issues anymore.
If one or both partners aren’t putting effort into the tasks involved in counseling that too can have an effect on the end result. Counselors will often assign homework to be completed and it can set the tone of a meeting if one person doesn’t hand anything in.
There are times even during counseling where one partner will use the counseling as a stepping stone to announcing a separation.
These are all reasons in which counseling will have a more negative effect on the marriage.
It’s pretty important for both people in the meeting to want to work on their marriage, if one doesn’t it’s going to be pretty hard to have any success in a meeting.
If both people go in with an open mind…
Chances are they will see success. If a couple is motivated to fix their marriage they can start to learn new ways of exploring their problems.
A therapist can offer new ways in which the couple can resolve conflicts even before they happen. Improving communication is key to any relationship being successful and sometimes marriage issues crop up because communication has died.
Plus it allows for a neutral environment in which both people can feel safe in expressing pain and also hope for the future.
The success or failure of therapy is about how much a couple wants to put into the therapy and how much they want to save their marriage.
Malini Bhatia is the founder of Marriage.com, a trusted resource helping millions of couples resolve their marriage issues and problems. Marriage.com connects advice-seekers with experts through its community and trusted content written by experienced marriage therapists and counselors. Malini’s professional background is in business & marketing with a passion to helping people develop and maintain positive relationships. Malini lives in Los Angeles with her husband & two daughters.