Can Marriage Counseling Help Improve Your Relationship?

by Charushila B

There is no shame in seeking marriage counseling. Every marriage has its highs and lows. While good communication is one of the key aspects of a healthy relationship, issues like substance abuse, breach of trust, or even ideological differences can distance the partners. This is where marriage counseling can help couples understand the underlying issues and reflect.

Statistics show that about 50% of couples seek marriage counseling, and the success rate is as high as 70% (1). If you are facing issues in your relationship, you are not alone. There’s a high possibility that you will get through it with a little bit of guidance. This article talks about the reasons you might need marriage counseling, what to expect from it, and how it may strengthen the bond. Scroll down to know more.

10 Reasons You Need Marriage Counseling

1. You Are Not Having Enough Sex

Sex plays an essential part in keeping the partners together and the romance alive. Intimacy has a positive impact on the couple and sparks the desire to stay together. A lack of intimate moments and sex affects a healthy relationship and creates a physical and emotional void. This leads to speculations of being unfaithful and gives rise to self-doubts of not being attractive anymore.

Marriage counseling can help you both develop an understanding through couple’s activities and remind you why you fell in love in the first place.

2. You Are Going Through A Financial Crisis

A financial crisis can be challenging. Whether it is a temporary phase or a constant cause of concern,  it can lead to arguments with disrespectful remarks, which may or may not be intentional. Financial clashes can also cause anger, anxiety, and depression. The constant stress prevents couples from sharing or enjoying small, good moments.

Couple’s therapy or marriage counseling can help you both come to a rational understanding and develop a perspective. It enables you to avoid the blame-game, be respectful, build consensus, and work together toward crisis-stabilization.

3. You Feel Unheard And Unattended To

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Not talking about issues and avoiding certain topics can cause a huge communication gap and create misunderstandings. Not considering each other’s opinions and perspectives may make the other feel invisible. It might be unintentional but may lead to conflict, causing stress, and may weaken the relationship.

Counseling can help you and your partner understand each other’s need for attention and space. It may help both of you value each other’s opinions and make the other person feel heard and understood. Marriage therapies can help couples practice being attentive and have constructive word choices while talking to their partner.

4. Your Partner Is Unfaithful

Trust is the key foundation of any relationship, and infidelity can severely affect it. From unmet desires and loneliness to inability to communicate and infatuation – several factors may cause a partner to sway in the other direction. It is not gender-specific and does not always lead to separation.

If both commit to working through it, couple’s therapy and marriage counseling can help you heal. It encourages the couple to address the issue in an unbiased manner and share the emotions to understand the exact reason for such behavior. The therapy includes activities that may strengthen the relationship instead of just fixing it.

5. You Have Ideological Differences

Differences in economic and political views can also make couples grow apart. If one partner evolves faster than the other, it can cause a mental rift. It often leads to a situation where none of them see eye to eye and do not understand why the other may or may not support their viewpoint.

Here too, a marriage counselor can give activities and use methods to help think and acknowledge each other’s choices and perspectives.

6. Your Partner Has Addiction Issues

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Stressful life events can lead to substance abuse. Statistics show that nearly one-third of the adults in the US experience alcohol use disorder (AUD) at some point in their lives (2). Over 23 million adults struggle with drug abuse (3).

If your partner has been through a traumatic life event(s), stress and anxiety can make them resort to quick fixes often, which can spiral into addiction (4). Marriage counseling can help you understand each other’s needs and help your partner develop a better coping mechanism.

7. Your Partner Is Ungrateful

It is human to seek approval and appreciation from the people that matter the most to you. Not receiving it can make your partner seem ungrateful and unappreciative.

Marriage counseling can help you get a neutral space to talk about it without feeling alone or labeled as “needy.”  On the other hand, your partner can also get the opportunity to learn and state issues that may have remained unresolved. This often helps develop a sense of gratitude within a relationship.

8. Your Partner Keeps Secrets And Lies

Secrets and lies weaken even the strongest relationships, especially when your partner has developed a recent compulsive lying behavior or is caved in their world. It can make you feel left out, alone, and deceived. More often than not, picking up fights can only make matters worse.

A marriage counselor will use therapy sessions to help your partner acknowledge the condition, determine the reasons for lying, and suggest behavior modification strategies. You will also need therapy to rebuild trust and improve the dynamics of your relationship.

9. You Fight Often

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Does every communication and interaction with your partner end up in a fight? Do you hold grudge and resentment toward your partner? Are you not able to forgive your partner for a past issue? Frequent fights cause stress and depression, which can pull you apart.

Seeking marriage counseling can help bridge the gap through proper therapy sessions, find better ways to deal with conflicts, and learn defusing tactics.

10. You Seldom Have Good Family Time

Family time helps strengthen the emotional bond between the members on a deeper level. But unaddressed issues can cause resentment, leading to defensive or aggressive arguments. Passive acts of violence like the “silent treatment” or indifference affect family time and your bond with the kids who are caught in the crossfire.

Marriage counseling can help address the issues and reduce the simmering stress between couples and bring your family closer.

These are the 10 reasons you should seek marriage counseling. Different therapists have different approaches, and it is important to find one you can work with. But how do you know whom to approach? Find out in the following section.

How To Choose A Marriage Counselor (Video)

If you have decided to go for marriage counseling, great! Choose a counselor who knows best which treatment will work for you. Here’s a video to help you understand how to choose a marriage counselor. Take a look.

If you are new to marriage counseling, you might want to know what goes on in a counseling session. Scroll down to get an idea.

What Happens During A Marriage Counseling Session?

Both partners have to attend the counseling session. You will be seated beside each other opposite the therapist and talk openly about your problems and why you seek counseling. Your therapist may also ask for individual sessions to help you or your partner open up.

Throughout the session, your therapist will listen to both of you carefully and suggest activities that will help you reconnect with your partner. You may have to attend multiple sessions and answer few marriage counseling questions to resolve the issues.

Of course, you want results. But therapy is not a band-aid for your problems. You have to set realistic goals. Scroll down to the next section to know what to expect from marriage counseling.

What To Expect From Marriage Counseling?

  • Improved flow of communication between you and your partner.
  • Understanding their side of the story.
  • Make yourself heard.
  • Discuss without fights.
  • Solve an issue instead of sweeping it under the carpet.
  • Develop techniques to empathize with your partner’s issues.
  • Understand yourself better.
  • Regain your confidence.
  • Slowly rebuild trust with the help of your partner.
  • Appreciate each other.

But does it work? Find out in the following section.

Does Marriage Counseling Work?

Yes, marriage counseling works for most partners. But you must also understand that counseling is a two-way street. The more you are open about your problems with your partner and confront your issues, the better your therapist will guide you. You must also understand that both of you have to put in equal efforts to make the marriage work.

However, sometimes, having the best intentions are not enough. If the path to resolution is causing stress, it may not be the best for you. In that case, a marriage counselor will help you see clearly and part ways with your partner amicably.

In A Nutshell

Pre marriage counseling can help you understand the essence of marriage. Many couples seek marriage counseling. It provides a neutral platform to voice your emotions and listen to your partner’s issues. Marriage counseling can provide a direction and help both of you regain trust and understanding. This often helps bring couples together.

If you think your marriage has hit a few bumps in the road, it is a good time to address the issues and get past them. If not, marriage counseling can help decide if it’s time to part amicably. Seek the help you need, and you will emerge stronger and better.

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