If you and your spouse have decided to go for marriage counseling, you are no doubt looking forward to seeing some changes for the better in your relationship. There are several things to bear in mind which can help you to get the best out of your counseling experience. Seven of these helpful marriage counseling tips are as follows:
Tip 1: Both of you must be emotionally engaged
If one or both of you has checked out emotionally and is not willing to take responsibility for your problems, then counseling is pointless. Going for marriage counseling is a purely voluntary step to take, and if you are there unwillingly or under duress, just to pacify your partner then you are unlikely to have a positive result.
Tip 2: Don’t look for pity
Certainly, your counselor will be understanding and compassionate, but their main priority is to help you do the hard work required to improve your marriage.
Tip 3: Learn to listen carefully
Although counseling is your opportunity to talk and be heard, it is also important that you listen and hear what your spouse is sharing, perhaps for the first time. Sometimes one partner is used to doing all the talking, and when they get into a counseling situation they may be surprised to hear their spouse share deep feelings they may have never felt free to share before.
Tip 4: Don’t be too hard on yourself
Yes, you have made mistakes like we all have, so just admit it, accept responsibility and see how you can learn from your past experiences to improve in future.
Tip 5: Argue if you have to in front of the counselor
That way the counselor will be able to see the dynamic that is operating between you, and help you to gain a better understanding of each other’s feelings.
Tip 6: Leave long gone things in the past
If something happened fifteen years ago, don’t bring it up now. Rather stick to the topic at hand. An essential part of any marriage is being able to forgive each other and move on.
Tip 7: Don’t expect the counselor to tell you what to do
The counselor cannot give you all the answers or tell you what to do. No one can do that for you. It is the counselor’s role to give you a clearer perspective on your situation and help you to explore options of finding a better way forward in your relationship.