It is not uncommon for couples to put off seeking help until they are in crisis and even contemplating splitting up.
This is not the optimal time to be seeking help or get marriage therapy! At that point, it is most likely that each spouse has either been hurt so much by the other or has built up a great deal of resentment towards their partner.
Such resentments make it difficult for them to trust the process enough to begin letting in new ways of perceiving their relationship difficulties. It also means that one partner may have withdrawn from the relationship in an effort to protect themselves from hurt and pain, and that makes it difficult for them to take down their walls and re-engage in the relationship. And may be, these are few glaring signs you need to visit a marriage counselor.
As mentioned, it is advisable to seek help and undergo marriage therapy earlier, when you realize you are not resolving your differences in an effective way and it is leading to patterns of negative behaviors toward one another.
How to know if you need marriage counseling
It is normal that we will have conflict or differences in our relationships.
We are two separate individuals with different ways of thinking and perceiving, as well as different preferences and ways of doing things. That doesn’t make your partner wrong or bad.
But, there are certain marriage disputes which require expert advice and counseling. Undergoing a marriage therapy can actually help couples outgrow such petty issues, which otherwise, could have ruined their marriage permanently.
Few prominent signs in your marriage will tell you that it’s time you need to go for marriage therapy.
- You hardly find time to sit down and have a decent conversation
- You end up arguing on trivial matters almost every single day
- You have secrets and even your partner hides information from you
- You suspect your partner is having an affair outside marriage
- You feel attracted towards another individual yourself
- Both of you have committed to financial infidelity, and the list goes on
So, when should you go to couples therapy? If your marriage is heading towards a situation like the one mentioned in the above points, then you definitely need a marriage therapy.
What can you expect from marriage therapy
There are questions that might bother you while deciding whether or not to seek marriage therapy. You might end up scanning the World Wide Web for questions like, ‘What should I expect from marriage therapy?’ or, ‘Is marriage counseling worth it?’
The statistics give a positive picture about Marriage therapy. According to the research done by American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, nearly 97% of the surveyed couples agreed that Marriage Therapy provided them all the help they needed.
And, for your information, marriage therapy works faster and consumes less time than individual counseling. But, it entirely depends on how willing you are to meet a therapist together as a couple and how receptive you are to the counselor’s advice.
You can expect a lot of personal questions put across to you by the Therapist which required accurate answers. You will need to reflect, communicate, and take responsibility of completing the assignments together as a couple to expect better results at the end of the allotted sessions.
What is the success rate of marriage therapy
Relationship experts agree that it is not about whether there is conflict in your marriage that predicts a successful marriage, but how you come back together and maintain your connection.
Once you have both agreed that you need outside help in changing the negative behavior patterns, and you are both committed to the process, then it is important for you to be open to receiving new information about the patterns that the therapist is seeing.
What is applicable in so many situations also applies here.
“If you want the same relationship you have now, then keep doing what you are doing. If you want a different relationship, you need to do something different.”
It won’t necessarily be easy to change your entrenched patterns, but to do so could result in a more satisfying and joyful relationship.
And, for your knowledge, the average success rate for Emotionally-focused Therapy stands at 75% as per American Psychological Association.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
More by Debbie Plonkey