Both getting married and falling in love are stressful. You might argue that they are the easiest part. Maintaining a marriage can be hard. It can be difficult to raise children, work long hours, or deal with financial difficulties.
It is no surprise that 40% of all marriages end in divorce. It’s true that not all marriages are meant to be. Some couples fall apart, or discover they are incompatible. However, many marriages end when the couple doesn’t have the tools and support to handle their problems.
What Is Marriage Counseling?
Marriage Counseling or couples therapy is a type of counseling that focuses on the marriage and relationship. Marriage counselors, usually Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT), are trained to help couples identify their problems and find solutions. The marriage counseling program is safe for couples to discuss their thoughts and to have a good time.
Communication is crucial in solving marital problems. Marriage counseling is one of many ways to improve communication skills and come to mutual understandings. It can help you and your spouse figure out how to move forward together, or end your marriage amicably, if that is the best option for you.
Do You Need Marriage Counseling?
A couple may seek counseling for marriage. There are many reasons. Some people have a greater risk of divorce than others, such as those who marry young, divorced parents, and those with lower incomes. However, counseling is not necessary for all.
You should instead look at the aspects of your relationship that could be causing distress, dissatisfaction, and conflict. The following questions can be asked about you, your partner and your marriage:
- Are there any conflicts between you and your partner over religious beliefs or values?
- Are you prone to criticizing one another?
- Are you prone to being defensive in your marriage?
- Do you find it easy to withdraw from your partner?
- Are you feeling resentful, anger, or contempt for each other?
- Are you concerned about your communication?
- Are you indifferent to your partner’s feelings?
- Are you feeling like you and your partner don’t have much in common?
- Do you feel that you are becoming more distant from your partner?
- Is your marriage infidelity or addicted?
You may be at greater risk of relationship dissatisfaction or divorce if you answered yes to multiple questions. This doesn’t necessarily mean that divorce will be inevitable. However, it could mean that you need to work harder to maintain a healthy relationship. You can get help from a marriage counselor.https://6508749d1460bcf5cc66d19374ec7fef.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Counseling may be necessary for many reasons. Couples may feel less connected and close to one another due to the stress of everyday life and the demands of work or family.
5 Reasons You May Need Marriage Counseling
Conflict is something that all couples have to deal with. Some couples experience conflict because they are fighting over money, while others have sex problems or a pattern that involves constant arguing. The coronavirus pandemic added another stressor to the mix: spending more time together at home, which can increase tensions and expose cracks in relationships.
Therapy is an option. It’s not about pointing fingers — it’s not about who is responsible or who was wrong. Tracy Ross, a New York City relationship and family therapist, says that couples therapy is about tools for communication and asking for what you want.
Attention eye-rollers: The American Psychological Association reports that about 75% of couples who choose therapy believe it helps improve their relationship. Ross states that therapy is the one hour a couple spends together where they are focused on their relationship and have no distractions.
Many couples struggle for years together before they try therapy. Gail Saltz is a clinical associate professor in psychiatry at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College. However, she says that it’s better to start therapy sooner than later.
What is the biggest obstacle to seeking help? If only one partner is willing to make changes. Saltz states that sometimes someone is willing to do the work while the other isn’t. “Ultimately, both parties have to take part.”
These are just 5 reasons that couples seek help with their relationship.
1. You fight about money
Money has been a contentious topic for couples for years. But add in the late-in life concerns of baby boomers — potential health issues, less earning power and low interest rates, and you have an environment that is ripe to cause financial friction. According to a Harris Interactive poll, 36% of married 55-64-year-olds believe money issues can cause disagreements with their spouses.
Differing spending habits or disagreements about how to save and spend retirement could lead to a clash. Stress over not having enough money or inequalities in how your nest egg is managed can lead to arguments. Ed Coambs, a Matthews-based financial therapist and couple counselor, says that money can cause anger, anxiety, and envy. It has such high associations with power that it can cause a breakdown in the relationship if the partner earning less is not from another psychological influence.
