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Who Needs Marriage Counseling

Updated on March 22, 2015

How Do You Know If You Need Help

Marriage counseling is increasingly common these days, but how do you know if you and your partner are one of those couples who need marriage counseling?

Generally marriage counseling is somewhat of a last resort. Ideally the two people in the relationship will be able to resolve their differences and move forward without the aid of a third party. But if that is not possible, for whatever reasons, then marriage counseling may be the best solution.

First of all, couples experiencing difficulties in their relationship should take the time to talk to each other about their problems. This is often easier said than done, as the issues involved tend to be complex and at the very least, tend to revolve around the behavior or actions of the other person.

This can be an awkward subject to broach because no one wants to hurt the other person's feelings.

Function Of A Marriage Counselor
Function Of A Marriage Counselor

Understanding The Function Of A Marriage Counselor

A marriage counselor can act as a sort of buffer and create a reasonably safe environment where feelings can be shared with minimal fear of retaliation.

Hearing something negative about yourself in your own kitchen can cause a different type of reaction than hearing it in a neutral room with a professional third party nearby.

Sometimes a couple can go through a period of slowly drifting apart and not really realize how the relationship is changing until it is too late and a great deal of friction has already built up.

In these kinds of cases where at least one person in the relationship does not know how things have deteriorated, a marriage counselor who has a great deal of experience in these types of matters can usually find the best way to help the couple figure out what has happened to sour the relationship.

Other times when marriage counseling may be particularly useful can be when significant stakes are involved and there may be serious legal issues should the relationship fail. A couple who are having trouble resolving their differences on their own but who stand to lose a lot should the marriage end, may want to serious consider going to a marriage counselor sooner rather than later.

Seeking and obtaining marriage counseling can be seen as an attempt to repair a marriage and can have much more weight in any legal proceedings than just talks between the couple at home.

Finally, if you lack the funds or the ability to share your feelings with strangers, then marriage counseling may not be for you. Costs can run quite high, especially if numerous sessions are required to resolve the issues that are involved. Individuals who have a distrust or fear of counselors and do not like sharing with a stranger how they feel, may be better off using a friend or relative as a mediator rather than using a professional whom they do not know.

Marriage counseling can be a useful way to resolve conflict in a relationship, but it's important to know whether the counseling is the best way. If it is decided that marriage counseling has the best chance of helping the couple, then sooner is better to avoid lengthy sessions and to solve problems before they become too big.

How Marriage Counseling Works
How Marriage Counseling Works

How Counseling Works

Marriage counseling is the last resort of a damned couple, of course, for saving the marriage.

They may have already done enough to reach a point of no return. Still, it is better to seek marriage counseling as a last ditch effort. Professional counseling has many advantages. The counselors will be experienced in many such cases.

Therefore, they will be able to foresee what each party is going to tell in relation to a particular issue. It helps in preparing convincing answers to their concerns and doubts.

If the husband and wife are unable to resolve their problems by themselves or with the help of their friends, relatives and well wishers, then it is better to seek the help of professional marriage counseling.

Friends, relatives and well-wishers have one crippling disadvantage when it comes to solving the marriage troubles.

They will not be seen as impartial.

Each well-wisher by default will be partial to one party. Even if some of them are objective in the best possible way, they are unlikely to be accepted as neutral adjudicators by both the parties who are trying hard to score a knock out victory in the game of ego boxing over the other. As a result, such counselors lack credibility.

Therefore, finding a good marriage counselor practically remains the only viable option for mounting one final effort to save the marriage.

Almost all marriage counselors are trained psychological analysts or clinical psychologists. Therefore, they must have undergone professional training on how to deal with different psyches of different people. They relay on the results of scientific research on the same subject and know how to tackle scientifically the differences in opinion and conflicts of interest between both the parties.

In addition, marriage counselors can adopt the role of an authority on the matter and actually tell a person about what to do and what not to do. If the counselor manages to exert some kind of control over the minds of the parties, then he or she can guide the marriage to a proper direction.

However, for a marriage counseling to work efficiently, both the parties should approach the counseling sessions with an open mind. They must not consider the session as an occasion for scoring a victory over the other. Good marriage counselors make sure that it does not happen. Still, without the wholehearted cooperation of the warring parties, no counselor, however experienced he or she may be, can find a solution to the marriage troubles.

While there is breath in your lungs there is still hope. Although you may have been through a lot of hurt and pain, there is always hope for healing and forgiveness. As in any relationship, the willing heart to work things out and humbly surrender to the process of life will render great fruit and restoration.

Marriage counseling has worked for millions of people around the world and it will provide you with the same outcome if you and your partner enter it with the desire to work out the relationship.

Signs That You Need Marriage Counseling
Signs That You Need Marriage Counseling

Signs That You Need Marriage Counseling

Many diseases can affect the health of a marriage.

These are not diseases caused by any biological virus or bacteria. Instead, psychological germs and dirt on the mind cause these diseases. The common diseases that affect marriages are lack of trust, lack of communication and lack of love. All these diseases let out clear symptoms. If you are alert to these symptoms, then you can prevent or treat these problems.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure in the case of any disease. However, if you are unable to prevent this occurrence, then you can seek the help of marriage counseling. The following are the commonly observed symptoms for diseases that affect marriages.

