Does Marriage Counselling Actually Work?
Seeking help for problems is an intimidating task. Especially when the problem is your marriage.
One question we get asked a lot is “does marriage counselling work?” It’s natural to wonder if something so intensive is even worth the effort. We would like to take a look at how effective marriage counselling can be and whether it does, in fact, work.
When Does Marriage Counselling Work?
The very short answer is “Yes”. Yes it can. It can also fail. There are many factors that have a big influence on whether or not counselling has a good chance at success. Here are some of the big positives that help improve a couple’s chances:
• Couples in love. Let’s draw a distinction between “loving” and “in love.” Think of the latter as that infatuating burst of romance that accompanies young relationships. Couples who are in love commonly have that enthusiasm and optimism that is key to making changes.
• Honesty. It’s trite to say that honesty is important in a relationship. When it comes to marriage counselling it’s absolutely integral, however. You both have to be honest with each other and with your counsellor. Sometimes this might be difficult but it’s necessary to fixing the relationship.
• Respect for therapy. If you or your partner don’t believe that therapy is appropriate or useful, it’s going to be difficult to get anything out of it. For marriage counselling to work you need to follow the counsellor’s recommendations closely.
You also need to devote the needed time to work on things outside of the sessions, spending time together, and talking to each other. Dedicate at least seven hours a week to this alone.
When Does Marriage Counselling Not Work?
There are also some big obstacles that can really hurt your chances of resolving things as a couple. If you’re keen to avoid divorce, then you and your partner should try to avoid these big problems if you can:
• Sexism. If someone has strong ideas about the appropriate roles for one or both sexes, that can lead to a whole host of problems. That makes it very difficult to listen to each other and make the changes needed to save your marriage. Your partner is a person, whole and complete, and their sex is only a part of that. Appreciate them fully and support them for who they are rather than who you think they should be.
• Waiting too long. This seems counter-intuitive. Marriage counselling is often seen as a ‘last resort’ but if you wait that long it may be too late. It’s much better to nip problems in the bud and get help before they become insurmountable.
• Failure to accept your role. As the old saying goes, it takes two to tango. Both partners must be committed and both must be willing to accept they may have shortcomings and may make mistakes. Insisting the other person is entirely the one at fault will never save a marriage.
The process of improving your relationship cannot be undertaken if someone refuses to participate.
Marriage counselling is a commitment and a process. Your relationship will not be saved just by going to sessions or even by improving your communication. You have to make a mutual promise to examine yourselves and each other honestly and to change yourselves. Do this and marriage counselling can indeed succeed.
If you are in the Newmarket area and need a divorce lawyer, feel free to contact us today.