Deciding on whether you need a marriage counselor will depend on a few things. All marriages need constant care, they are a work in progress, but that doesn’t mean counseling is required every time your think your marriage needs a tune up. However if you and your partner have irreconcilable differences or facing other issues such as loss of job, infidelity, chronic health problems, physical or emotional abuse, interfaith or cultural differences then perhaps professional help is required.
A marriage counselor will help you work through your issues in a neutral, unbiased and safe environment. Marriage counseling is often referred to as Couples Therapy. A licensed marriage counselor could provide the following for your relationship:
- Problem solving: The counselor will show you how to face your issues in an open and honest way. They can teach you how to have a positive argument and reach satisfactory solutions. They will give you the tools to be able to work through conflict in a way that both you and your partner are comfortable.
- Communication solutions: Talking through your issues with a neutral third party can help pinpoint areas of communication breakdown. Your counselor may be able to teach you and your partner better methods of communicating.
- Relaxation techniques: Some counselors can show you and your spouse how to deal with levels of stress. Learning relaxation techniques can help keep the stress levels down when pressures build up within the relationship.
- Making good relationships stronger: A counselor doesn’t always need to be approached when the relationship is in trouble. Some couples go to strengthen an already good marriage. These couples realize that marriage is a work in progress and they want to manage the stages successfully.
Joint counseling sessions are usually the norm but for some couples, having individual sessions may be beneficial, especially if the relationship is an abusive one. In some cases of abuse, a marriage counselor may not be the answer. If one partner and/or the children aren’t in a safe environment then the police need to be contacted.
Marriage counseling may last only a few weeks or a lot longer, depending on you and your partner and the problems you are facing. You will need to go with an open mind and be prepared to be honest with your counselor. At the end of the sessions you may realize that your marriage can’t be salvaged or you may come out with a whole new perspective on your relationship, seeing it as something worth saving.