Many people wonder if couples counseling is right for them and their situation. When a marriage or partnership goes off course, whether suddenly or over time, deciding to see a counselor might be the smartest thing you can do to find renewed peace and love. When a partnership has been derailed, couples often hope that things will get better on their own. They continue on the same course, feeling the same anger, resentment or hopelessness.
A couple might feel their relationship is beyond a solution and believe ending the relationship is the only viable option. Counseling will help both parties explore whether each is invested in continuing the relationship, and develop strategies for moving forward. Therapy can teach couples conflict resolution skills and strategies to communicate better, teach the skills necessary to make arguing more productive, with the result of reduced anger and hostility. Couples can be taught the rules of “fair fighting.”
Marriage counseling can help families deal with stressors such as budgeting problems, parenting differences, or the division of labor around the house. It can also help families who are dealing with grief or loss issues. Dealing with an affair is an issue that can be addressed in counseling, bringing the couple to a clear understanding of the impact the affair has had on the relationship.
For partners who want to save their marriage, seeking counseling is a constructive starting point. In therapy, partners will be able to address both sides of an issue on a level playing field. Couples have the best prognosis when both partners are invested in treatment. Both people must be willing to look at themselves and the things that they each can change to help improve the relationship, and not just point the finger at the other. When a couple agrees to treatment, it can be the first step toward a happier and healthier marriage.