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The importance of Marriage Counseling cannot be denied. Getting married and falling in love are both stressful experiences. It could be said, however, that they are the easy part of the process. One of the most challenging aspects of marriage is maintaining it. Raising children, struggling with finances, working long hours, facing personal struggles — simply learning how to navigate the ups and down of life together can take a toll on any relationship.

More than 40% of marriages end in divorce, so it’s no surprise that so many of them end in divorce. There are some marriages that simply weren’t meant to be – some couples grow apart or discover they are incompatible, for instance – but many marriages end because couples don’t have the tools to manage their problems.

Marriage Counseling: What Is It?

Counseling for marriages and relationships, or couples therapy, is a type of counseling that focuses on these matters. The purpose of marriage counselors – usually Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs) – is to help couples diagnose their problems and find solutions. When couples seek marriage counseling, they can talk about what’s really on their minds – in a safe and confidential environment.

When it comes to solving marriage problems, communication is key, and marriage counseling is one of the best ways to improve communication skills, come to mutual understandings, and figure out how to move forward as a couple — or even end a marriage amicably, if that is the right decision for both of them.

What Are the Benefits of Marriage Counseling?

Marriage counseling is often stigmatized. There is a common misconception that only couples who are about to divorce or split up seek marriage counseling. However, every marriage has its struggles. It is likely that most couples will benefit from marriage counseling at some point in their relationship.

In spite of the name “marriage counseling,” you don’t have to be married to seek it. Counseling is available to all couples, regardless of their relationship status. We offer marriage counseling to straight, gay, and mixed-race couples, as well as couples with less traditional relationship structures (long distance, open marriages, married but not living together). If you are just starting out or have been married for 40 years, you can go to marriage counseling. Before getting married, many couples seek marriage counseling.

The reasons for considering marriage counseling are really unlimited. Counseling can help you resolve any struggle that you aren’t able to resolve on your own – or could benefit from an objective, unbiased perspective. A couple facing issues unique to the LGBTQIA+ community can also benefit from online LGBTQ therapy.

Couples typically seek counseling for a variety of reasons

 Including:

  • It’s hard for couples to see eye to eye or come up with a solution when they keep having the same fight.
  • Differing parenting, financial, or lifestyle choices between couples.
  • Household responsibilities are unequal and couples cannot come up with effective communication or solutions about it.
  • Those who feel that their sexual or romantic chemistry has waned.
  • The feeling that your marriage is on autopilot.
  • Unheard couples or couples who feel emotionally unavailable to each other.
  • Those who have experienced a recent tragedy or loss and are having difficulty processing it.
  • Substance abuse, infidelity, or mental health issues among couples.

Divorce is recommended by marriage counselors?

Typically, marriage counselors do not recommend divorce; they keep their personal opinions to themselves. Marriage counselors tend to believe that only the partners can make that moral decision. Although most therapists will not recommend a divorce in an abusive relationship, they will help the victim find help and separate themselves.

How Does Marriage Counseling Work?

The majority of marriage counselors encourage both partners to attend counseling sessions. Marriage counseling works best when the counselor observes and offers tools to improve your communication. This is the most effective way to improve your communication for marriage counseling. Marriage counseling can be attended alone, however, if your partner is unwilling to attend, or unable to do so for some reason. Despite this, there can still be benefits for you: you can learn about yourself and how you feel about your relationship.

Marriage counseling isn’t always going to be emotionally comfortable, like most therapy sessions. Marriage counseling provides a safe place for you and your partner to share feelings that aren’t always out in the open. The process of marriage counseling is usually accompanied by intense emotions, tears, and maybe even a few raised voices. It’s common and okay to do that.

The therapist wants to create a space where you and your partner can express your feelings, but also get instructions on how to improve your communication and tips on how to solve problems going forward.

Most couples seek marriage counseling to solve a specific problem, so marriage counseling is usually short-term. Additionally, marriage counseling is usually very practical. Depending on how the session goes, you may even receive “homework,” or specific tactics to try next time your issue arises.

Counseling For Marriage: How to Get Started

In order for marriage counseling to be effective, both you and your partner must be willing to participate. Many marriage counselors will agree to see each partner individually if your partner seems reluctant. Each person feels they can tell their side of the story without being judged by their partner. By saying you are just going to try one session with your partner, you might also be able to entice them to attend.

When looking for a marriage counselor, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy is a great place to start. You can find a marriage and family therapist near you on the Expert Therapy.

What is the best way to convince my husband to attend couples counseling?

It can be intimidating to suggest couples counseling to your spouse, especially if you’re not sure how they’ll react. The most important thing is to be honest and communicative with your partner by explaining your motives clearly. Place no blame on them, but rather state that you love them and wish to strengthen the relationship. Counseling can be used both as a preventative measure and to fix a broken marriage, which many people don’t realize. Marriage counseling offers valuable tools to help maintain your marriage long-term.

Couples who are unable to commit to in-person therapy, or who find therapy costs prohibitive, can benefit from online couples’ therapy. Online marriage counseling is beneficial for couples who travel frequently, work long hours, or have small children and few childcare options.

In addition to being just as effective as in-person therapy – all marriage counselors at Expert Therapy, for instance, are licensed and experienced therapists – online therapy can also be ideal for those who are apprehensive about in-person therapy or who haven’t been in therapy before. It is possible to conduct online therapy through text messaging, audio messaging, or video messaging, and many people find it more comfortable to communicate in writing rather than in person. Allowing them a little extra time to respond to their partner’s or therapist’s messages may be therapeutic for them.

The marriage counselor you choose should be someone you trust, someone who is positive, open-minded, solution-oriented, and who treats you both with compassion. You should feel free to “shop around” until you find a marriage counselor who meets your needs.

How Effective Is Marriage Counseling?

Marriage counseling statistics are promising. According to research from the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, 98% of couples who try marriage counseling report that their therapists are either “excellent” or “good.” In marriage counseling, 90% of couples say their emotional health improves, and two-thirds report physical health improvements.

The most important statistic is that up to three-fourths of couples see improvements in their relationships after marriage counseling.

As with anything else, marriage requires work and maintenance. Marriage counseling helps many couples overcome their struggles and endure as a couple. Counseling may not always be easy, especially at first, but it’s worth it for your marriage.

EXPERT Therapy – How it helps married couples 

The therapist creates a safe space for you to talk about your issues. They won’t side with either of you, and they won’t tell you what to think or do.

Instead, marriage therapy helps you communicate and reflect. This course will challenge you to explore your expectations, behaviors, and feelings.  You will learn to see each other’s perspective, and to negotiate and compromise. 

During the course of this process, you will reach a new understanding of who you are as individuals and as a couple, as well as make new decisions together that will benefit both of you. 

 

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