14 Oct The Effect of Marriage Counseling
Posted at 7:00 am in Couples Therapy by jlbworks
Relationships are difficult. Partnering with another person means we often need to think about more than ourselves. And while relationships can be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling, they require constant attention and work to make sure they are beneficial to both individuals.
These relationships continue to change and evolve over time. Our interests and goals might slowly become altered as we age. And if these interests and goals continue down a different path from that of our significant other, problems can arise.
Marriage is meant to be forever. This extended period of time will see relationships and people change. The challenge is to maintain a healthy relationship throughout this process.
Marriage counseling or marital therapy is a way to take stock of these changes and address any issues that might have come up. There doesn’t always need to be an inciting incident like infidelity to create a need for counseling — although issues like that can certainly be addressed as well. Marriage counseling can often be akin to a tune-up for a vehicle to make sure it’s operating as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
This is what you can expect from marriage counseling:
- Repair Broken Communication
- Realign Your Values
- Learn About Each Other
- Explore New Skills
- Identify Goals
- Actionable Suggestions
Repair Broken Communication
Marriage counseling is an opportunity to speak freely in a neutral and comfortable atmosphere. This is your chance to express any recurring thoughts that might not have felt appropriate to bring up until now.
Many people find that once these walls we’ve built for ourselves are broken, it becomes much easier to keep these lines of communication open.
Our partners can’t understand our actions if they don’t know what’s going on in our heads. And sometimes a little understanding can make all the difference when it comes to avoiding or resolving arguments.
Realign Your Values
As we said earlier, people change over time. Two people in a relationship don’t need to be mirror images of each other, but it helps to share an overarching value structure to guide your goals and principles.
Marriage counseling and marital therapy is your opportunity to discuss what you want from life and where you see yourself going. Your partner doesn’t necessarily need to share the exact vision as you, but it helps to know how the other person views their future.
Sharing your values helps to calibrate your relationship and give it a clearer direction.
Learn About Each Other
We often assume we know all there is to know about our partners. This is especially true if the couple has been together for a long time. However, many people find that there is always something more to learn.
Understanding the life experience of our partners helps us understand their current views on life. Marriage counseling helps illuminate important aspects of a person’s life to show how they affect the choices and decisions they make in the current day.
The more you know about your partner, the better you are able to understand your relationship with them.
Explore New Skills
A focus on communication isn’t the only skill couples learn in marriage counseling. There are plenty of tools that can be utilized when maintaining a healthy relationship.
Patience helps people process situations. Hasty reactions can lead to increased arguments that a person comes to regret later on.
Trust is a major aspect of a healthy relationship. These discussions help us understand our partner’s motivations to work toward this trust.
Relationships and marriages require a degree of selflessness. We shouldn’t ignore our own wants and needs, but we need to keep our partners in mind at all times. Marriage counseling helps reinforce this idea.
These discussions might center around specific situations or general ideas of the relationship. But discussing the issues isn’t enough. Counseling will provide specific goals to work toward to improve and strengthen your marriage.
What convinced you to first look into marriage counseling? What are the overarching problems that needed to be addressed? Are there specific areas of your relationship that needed to be reinforced?
Marriage counseling will help outline goals for you and your partner to work toward with the skills you learned in your sessions.
Couples can work toward these goals in a variety of ways. A counselor might even give the couple homework to help them in this effort.
For example, scheduling a date night where the couple puts their phones away and enjoys each other’s company might be suggested. Or perhaps the individuals will be asked to keep a log of their emotions throughout the week so they can be more aware of how the relationship affects their daily mental health.
Every couple is going to enter marriage counseling for different reasons. However, there are similar end goals at the heart of these pursuits. Marriage counseling can help get a troubled marriage back on track or support a smooth marriage in its evolution over time.