If you answered yes to any of these questions, well, it seems to me that your marriage needs some work. Perhaps it’s time to think about marriage therapy.
What is marriage therapy?
Before talking about the effectiveness or benefits of marriage counseling services, let us first understand what is couples therapy.
Marriage therapy is a treatment for married couples going through high levels of marital distress because of problems including, but not limited to, infidelity, abuse, poor financial management, and other conflicts affecting the harmony of the relationship.
Marriage treatments usually last up to 12 weeks. That is if the issue can be resolved in one short-term therapy. The process could stretch much longer, depending on the intensity of the problem.
Research shows that therapy for marriage is very effective despite people being pessimistic towards the idea of it.
Not only does it provide excellent counseling for troubled relationships. It can also deal with couples going through a rough time because of mental health problems. This aspect cannot be easily touched upon by marriage counselors.
So, what happens in marriage counseling sessions? And does marriage counseling help?
Well, marriage counseling works when the couple needs to focus on some of the relationship issues that they haven’t been able to deal with by themselves. There comes a time when an unbiased third-party intervention is needed to save your marriage from falling apart.
But, when it comes to mental health issues, it is better to consult a licensed marriage therapist than a counselor.
Who are marriage therapists?
Marriage therapists are licensed professionals who are experts in the field of mental health. Compared to counselors, they are more qualified to sit down with a couple to discuss issues that go beyond the dynamics of their relationship.
They can diagnose mental disorders and provide treatment to individuals specifically to increase marital satisfaction.
These professionals are trained in psychotherapy and family dynamics to provide quality treatment to married couples experiencing all levels of discord in their relationship. Marriage therapists usually have a master’s and a doctorate.
The majority of clients are satisfied with their marriage therapy experience. Not only have they reported to achieve a more meaningful relationship with their husband or wife after therapy, but they also experienced an improvement in their mental health condition, which led to the better physical condition and social relationships.
Why married couples should go through marriage therapy
While divorce seems like the easy way out of a frustrating and lonely relationship, it would still be best to exhaust all your options.
If you can’t talk your problems out by yourselves, perhaps you need a little guidance from a therapist. You will know it’s time to seek a marriage therapist when:
1. You have a problem communicating with each other
Many couples find it challenging to have a proper conversation, especially when they are mad at each other. What started as a simple argument could turn into yelling, cursing, or worst, physical violence. Miscommunication also roots from silent treatment.
If you give your partner the cold shoulder every time he or she asks you what the problem is, that will only put an enormous barrier between both of you.
What couples should know is that each of you is not capable of reading each other’s minds. Leaving hints and playing mind games will not do your relationship any good.
This is one of the most common marital problems that marriage therapists encounter. Infidelity breaks trust, and this is something that cannot be easily repaired. This kind of mistake cannot easily be forgotten even with a million apologies.
A lot of people think that this is the complete deal breaker.
However, many married couples have proven that second chances work if the effort to build the relationship is sincere. With a marriage therapist to guide you through forgiving, there is nothing that time cannot heal.
Also, watch this video on rethinking infidelity.
3. You only stay married for the children
Parents love their children so much that even though they are unhappy with their marriage, they still decide to stay with each other for the sake of preserving the family. This generous act of love is noble.
However, it is not something a marriage therapist would agree to. Children will notice when something is wrong. The tension will be there like the elephant in the room. The intensity of your whispered arguments inside the pantry will not go unnoticed.
This kind of home environment will negatively affect your child’s psychological well-being. You do not want to pollute your children’s childhood memories of you fighting or being different from each other.
If you don’t want your children to see their parents going through a divorce to spare their feelings, don’t put them in the awkward position of watching you pretend to love each other. The best thing to do is to meet with a marriage therapist and have your relationship back on track.
How does couples therapy work?
Marriage therapy can bring your relationship back on track. It can even transport you two back to the feeling you had during the honeymoon stage. However, it could also lead the couple to the realization that the best thing to do, perhaps, is to let each other go.
Even if things end this way, bear in mind that at the very least, you get a clean break without being burdened by anger and hatred. You could even be friends with your ex!
Going to marriage therapy is worth the try because whatever course you decide to take, at least you leave the therapy session untroubled and happy.
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.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.