This type of counseling is provided by a licensed therapist, also known as marriage or couples therapists. Instead of regular therapists, these marriage therapists have one specific area they focus on: improving the relationship of the couple.
Marriage counseling is often short term. You may only need a few sessions to help you weather a crisis.
Or, you may need counseling for several months, particularly if your relationship has greatly deteriorated. As with individual psychotherapy, you typically see a marriage counselor once a week.
Who should attend marriage counseling?
Marriage counseling is for anyone seeking to improve their relationship. When to see a marriage counselor and for how long?
Unfortunately, due to shame or other factors, lots of couples don’t seek the aid until it is way too late for marriage counseling and the damage has already been done. This will make the process of rebuilding your relationship much harder.
For couples counseling to be effective you will probably see the counselor every week or every two weeks. The effectiveness of counseling depends on how consistent you are with the sessions.
The downsides of marriage counseling
Before we start discussing the benefits of couples therapy after cheating, let us first read some of the downsides.
1. It will take a great amount of time and energy – from both of you.
For many couples, infidelity counseling is a necessary step in order to bring back trust in their relationship after infidelity. Couples who want to work on their relationship know how much time, energy, and efforts are required.
Starting with couples therapy exercises and expecting results with minimum effort is not going to work. Both of you will have to make concessions, put in the work, and open up to each other. It’s not easy, but it can be well worth it.
Time and again you may wonder: Does the counseling really work? But you must keep faith in the process.
2. During counseling, you will be confronted with the truth
The truth can be painful. It will make you wonder if couples counseling works or is the relentless pain you are enduring pointless.
While working with a marriage counselor, be prepared for moments of vulnerability. It is at these times that the hard, unrelenting truth can sometimes overwhelm you.
So, is knowing the truth a bad thing?
Absolutely not, although at the time when you hear your spouse talk about infidelity and why they did certain things it can feel very bad.
Nonetheless, the truth needs to come out. If both you and your partner have openness and honesty this creates the required situation for trust to re-build. Only then you can really deal with the damage that has been made.
3. Be careful of the personal situation of your counselor
The effectiveness of counseling or therapy also depends on the particular therapist you work with.
Your counselor’s attitude and current mood will impact how they steer the conversation.
Before deciding to work with a particular marriage counselor, you need to know the style in which your counselor conducts sessions and whether or not they are a fit for you.
As with many things in life, this is just one of the events that you cannot really control. Nonetheless, you can have an intake conversation and use that conversation to check whether this counselor would fit your relationship counseling needs.
The benefits of marriage counseling after an affair
Besides those downsides, marriage counseling has a lot of benefits. Counseling after infidelity has been a blessing for many couples.
Not only did their relationship endure after infidelity, but it also thrived due to increased understanding between partners and more intimacy in the relationship.
Going to see a marriage counselor is hard. But it sure beats doing nothing and hoping that things will get better
1. It is beneficial to work together on improving your relationship
Simply showing up together might seem trivial, but it’s a great first step.
Many issues between partners remain unresolved because one of the two does not want to see a therapist or counselor. However, if both of you are committed to the same goal – that is, improving your relationship and building trust – it is definitely a huge advantage.
When the two of you are committed and willing to put in the required work and effort, half the work is already done. You must be willing to change and improve in order for marriage cheating counseling to be effective.
This is due to many reasons. Better communication, more empathy, and better understanding are some of the common reasons why these relationships flourish after hardships.
3. A better understanding of yourself and your spouse
Lastly working with a marriage therapist will help you better understand your spouse and his or her needs.
But not only that, but it will also help you take a closer look at yourself. Who are you deep down? What do you value most? What are your desires and needs?
This introspection can really improve both your relationship and your life in general.
Watch this video where the secrets of a couples counselor are revealed to lead us to happier relationships.
So, can marriage counseling save a marriage?
Yes, it does work. Even after infidelity!
Is it easy?
A lot of hard work, commitment, and forgiveness are required. But if you and your partner both work on the same goal, it can be done.
Also, you can opt for online marriage counseling, or online couples counseling if you wish to go for the therapy from the comfort of your couch. Just check for the licensing and the relevant credibility before you finalize the counselor.
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.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.