Did you know that not all couples who decide to go to marriage counseling are in crisis? That’s right, couples who have a good marriage often come to marriage counseling to invest in their marriage and learn new skills to help them make their marriage even better. There are also couples who come to counseling at their wits end, desperate for hope and healing. For them, counseling is a place to feel heard, to identify a vision for their marriage and begin working together as a couple towards restoration.
Whatever the specific reason, there are some general themes surrounding why couples seek counseling. Take a look at these 7 reasons why couples seek marital counseling:
- To learn new skills & draw closer as a couple: Marriage is work and you must invest in each other to continue growing together. If you don’t invest in your marriage, your relationship can quickly become stale. Marital counseling can provide tools and education to help couples continue to thrive together.
- “We’ve fallen out of love”: Some couples arrive to counseling announcing that they’ve fallen out of love with one another and don’t know if anything can be done. Often, they’ve “lost that lovin’ feeling.” Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages reminds us that the feeling of love only lasts a short time, after that, we have a choice to make. We can divorce, stay married and be miserable, or stay and choose real love. Love is actually a CHOICE and you can cultivate that in-love feeling again by learning to speak your spouse’s love language.
- There’s been an emotional or physical affair: Just the word Infidelity strikes fear in the hearts of most married people. When couples come to counseling for this reason, they enter counseling broken and lost. Infidelity is something that’s not widely spoken about outside of counseling, but there are MANY couples who have been through infidelity and who have healed together. There are of course also marriages that will not survive this. However, if both parties are willing to put in the time and effort to heal their marriage there is hope and people can and do have thriving marriages after infidelity.
- Finances: Arguments about money is one of the highest predictors of divorce. Couples who come to counseling because of arguments surrounding finances are often not on the same page when it comes to how money is handled. Counseling can help couples become aware of their views of money, assess values/priorities and develop goals together.
- Frequent Arguing: Poor communication skills can leave couples feeling unheard and frustrated. They might be experiencing frequent miscommunications and feeling like they never come to a resolution. Counseling provides a safe place to practice active listening, communication and conflict resolution skills.
- Families of origin interfere: Some couples come to counseling because of conflict with the in-laws. Marital counseling can help couples communicate about the differences in their families of origin, explore what’s right for their own marriage/family and learn how to set healthy boundaries.
- Premarital Counseling: Premarital counseling is offered to couples who are engaged or thinking about getting married. Premarital counseling provides couples with assessments and tools to start their marriage off on a strong foundation.
How can marital counseling help?
Each and every marriage, no matter how good, will at some point experience periods of stress. Marital counseling can help couples learn communication, conflict resolution and listening skills as well as how to set appropriate boundaries. This process will help couples assess their values, priorities, and styles of love. Couples learn how to communicate expectations and desires as well as become aware of differences in perception.
If you’re wondering how marital counseling might help you, reach out to Graceful Balance to set up a free consultation.