Marriage Counseling 101

Sep 26

Did you know that around 40% of marriages end in divorce? Of course, nobody who is getting married thinks that they could be part of this statistic, but after the honeymoon phase wears off, they very well could be. All married couples experience problems in their relationships, no matter how in love they are. It’s up to the couple to decide how they’re going to deal with them.

Luckily, there are people who make it their business to help couples through their struggling marriages. That’s right! I’m talking about marriage counselors. Many couples are biased against marriage counseling, but it can prove to be very effective if they’re willing to give it a chance.

Countless studies show that couples who go through marriage counseling stand a better chance of staying together than those who don’t. However, studies also show that in order for the marriage to survive, couples have to be willing to take control of their own behaviors and use what they learn during counseling. Just going to a counselor is not a magic fix-all.

Here are some things marriage counselors can help a couple with, according to Austin-based marriage counselor Kathleen Snyder:

  • Lack of Communication
  • Conflict and Resentment
  • Drifting Apart
  • Affair Recovery
  • Differences in Parenting Style
  • Obstacles to Sexual Intimacy
  • Balancing Work and Family

Any number of these issues can escalate into marriage-ending problems. Any relationship, regardless of whether it’s a marriage, can be tricky to navigate. People at different stages of their marriage go through different problems. For instance, couples in established marriages may find their relationship growing stale. Nobody wants to stay in a passionless marriage, which can lead to other problems, such as resentment or even infidelity. Couples in new marriages may find that they didn’t know each other as well as they thought they did. That can be a tough pill to swallow, especially since the couple will likely still be excited about other aspects of the marriage.

Of course, one of the main obstacles keeping people away from marriage counseling is that they don’t want to admit that they have problems in the first place. That’s step #1. If a couple can agree that they need help enough to talk to a counselor, they’ve already taken an important step to repairing the relationship. Next, people have to be willing to change. Problems in a marriage are hardly ever caused by just one spouse. Often, both partners will complicate small issues until they’re too interwoven to be blamed on just one person. 

Couples have to understand that fixing a troubled marriage is a process that takes time. Studies show that the more counseling sessions a couple attends, the more likely they are to stay together. If you’re in a troubled marriage, you might want to consider marriage counseling. Making the investment now can save you both a lot of heartbreak later on. 

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