When you first got engaged, hopefully before getting married, you signed up for some premarital counseling sessions. There are numerous reasons why it’s such a beneficial thing for engaged couples to do. It can help you to better understand the magnitude of the commitment that you are about to make. It can provide you with some of the tools that you need to prepare for the future. It can also help you and your partner to explore issues like money management, raising children and how to balance your relationship with your in-laws. In short, pre marriage counseling is a way to make “easing into marriage life” a lot easier to do.
However, one mistake that a lot of married couples tend to make is assuming that after the wedding ceremony, counseling is no longer needed; that unless they are in serious trouble and/or they are contemplating divorce, there’s no need to see a marriage counselor. But the reality is that marriage counseling is also helpful. It is a way to remain proactive about your marriage rather than reactive to the problems that may arise within it.
If you are currently married but you’ve never gone to a marriage counseling session before, here are five (other) reasons why it could end up being one of the best investments that you could ever make in your relationship with your spouse.
Counseling will improve communication
Although a lot of people may think that infidelity or even financial struggles are the leading causes for divorce, there are studies which indicate that an even bigger reason is poor communication between partners. When couples do not make the time to listen to one another, to convey their emotions in a clear way and to show respect for their spouse’s feelings, over time, that can lead to resentment which can cause all kinds of walls to go up. A marriage counselor is especially trained in how to provide skills that will help you and your spouse to truly connect in a way that will ultimately bring the both of you closer together.
It can help you to work through painful experiences
It would certainly be nice if married people did not make mistakes. But because everyone is human, there may be times when hurtful things happen. There may be an affair (physical or emotional). There may be some type of substance abuse or alcoholism. Or, there might be another type of addiction such as porn, gambling or eating. Whatever the challenge, during the bleak moments of marriage, it can be reassuring to have a qualified mediator present. Someone who can show you and your spouse how to survive the tough times. This is just one more reason to consider going to marriage counseling.
Marriage counseling is great for setting goals
You know the saying: “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” When two people are married, it’s important that they take out to time to think about what they want to accomplish as a team. Do you want to buy a house? Do you want to do more traveling? Perhaps the two of you are considering starting a business together. Initially, you might not think that marriage counseling is the ideal setting to have these types of conversations. But the reason why it could prove to be very beneficial is because counselors are trained to ask specific questions and to also provide certain insights that will lead you and yours to the best resolve.
You can learn how to be more intimate with your spouse
Although sex is essential in a marriage, any couple who’s been married for more than five years or so will tell you that sex changes over time. Your body goes through changes. You schedule becomes more taxing. The daily demands of work, children and other activities can get in the way. In fact, there are approximately 20 percent of married couples within the United States alone who are in a sexless marriage (they have sex 10 or less times each year). You didn’t sign up for your spouse to be your roommate. They are to be your life partner, friend and your lover too. If you are having issues when it comes to intimacy, this is just one more area where a marriage counselor can be of help. They can offer tips to help you get your love life back on track.
Couples need their “marriage temperature” taken
So, what if nothing is wrong in your marriage? If that is indeed the case, first off all, congratulations! And you know what? One of the best ways to ensure that it stays intact is to see a marriage counselor once or twice a year. They can assess if there are any areas that could potentially lead to issues up the road. Plus, they can give advice on how to make your union even better. Yes, engaged couples should definitely get some pre marriage counseling. But if you’re married, it is worth your time, effort and money to get in a few marriage counseling sessions too!
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 Shellie Warren