If you’re someone who’s always thought to yourself “Marriage counseling…does it work?” you are certainly not alone. However, with statistics indicating that 40 percent of first marriages, 60 percent of second marriages and a whopping 70 percent of third marriage all end in divorce, it certainly cannot hurt to see a marriage counselor. At least a few times per year.
There are countless reasons why getting some marriage counseling could ultimately prove to be one of the best things that you could ever do for your relationship. At the same time, if you’ve never gone to see a counselor (or therapist) before, it makes sense that you might want some concrete reasons for why so many people find it to be so effective.
So, when it comes to the question “Marriage counseling…does it work?”, here are five reasons why we say “Yes. Definitely!”
1. Statistics indicate that marriage counseling is highly-beneficial
There was once a survey conducted by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists about the amount of people who left marriage counseling feeling like it was a beneficial exercise for them. Over 98 percent surveyed said that they had a good counselor and 93 percent said that they received effective tools to help their relationship. That alone is a good enough reason to at least consider seeing a counselor or therapist, wouldn’t you say?
2. You should see a marriage counselor soon—and regularly
If you were to get a room of divorced couples together and ask them if they received marriage counseling advice and if so, why didn’t it work, we’re willing to bet that most of them will admit that they went to see a counselor too late into their marriage. If you’re already at the point and place in your relationship where you want to call it “quits”, while marriage counseling may help, it’s that much harder for a counselor to bring about positive results. That’s why it’s always best to see one sooner than later and to go no less than a few times a year. Whether your marriage is in great shape. Or not.
3. Marriage counseling improves communication
Whether you feel like you and your spouse have great communication or you could really stand to improve in that area, another benefit that comes with seeing a marriage counselor is you can get tips on how to communicate better. For one thing, marriage counselors have been trained in how to model good communication skills when it comes to listening, repeating what they’ve heard back to their patients and also finding resolutions. Also, marriage counselors know how to objectively look at a couple and determine if there are areas where communication may be lacking (even if the couple does not recognize it within themselves).
4. You can actually save time and money by going to marriage counseling
Here’s another finding that just might surprise you: You will actually save more money (as much as 20-40 percent more) and time by going to couples counseling with a marriage counselor or therapist than going alone to see a psychologist or psychiatrist. When it comes to the money, that’s because a lot of marriage counselors have significantly lower rates (plus, they are oftentimes very willing to work out a payment plan for you if your insurance doesn’t cover what they charge). And as far as time, when two people are in a room together, the marriage counselor is able to better see the dynamic of the relationship. As a result, they can more accurately pinpoint the problems and get down to the root of the issue.
5. It certainly does no harm
When you choose to work with someone who has a heart for seeing marriages succeed, that can only work in your favor. Although there are some couples who will say that marriage counseling actually brought forth more challenges concerning their relationship, that’s usually because a counselor may bring up topics and issues that wouldn’t come up any other way. Yet, it’s important to keep in mind that true intimacy does not only consist of having good times with your spouse. It’s also about being vulnerable enough to share thoughts, feelings and sides to your personality that will help them to see the real you—all of you. To be intimate is to know someone while choosing to love them and remain committed no matter what. Marriage counseling is a tool to help you to better relate to what you already know while learning to also embrace the unknown. When you know how to do that, your marriage is able to be stronger than ever!