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What Marriage Counseling Can and Cannot Do For You
What can marriage counseling do and what are its limitations? If you are experiencing marriage problems and are like other couples, you have waited years too long to go into counseling. There are many reasons you might have waited, but here you are. Reading this article and thinking about going to counseling.
What Marriage Counseling Can Do For You?
First, let’s talk about what marriage counseling can do for you and your spouse. If you and your spouse are willing to put in the work, it can help you improve your communication in marriage. This isn’t the end goal, however. Better communication is only good if it helps you to connect and feel safe with each other.
A good experience in marriage counseling will help you and your spouse feel emotionally safe with each other. It will help you accept one another – flaws and all. Since we all know that you aren’t perfect nor is your spouse, then you want to accept it. This will help you get over expectations of perfection – or at least of them being someone they are not. Marriage counseling is designed to help both of you see each other as you really are. Then, you are able to accept each other as you really are. This can create lasting and deep emotional intimacy.
What Marriage Counseling Won’t Do For You?
Second, let’s talk about what marriage counseling won’t do for you and your spouse. It isn’t a fix all and can’t cure you if you are not willing to work. It takes both of you to make it work and only one of you to crash it. So, it won’t do anything for your marriage if one of you has decided that they don’t want to work.
Also, marriage counseling won’t give you quick fix answers and solutions. The patterns and behaviors you and your spouse have developed over the years won’t be fixed in a month. I often have clients come into therapy and look at me as if to say, “Ok – what do you have that will fix us? We want it now because we have a weekend away without the kids coming up and want it to go well.”
A good, general rule of thumb is that What You See Is What You Get. If you guys have struggled for years, then you will continue to struggle. It will take some time and effort to heal your marriage and learn new skills. If you struggled yesterday, you are most likely going to struggle today. Eventually, however, you can become closer and stronger as a couple.
A good marriage counselor will help you make the most out of your effort to fix your relationship problems.