When is it Appropriate to Seek Marriage Counseling? 

Most couples don’t ever seek marriage counseling. Even many couples who end up divorcing report that they didn’t seek counseling prior to deciding to end the relationship. There is a lot of confusion about when marriage counseling should be considered.

There are lots of times throughout the marriage (and even before) that it could be very helpful to seek counseling. You don’t have to have a bad marriage to get counseling and seeking help doesn’t mean your marriage is doomed. Just like most people get an annual checkup with their doctor, the concept of a marriage checkup could be really helpful to many couples.

Consider marriage counseling as a tool to assist you in ensuring the health and well-being of your relationship. It can help you learn new skills, understand yourself and your spouse better, and teach you strategies that can improve your overall marital satisfaction.

Before Marriage                                     

Pre-marital counseling can be extremely helpful to couples. It can help each partner identify their expectations about marriage and their upcoming marital roles. This can help prepare each person much better for their life as a married couple.

Pre-marital counseling can also help couples identify strategies to overcome barriers, such as different beliefs about religion or family. Clarifying these beliefs and learning about options to address them can reduce conflict.

Pre-marital counseling can also teach skills. Anger management, conflict resolution, and communication skills are amongst the important skills each person will need in order to have a happy, healthy marriage. A trained counseling can assist the couple in identifying gaps in their skills and can teach them strategies to increase the likelihood of marital success.

Life Changing Events

Any time a couple faces a big change, counseling can be beneficial. Whether you are facing the birth of a child, a move to a new home, a career change, children moving out, or retirement, consider talking to a marriage counselor. These sorts of events can be stressful and can take a toll on your marriage if you don’t handle them well. Consider seeking counseling prior to making the big change so you can prepare together as a couple for dealing with the stress.

If you experience an unanticipated change, such as a health problem or death of a loved one, seek counseling as soon as possible.  A marriage counselor can assist you in responding to the stress in a way that can ensure you will grow together as you deal with problems. Sadly, these sorts of unanticipated events tend to make couples grow apart and can contribute to divorce.

Increased Arguments

If you notice increased tension or more conflict, it may be time for a trip to the marriage counselor. Whether you are arguing over money, chores, or parenting, consider seeking some outside help to assist you in managing the conflict.

Sometimes the increased conflict can be a problem in itself. Other times, it may be a symptom of another underlying problem. Seeking treatment can help you learn what is happening to your marriage and it can help strengthen your bond.

Declining Marital Satisfaction

Sometimes people just assume it is normal to be in a marriage that isn’t “all that happy.” This sort of assumption prevents people from seeking treatment to improve their marital satisfaction. If you aren’t happy in your marriage, don’t just resign yourself to mediocre life, get help!

Marital satisfaction is essential to your overall satisfaction with life. A marriage counselor can help ensure that you and your spouse are experiencing your marriage to your full potential. When your marriage moves from mediocre to great, it can skyrocket your overall happiness with life.

When There’s Been an Affair

If you or your spouse has engaged in an affair, it doesn’t mean your marriage is doomed or hopeless. It does mean that your marriage needs to change in order to be a satisfying relationship. A marriage counselor can help both of you recover from the devastating effects of infidelity.

Before You Separate

If you are considering a separation, or a divorce, get help first! Many couples resign themselves to the fact that their marriage just isn’t going to work out and they don’t try to get help. Don’t wait until you’ve already moved out to get help. Seek treatment right away.

Even if you do decide to divorce, you can still get couple’s counseling. Marriage counselors often help couples negotiate a peaceful divorce, which is especially important if you have children. Learning how to get along after you’ve decided not to be together can be very emotional and tricky to navigate. However, a professional counselor can assist you with grieving the loss of your marriage while resolving conflict in a healthy way.

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