“Does marriage counseling work?” is truly a matter that needs an appropriate answer. We all know that most couples will only choose it as the last resort, not to mention the cost is often considered fairly expensive.
You might have heard the myths about extremely low success rates of couple therapy before asking this question. In reply to this, we would say that it depends a lot on the couple themselves. According to research, in most case, marriage counseling failed to work because couples often wait too long until they decided to visit a counselor. By that time, one spouse or even both have already given up.
Marriage counseling DOES work, but not like a miracle that heals your relationship after one night. Of course, there is no guarantee. Even we can’t assure you that couple therapy will be able to fix your marriage. That’s why Linkingo has listed down here in this article 6 things you need to commit when you decide to come to a therapist for marriage counseling.
Does Marriage Counseling Work? Make Sure You Do 6 Things
Focus on yourself more than your spouse
It is clear that you expect your partner to change in order to improve your marriage. But you know, you won’t be able to control his or her behaviors. That’s the reason why focusing on yourself with the presence of your spouse would be the best way to mend your marriage. You shall be able to influence the other half in a positive way if you are the one who creates positive change.
So, point out all your strong and weak points. Think about the ideal spouse according to you for a second, then consider what you should do to become one. A trustable therapist will make sure that both of you work on the marriage, so it will be best if you focus on yourself first.
Face your thoughts and feelings
It would be harder for couple therapy to work if you still hesitate to admit your thoughts and feeling. Usually, this would lead to an uncooperative attitude. Therefore, you will be able to save much time and effort if you just be honest with your feelings.
Also, it is not just your current feelings. Try to reach deeper to the things that hide under your emotions and the way you react. Why are you always scared that your partner would betray you? How come this act can make you angry? Do you feel humiliated, embarrassed or insecure? Not only will this help counselor to understand the root of all the conflicts better, but it will also strengthen the bond between you and your spouse as you have shown a more vulnerable side of yourself.
Willing to spend time
Prepare yourself because marriage counseling might require a large amount of time. The more serious the problem is, the more regularly you shall have to visit a counselor. In fact, that’s the reason why timing is very important when it comes to couple therapy. Thus, if you are expecting it to fix your relationship in a couple sessions, think again.
Also, you shall have to spend quality time with your partner and create a comfortable space for each other in your life. Without that, your marriage would hardly be saved.
Marriage is not something that can satisfy you completely. Even in the most perfect relationship in this world, there would still be times when you get bored, lonely, sad, all the negative feelings you might think of. Sometimes your spouse will be able to comfort you and you feel like you love him or her more than anything. But sometimes your spouse won’t.
Therefore, it is important to be independent and able to fulfill your needs by yourself. That way, you shall be able to avoid unnecessary disappointments and conflicts. It is often suggested that you find yourself a hobby outside the marriage.
Stop considering divorce an option for the time being
Often when couples come to a marriage counselor, they feel rather hopeless. It is the common case and you shouldn’t be worried about. Nevertheless, remember that it would be hard for therapy to work if you (or both) already set your mind that it is the end.
Instead of thinking that you and your spouse would divorce anyway, try to consider the fact that you both can work and commit to change the situation. In order to do that, you have to stop thinking of divorce as an option. You can part ways anytime, but you don’t have much chance to work on your marriage, so grab this chance!
Come to sessions as your therapist advises
If your marriage counselor tells you to come regularly, just follow it. Don’t come once every few months. Don’t just come when crises arise. It should be best to come until you two have learned to change the perspective and see a life together with a new point of view. After all, in order to save your marriage, there are many things that require you both to change and improve together. And changes won’t occur after one night. You need to constantly practice. Even a counselor won’t be able to help you if you don’t follow advice.
Soon, you will see that maybe your marriage doesn’t really have to end up in despair. With the tips we have provided, you will be able to get the most out of marriage counseling, and for sure shall be able to achieve and maintain a close relationship with your spouse in the future.
So does marriage counseling work? The answer is Yes, however, the fact that marriage counseling is not the only option for couples who are trying to mend their marriages. There are many online programs that can help you save your time and money. If you choose the right ones, they can be even more effective than visiting a counselor. You can check out the list of best books on saving your marriage here in this article to find the most suitable program for yourself.
Last but not least, remember that it is not a couple therapy which plays the main role in changing your own marriage. It should be you and your behaviors. Keep in mind that every relationship has to go through different challenges, you will be able to keep yours safe and sound.
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