Lack of communication is a clichéd subject. It does not mean that both the parties always talk about all the issues under the sun, for example, about the merits and demerits of President Obama's economic stimulus package. It is as much about listening and understanding as it is about expressing one's feeling.

The quality of interpersonal communication is more important than the quantity. One can talk continuously for hours, without actually relating anything. If you feel that there is a broken link of quality communication with your partner, then there might be some problems that a marriage counselor can help you with.

If both the parties continue to debate about the same issue, fully knowing that it is irresolvable, then the health of the marriage is not at its best. There can be some irresolvable issues between the couple and they still can lead a happy and satisfied marriage life. The key is to agree to disagree.

Both parties must accept the reality and get on with life. The tendency not to accept that fact usually results from ego or a superiority complex. Always remember that ego feeds ego in the other person's mind, which in turn may inflame your ego. The less you flirt with ego, the better and the healthier your marriage will get.

Therefore, quarreling over the same "evergreen" issues about in-laws or certain habits frequently is a sure sign of deterioration of marriage, and ideally, you must seek marriage counseling.

Certainly, an affair can be a deadly symptom of a troubled marriage. The real problem is the tendency for a man to spend time away from the wife. You do not want to spend time with your wife and you may prefer the company of a mistress or friends. In addition, you may want to spend time alone or indulging in some hobbies. These are signs that you require marriage counseling.

Your marriage is one of the most precious relationships you'll ever have in life. If you've found yourself in the middle of marriage disappointed, frustrated and angry, then going to a marriage counselor may be the best decision for you and your spouse. If you begin to see signs like these, then don't hesitate but make a choice today to heal your relationship and build it up for a strong future.

Marriage Counseling Versus Self-Help Material
Marriage Counseling Versus Self-Help Material

Marriage Counseling Versus Self-Help Material

When a couple is having trouble with their relationship and trying to work it out themselves only to find that isn't working, there are two other choices: marriage counseling versus self-help material.

Which way is better?

There are pros and cons for each method, and really it will depend on each couple and their own particular situation. One couple may find that marriage counseling solves all their problems in a short amount of time, whereas another couple might find that therapy only makes their problems worse. The same can be said for the use of self-help material.

Therefore, when considering marriage counseling or whether to buy self-help material, each couple should look at their own situation and decide which factors are most important for them as a couple, and as individuals.

One factor that tends to be very important is cost. Like anything, the rates that marriage counselors charge will vary depending on the experience and the success that the counselor has had. The average tends to be $100 per session. Generally the counselor will want to meet with the couple on a regular basis in the beginning, and so the sessions could be arranged at a rate of one per week for three months.

That's $1000 versus the $25 cost of a book on how to repair and save marriages. Those are obviously very different numbers, and there is no guarantee that the higher cost will result in more success, or that the cheap route will actually work.

The issue of responsibility is another major factor when considering books versus a counselor. A couple trying to use the concepts in a book to fix their relationship problems have to rely on themselves to make sure the techniques are being used, and that the proper follow-up and communication is being done. This is harder than it sounds and often what can happen is that only one person in the pair takes the responsibility and this can lead to further frustration on that person's part.

With marriage counseling the focus is still on the couple to share their feelings and to be honest and try out the techniques and advice they are given. However, during the session it is the counselor that is in charge and who will do the appropriate follow-up from session to session. He or she will also most likely be taking notes to keep things clear and recorded from week to week and this gives a greater sense of fairness.

There are numerous self-help materials out there and choosing the right one can be daunting.

The couple has to sift through all the information and reviews available to try to choose the best one. There are likely to be fewer options for counselors depending on where the couple lives, and this could influence their decision as well.

Self-help books and marriage counseling are two different approaches to dealing with the same problem. Which one is better will depend on the couple and their own unique situation. The important thing is to do the research to make the most informed decision on which approach to take.

More Books and Resources - To Help You Understand The Steps To Take If You Are Unhappy In A Marriage

If you are in a marriage that is struggling then use these great resources to get you heading in the right direction.

Marriage Help: Restore Your Marriage & Fall in Love Again (Devotional for Couples)
Marriage Help: Restore Your Marriage & Fall in Love Again (Devotional for Couples)

A really good book that shows you how to fix a broken marriage and even put the romance back into your lives.


There are always hurdles in life, and to have problems in a relationship is just part of life. If you have experienced marriage troubles and would like to share your experience we are here to listen.

Are You having Difficulty In A Relationship - If so we would would really like to hear your comments.

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    • webcat profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Australia

      @jim bruce guita: Yes that is the perception of many about marriage, I have been married for 18 years now have two great kids and a wonderful wife sometimes.

      But regardless of how good I think it is, there are days when I could just walk out the door and never come back but due to my commitment i stay and the urge to leave passes and life returns to normal.

    • jim bruce guita profile image

      jim bruce guita 

      5 years ago

      We all do! I think everyone should get married ( why should anyone be happy?)


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