There are lots of reasons that couples may decide to seek help and get marriage counseling. There are some common themes that marriage counselors encounter when couples seek help for their marriage. Most marriage counselors are comfortable addressing and helping couples deal with these problems, but certainly there are many other common marital issues that can be addressed in counseling as well.
1. Remarriage and Blended Families
After people have already been divorced once, they are more likely to be a little nervous about getting remarried. And according to statistics, rightly so. The divorce rates for second marriages are even higher than first marriages. And for couples who already have kids, blending two families can be complicated. Marriage counselors can assist couples in making a smoother transition and also overcoming obstacles and barriers to remarriage.
2. Family of Origin Problems
In-laws can be more than a simple nuisance in some marriages. In fact, family of origin problems can certainly lead to serious marital issues. Setting healthy boundaries can be a difficult issue for many people, especially when they come from dysfunctional families. Issues about how much time to spend with extended family or determining what role extended family will play in your life are common issues. Marriage counselors can assist couples in identifying strategies to keep their relationship healthy despite problems with the family of origin.
3. Mental Health Problems
When one partner has a mental health issue, it certainly impacts them as a couple. Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety can take a toll over time. Other mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder can also interfere with a couple’s ability to maintain a healthy relationship. Couples can benefit from attending counseling together to learn how to work together to treat and deal with mental illness.
Grief comes in many forms. Whether a couple is grieving a miscarriage, loss of a child, or loss of a parent, it can be devastating to marriage. A marriage counselor can assist a couple in working through grief issues together so that their grief doesn’t tear them apart.
5. Physical Health Changes
Physical health has a big impact on marriage. As a couple experiences a gradual, age-related decline in health, it can significantly interfere with their activities and intimate life. Other couples, unfortunately, experience a significant illness or accident that may drastically make a big change in their marriage. If one partner is unable to work, contribute to household responsibilities, or help with daily activities, it can lead to a lot of marital problems if it is not addressed.
Addiction is a common reason that couples seek help. And addiction doesn’t necessarily have to be to drugs or alcohol. Cybersex or internet addictions and gambling addictions are common as well. Sometimes individual or group therapy is needed as well to thoroughly treat an addiction.
Dealing with infidelity is a big reason for couples to seek help. Recovering from an affair or even deciding whether or not to try and work through an affair is complicated. A marriage counselor can help the couple address the reason for infidelity and to work through trust issues along with the many feelings associated with an affair.
8. Lifestyle Changes
Major changes in lifestyle can have a serious impact on a couple. Moving to a new area, making a big career change, or having the birth of a baby can certainly upset the apple cart in many marriages. Marriage counselors can help couples identify their expectations and work through changes to make transitions more smoothly.
9. Parenting Disagreements
Parenting can be a big issue for couples. When couples disagree on discipline strategies or parenting philosophies, it can lead to a lot of conflict. Marriage counselors can assist parents in learning to work together so they aren’t competing against one another.
10. Communication Problems
Communication is one of the biggest keys to a happy, healthy relationship. However, when couples struggle with communication, it can make everything much more difficult. When couples struggle with communication, solving problems, resolving conflict, and making decisions can become a major source of stress. Marriage counselors can help couples learn new skills and fine tune some of their communication habits.
11. Not Feeling in Love
People also tend to want counseling when they feel the relationship has grown stale. Marriage counselors often hear couples talk about not feeling “in love” anymore. Counseling can be a great way for couples to learn strategies to help them feel more attached and bonded and rekindle some of the spark they may have lost.