The benefits of marriage counseling commonly go unappreciated as less than 5% of divorcing couples seek marriage counseling (According to renowned marriage counseling and relationship expert Dr. John Gottman). Why do most couples in trouble fail to get professional help? And what exactly are the benefits of marriage counseling? If you are frustrated and experiencing marital problems, marriage counseling is a way to gain the understanding and skills needed to improve the quality of your marriage, overcome a relationship crisis and/or save your marriage. However understanding and relationship skills must be learned and I am here to help you and your partner in that journey. Here are 5 benefits of marriage counseling and how it can help. I'm in Fort Worth, TX and you are welcome to call me anytime at 817-406-8453 for a free consultation on your situation.
1. You need to “earn” your way out of a marriage.
Perhaps you’ve heard the preceding phrase made popular by television psychologist and author Dr. Phil McGraw. Dr. Phil says, “Don’t consider divorce until you’ve investigated every potential avenue of rehabilitation. Unless you can look yourself in the mirror and know that you’ve tried everything there is, then you’re not ready to be discussing divorce.” He’s right, from what I’ve seen once you think divorce is a possible solution, it becomes more and more difficult to be open, accepting, and fairly weigh other options or consider the benefits of marriage counseling. It may come with work but marriages are repaired, renewed, and can even come out stronger on the other side marriage counseling guided by the relationship skills learned in marriage counseling. The first step in earning your way out of a marriage is actually taking a step outside of your comfort zone and exploring marriage counseling. The hardest part of seeing a therapist is actually mentally accepting the help in the first place as while it’s a humbling experience, it’s also empowering and gives you valid reason to feel hope and that your marriage has not come to the end of your road.
2. Seek help early.
The average couple waits 6 years before seeking help for marital problems (according to the Gottman Institute). Mindful half of all marriages fail in the first 7 years the basic math shows us it’s commonplace for couples to live together for years and years in unhappiness. Marriage counseling is beneficial well before the need is clear and present. Commonly problems within a couple are regarded to be minor and start small, but left unresolved fester and grow. The benefits of marriage counseling should be grasped early in your relationship. Marriage counseling will empower you and your partner with new tools and techniques to improve conflict resolution and be able relate to each other and work through your relationship without more therapy down the road.
3. How can marriage counseling help?
Marriage counseling empowers couples with the ability to identify toxic relationship patterns and to bring about the change they seek and would not normally know how to accomplish on their own. It establishes a safe and supportive framework and environment for couples to identify and communicate the issues, feelings and behaviors that are bothering them, and gives rise to understanding and positive change. Of the benefits of marriage counseling is receiving instruction, coaching and feedback to help you develop new skills to improve your marriage, including:
- Paths to improve communication
- Paths to argue constructively
- Paths to conflict resolution and problem solving as a team
- Paths to express and share feelings of hurt and pain
- Paths to openly share your authentic self with your partner
- Paths to address the hot button and explosive issues
- Paths to negotiate for change within your relationship
Again, you can call me at 817-406-8453 and I can expand further upon this list in context to your personal circumstances.
4. Marriage counseling is hard work.
Marriage issues come in all shapes and sizes; they range from feeling a little stuck or stale in the relationship and wanting to tune things up to more intensive problems that may be threatening the marriage. In marriage counseling there are no promises, guarantees, or quick fixes. Marriage counseling takes hard work and determination, unlearning bad habits and learning new constructive habits. Expect the process to be difficult, take time, but it is wise to invest the time to learn if your marriage can be repaired and renewed. Marriage counseling is effective in delivering positive results for 70% of couples receiving the counseling sessions when when the sessions are conducted by a trained marriage therapist. Another of the benefits of marriage counseling as a process is how it will be personally enlightening and enriching, and may just prove to be profoundly rewarding and well worth the effort in improving your marriage.
5. How did I contribute to this problem?
A key reason to participate in marriage counseling is to learn how to understand your personal role and contribution to the situation and how to change (even if your role has been as an enabler). Simply put, you got yourself into this mess and now it’s up to you to change it. Taking stock in personal reflection and accountability is one of the many benefits of marriage counseling. Taking accountability isn’t easy. It takes the courage to engage in introspection, humility and true honesty. Self-awareness and empathy can allow you to define your patterns and become aware of what triggers you and your partner to feel the emotions that lead to defensive and contemptuous behaviors. If you create interactions that align with the kind of relationship you desire (as long as you come from love, compassion, and understanding) you will see your partner with clear eyes because your misconceptions and pain will no longer cloud your vision. Once you really see your partner, you can decide if you still want to invest your time and energy into the relationship.
For a deeper dive in learning if marriage counseling is right for you, visit me page on this site, "Reasons To Consider Marriage Counseling Page". Also you can always click here to call me 817-406-8453 or click to send me an email note [email protected]
The Best You Counseling by Shawn Williams, LPC
5601 Bride St. Suite 300
Fort Worth, Texas 76112