Frank Salvatore
Health and Lifestyle

Tips To Remember Before Marriage Counseling

January 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Many couples seek out therapy for their marriage when it seems to be in distress. However, no amount of therapy is going to save a marriage if the couple is not committed to the process and open to change. If a couple goes into therapy unprepared, there is a chance the process will fail along with the marriage. Here are some things you should do to prepare for couples counseling that can make the time and effort worthwhile.

Soul Searching

You need to figure out if you want this marriage to work. Are you willing to put in the time and effort to save the marriage, even during the difficult and painful times? The task of saving a marriage that has already gone downhill in so many complicated ways is challenging, and it requires a full commitment. You must realize that this will be difficult, and truly decide if this is what you want.

Don’t Put It Off

Prevention is easier than treatment in many cases. Rather than waiting for your marriage to be on the brink of disaster, seek out a counselor that you are both comfortable with before troubles start to arise and get increasingly complicated. There is no problem with going to a marriage counselor even if your marriage is going smoothly. This may help prevent future problems from arising.

Make Sure Each Person Is Comfortable With The Counselor

Go to a session with three or four counselors to feel them out before making a final decision. If either you or your partner do not connect with the counselor, the process can hurt the marriage more than help. The journey of counseling can be intense for a couple, so each person needs to trust the counselor in order to trust the process that is suggested.

Find Your Counselor’s Biases

Some counselors are biased towards keeping marriages together and some are very supportive of marriages breaking up. While you will be the one to ultimately decide if your marriage will end or if you will stay together, you will be greatly influenced by a counselor’s biases, especially if you have found one that you trust. Remember that a trusted counselor can have a huge impact on the future of a marriage.

Set Boundaries

Set boundaries with your close friends by asking them to support you and your relationship, while also respecting your privacy. While friends may be eager to offer their advice, remember that they are typically on one side or the other and do not have the experience or education to look at the marriage as a whole. It is not someone’s friends decision to make whether or not their marriage stays together.

Be Upfront With Your Counselor

Let your counselor know in the beginning if you already want to end the relationship. This will let the counselor have expectations of what you are looking to get out of therapy. In this situation, counseling is used to end a relationship well, rather than keep a couple in an unhealthy relationship that is continuing to get worse. You are still able to tell others that you tried couples counseling, but being clear about your goals in the beginning of counseling will save a lot of time for everyone.

Therapy Is Still Acceptable If You Think The Relationship Is Already Doomed

If there is even 1% of your heart that wants to stay in this marriage, you may be able to embraces the possibility of positive change that can result from a good intervention. Until you are 100% certain that this marriage is over, it is important to stay open to the counseling process and any possibilities.

High quality therapy will provide you with glimpses of the early experiences you had with your partner. You will be reminded of good times by the unexpected emotions. However, remember that in the end, intimacy is your ultimate goal. If this is not something that can be in the marriage any longer, it may be time to move on.

Ask yourself if you wholeheartedly want to do the work that is required to save the marriage. Going into counseling with this self-awareness will help both you and the counselor make the best use of your time.

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Frank Salvatore