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Both falling in love and getting married are stressful in their own ways. But you might say that they represent the easy part. 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. Marriage counseling, or couples therapyis a kind of counseling that focuses specifically on marriages and relationships. Marriage counselors — usually d Marriage and Family Therapists LMFT — are specifically trained to help couples diagnose their problems and work on solutions.
Marriage counseling is a safe place for couples to hash things out — to talk about what is really on their minds. Communication is key when it comes to solving marriage problems 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 amicably end a marriage, if that is the right choice for the couple.
There is often a stigma attached to marriage counseling. Many people think that only couples who are about to divorce or split up seek marriage counseling. But the truth is, all marriages have their struggles. Most couples could benefit from marriage counseling at one time or another.
Any couple can seek counseling, regardless of the status of their relationship.
Marriage counseling is for straight couples, gay couples, couples of all races, and couples who have less traditional relationship set-ups long distance; open marriages; married, but not living together. You can go to marriage counseling whether you are just starting out or have been married for 40 years. Many couples even seek marriage counseling before tying the knot. Again, there are really no restrictions on why you might consider marriage counseling.
Still, there are some specific issues that typically prompt couples to seek counseling, including:. Marriage counselors typically will not recommend a divorce; they will keep their personal opinions to themselves.
Marriage counselors tend to believe that only the partners involved can morally make that decision. Most marriage counselors encourage both partners to be present at counseling sessions. This is the most effective way for marriage counseling to work because the counselor wants to see how you communicate and offer you both tools for improved communication. However, if your partner feels reluctant to come, or is unable to for some reason, you can attend marriage counseling alone. There can still be benefits for you: you can learn about yourself, and how you feel about your relationship.
Most marriage counseling is short-term, as couples are usually going in with a specific problem they are looking to solve. Marriage counseling also tends to be very practical. For the most part, you and your partner both have to be willing to start marriage counseling for it to be effective. If your partner seems reluctant, many marriage counselors will agree to see each partner individually first.
This way, each person feels they can tell their side of the story without criticism from their partner. You might also be able to entice your partner into going by saying that you are just going to try one session together, without a bigger commitment. The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy is a great place to start when looking for a marriage counselor.Make It or Break It: Couples Counseling
The AAMFT website keeps a list of d marriage and family therapists, and you can find one in your area. The most important thing is to be honest and communicative with your partner by clearly explaining your motives. Many people think that you only go to a marriage counselor to fix a broken marriage, but you can explain that marriage counseling can be used as a preventative measure as well. Marriage counseling offers valuable tools to help maintain your marriage long-term. Couples who travel frequently, work long hours, or who have small children and few childcare options, will find online marriage counseling beneficial.
Not only is online therapy just as effective as in-person therapy — all marriage counselors at Talkspace, for example, are d and experienced therapists — but online therapy can be wonderful for someone who is nervous about in-person therapy or who has never been to therapy before.
Online therapy is conducted via text messaging, audio, and video messaging and many people find it more comfortable to communicate in writing than in person. Whatever form of marriage counseling you are looking for, you want to make sure the marriage counselor is someone you trust, who is positive, open-minded, solution-oriented, and who treats you both with compassion. Statistics about marriage counseling are promising.
And perhaps the most important statistic of all: up to three-fourths of couples see improvements in their relationships after marriage counseling. Marriage, like anything else, requires work and maintenance. For many couples, marriage counseling is just the thing that helps them move through their struggles and endure as a couple.
Marriage counseling may not always be easy, especially at first, but your marriage is worth the work. Talkspace articles are written by experienced mental health-wellness contributors ; they are grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts therapists and psychiatrists of various specialties to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards. Our goal at Talkspace is to provide the most up-to-date, valuable, and objective information on mental health-related topics in order to help readers make informed decisions.
Articles contain trusted third-party sources that are either directly linked to in the text or listed at the bottom to take readers directly to the source. Many people believe that only couples who are about to divorce or split up seek marriage counseling.
But in reality, all marriages can benefit from counseling. Being in a successful relationship is hard and requires regular maintenance; sometimes having an unbiased person involved is incredibly beneficial. Any couple, regardless of their relationship status, can choose to attend counseling. There are no restrictions on why you might try out marriage counseling. Marriage counseling is a safe place for you and your partner to work through your problems and share feelings that you might not have ly communicated. It is common for marriage counseling to include intense emotions, a bit of crying, and likely some raised voices.
Your therapist will create a space where you can both voice your feelings and concerns, while providing you with practical solutions to improve your communication and problem solving techniques in the future. Marriage counseling is all about being open and honest. There are no hard rules about marriage counseling, just be respectful and honest, and be able to listen to your therapist or partner when they are the ones speaking. Couples choose to separate for a variety of reasons whether it be a step in the divorce process, in order to gain perspective, or to enhance their marriage.
A separation to enhance the marriage can be helpful if you and your spouse feel like the marriage would benefit from some time apart. If while you are separated, you feel you want to work on the marriage, here are some things that might help:. Being separated from your spouse might be exactly what you both need in order to clarify your perspectives on the relationship and hopefully the time apart will give you more tools to build a strong relationship. Definitely consider speaking to a marriage counselor about this decision for more advice specifically tailored to your relationship.
Find her at www. What Is Marriage Counseling? Commonly Asked Questions. When should you seek marriage counseling? What does marriage counseling consist of? What not to say to a marriage counselor? How do I save my marriage while separated? Set some ground rules. For example, how often will you communicate with each other? Make sure you and your spouse are aligned with your goals for this experience.
Share 1. Tweet 0. Pin it 0. article. Next article. You May Also Like. Published on: 18 Sep We see it all the time in movies, TV shows, with our friends, and maybe even with ourselves…. Published on: 04 Sep Clinically Reviewed by Jill E.
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5 s You May Need Marriage Counseling