When is it time to turn to marriage counselling?
Marriage counselling focuses on helping married couples in diagnosing their problems and helps define actionable strategies for overcoming them. There is no lie in saying ‘communication is key’ for solving marital problems. Counselling allows couples a safe space to communicate with one another to assess what is hurting their relationship.
Here are some scenarios where couples may consider marriage counselling:
- Communication is present but negative
Negative communicative skills can severely harm a marriage, as it is difficult to communicate important feelings. When one partner feels depressed, insecure or vulnerable, they may withdraw rather than express their feelings due to this break in communication.
Marriage counselling can assist in identifying these negative communicative skills to help break the pattern and impact of this habit. Furthermore, the professional guiding your counselling sessions, will advise on tools to avoid this behaviour in the future.
- Honesty is missing
Transparency is crucial for a healthy marriage. When one partner begins to keep secrets or avoids sharing certain experiences, it may signify that something is off balance. If you are tempted to intentionally keep secrets within your relationship, no matter how small, to avoid certain reactions, marriage counselling may be able to assist.
A certified marriage counsellor can assist in avoiding heaps of hurt that often follow dishonesty. A counsellor will help you and your partner understand the difference between secrecy and privacy and draw healthy boundaries.
- The love feels lost
Many couples experience phases (especially after years of marriage) where they no longer feel as connected or in love with their partner. Feeling this way for an extended period of time may be a green light for considering marriage counselling.
Seeking professional assistance can help you and your partner take the time to fall back in love with one another. The neutral space counselling provides allows individuals to feel comfortable sharing things they may not have otherwise considered to bring up with their partner. This will, in turn, help work out problems you may have been facing but not confronting.
- Communication is avoided
If there are specific topics that you or your partner can bring to mind that are avoided in communication with one another, it may signal a more significant problem. When certain topics are avoided, it damages the transparent communication of your relationship. These situations put couples at risk of “emotional affairs” as they may seek to share these issues elsewhere.
Marriage counselling can assist in opening the dialogue between couples to face these topics head-on. Counsellors assist couples in identifying why these topics are avoided, to begin with, and how couples can work to address problems that may be preventing open communication.
- You’re stuck in roles
Over time, couples may begin to sabotage one another with the relationship roles they assume. These roles may include the prosecuting attorney, who is an individual who will always point out the incorrect thing their partner is doing, the union leader, who tends to play the victim in any given situation, the fire chief, who insists they have the solutions, and many more.
Couples often struggle to voice their needs, especially where these archetypical roles are involved. Marriage counselling creates a space where couples are forced to listen to their partner’s perspectives, recognise them and create a plan of action to resolve the issue.
Should any of the above scenarios feel familiar with experiences you are facing in your own marriage, it may be worthwhile to consider seeing a certified marriage counsellor to work through these problems in a healthy manner.