Coambs says therapy helps people to understand their relationship to money and how it shapes their views about themselves and others. Many times, our past experiences influence how we view finances and manage them. He helps clients to draw a family tree, and then they discuss how each partner treated financial matters — how their parents spent, saved and discussed money. Coambs states that this exercise helps clients become more aware and compassionate about their spending habits.
2. You’ve grown apart
Some couples stop engaging with one another after years of marriage and simply live together as roommates. According to David Woodsfellow (a couple therapist and clinical psychologist who founded and directed the Woodsfellow Institute For Couples in Atlanta), divorce incidence spikes at different times. He notes that the very top of the first wave occurs at seven years. The 21-year mark is the peak of the second wave. This second divorce is often a growing-apart. Avoidance is better than fighting.
I’ve heard couples say that they run a household together but have no intimacy or connection. Ross says that Ross and I are so busy, it doesn’t really matter. Distance like this can last a while as people fill their lives up with other things, which helps to reduce loneliness and needs. They then retire or become empty nesters and look at one another and ask, “Who are we now as a couple?”
Saltz says that couples often forget why they were together, and what made them fall in love. Saltz says that if you have been married for a while, you have a life story, memories, and a history you can’t get back with anyone else. Couples therapy can be a great way to revive that passion.
3. You have lots of unproductive, hurtful arguments
Each person has a different way of dealing with conflict. Some people thrive on confrontation while others are more comfortable with letting things simmer. The passive-aggressive are another group. While big blowouts can cause hurt feelings and tears, frequent bickering can also be destructive. Ross says that couples can get stuck in a loop. It’s the same argument over again.”
Woodsfellow says that an argument is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s how people deal with conflict that can make it unhealthy. Another way to put it: It is not what you say, but how you say them. He says, “It could include criticism, complaints, jabs, unkind words or verbal abuse like name-calling and yelling.”
Couples therapy helps you to manage disagreements in a constructive way. It is respectful and reasonable. Woodsfellow believes that the beginning of a conversation is key. Instead of uttering inflammatory statements like “Why did this happen?”, Woodsfellow suggests that you use a more positive tone. For example, “Help me understand why this is so ,” which can put the other person in defense mode (I feel like I’m not saying).
always, never are not good choices. Saltz recommends that you don’t draw from the past. “Recent events will be what you want to discuss.”
4. Divorce is not an option
Saltz states that most couples who come in for therapy have thought about divorce and want to find out if their marriage can be saved.
Sometimes, couples may have different goals. Sometimes, one person wants to end the relationship or split up. McManus states that “discernment counseling”, which McManus refers to, can be used to help spouses decide if they wish to get divorced or if there are changes they need to make if they want to stay together.
Therapy can help you to make your marriage work if it becomes clear that the couple is not compatible. Ross says that prolonged, messy divorces are often due to not being able let go. If a couple can work through the question “How did we get here?” and move past blaming one another, it can help them to be more mature and do less harm.
5. There is no love in the marriage
A study in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy asked 2371 recently divorcées to list their reasons for separation. 47 percent of participants responded that they felt deprived of intimacy or love.
It can lead to a dull sex life for some. McManus says that sex can become boring if you do the same thing over and over again. McManus says that sometimes one partner is too tired and having sex can feel like another task to do.
Even the smallest intimacies, such as a peck on the cheek or listening to your partner tell their stories and small acts of kindness, can make a difference in helping you feel connected with your partner. McManus points out that there are many couples who are intimate and affectionate but not sexually intimate. McManus says that as long as both of you are happy with your current situation, there shouldn’t be a problem. If one of you is unhappy with the level of intimacy, couples counseling can be helpful.
Sometimes it can be hard for people to openly discuss something so personal. A good therapist will help you navigate the conversation and make you feel more comfortable talking about intimate topics.
People often wait until problems in their relationships become too severe to seek help. However, it is possible to get help sooner than that. You can strengthen your relationship with your partner by improving your communication skills, finding ways to resolve conflict and rebuilding emotional intimacy.
There is no perfect marriage. Marriage counseling is a useful tool for helping you and your partner get back on track.