Whether you are newly married, a long-time married couple, or someone getting married in the near future, your basic goal as a one half of a partnership should be the same. You want to stay with your partner without problems, enriching each other’s lives while enjoying good times together.
When a partnership feels as if it is failing, if arguments are increasingly happening more than the fun times, or if there are trust issues holding each of you back, you may feel like there is no hope in rekindling the relationship that made you fall in love in the first place.
Here are five reasons why marriage counseling can make your marriage stronger than ever.
1) Improved Communication
You can’t really go to counseling without communicating with your significant other. Your counselor will guide you through activities that help you enhance your communication skills and teach you ways to open up to each other. Healthy communications is one of the most important aspects in marriage.
If you cannot talk to your spouse, you will never know what the other is thinking or how they are feeling. Talking the big and small issues through will keep discussions positive and teach you both how to look after each other so you are both comfortable in any situation.
2) Increased Intimacy
There are married couples who are best friends and others who do not share intimacy with each other. This is very unfortunate, as being intimate allows both parties to be more in tune with their spouse. Everyone needs to feel loved, and being intimate is a way to show just how much you feel for the other person.
If you are having difficulties being intimate with your spouse, your counselor may recommend you do some homework assignments. Don’t be afraid – they aren’t that intense. Marriage homework assignments are usually tasked with getting to know your spouse better and discovering what makes them aroused. Here’s a link to an example marriage counseling homework assignment we have given to clients.
3) More Trust
If you have doubts about some of the things your partner does when you are not around, you could be challenged by strong fears of abandonment. Trust is the basis of a successful relationship and it needs to be felt completely. If you are having issues with trusting your significant other, going to a marriage counselor can help you squash these feelings by talking opening about your fears.
Learning to trust your partner more can take a bit of time and your counselor may give you at-home activities to do to help you get past your fears. If you have been cheated on in the past, there’s a good chance an exploration of what happened will come up in marriage counseling as a way of better understanding trust issues in the here and now.
Know that it is not uncommon to bring in previous baggage from an old relationship. What’s important is that the material is processed so that it doesn’t act as a roadblock to closeness today.
4) Future Planning
Thinking about the future can be overwhelming if you have hopes and dreams that do not coincide with the hopes and dreams of your partner. You may feel you have to give up on your desires in order to appease your partner. This can lead to feelings of resentment.
Talking through your feelings with a counselor to mediate can help you both realize the importance of what you wish to happen in the future. You will then be able to barter for a happy medium or convince your partner to agree with you (or vice versa) by explaining reasoning for why certain goals are desired. This is why our therapists encourage couples to regularly schedule time together as a way of planning for the future.
5) Financial Management
Talking about money can be a sore spot if one person is earning income and the other is not making as much, if any. One person may feel like they are bearing the brunt of the financial responsibilities in the household, making them resent their partner.
If money-earning is not equal, one person will usually feel inferior. If these feelings are left unchecked, it can cause serious damage to your marriage. At its worst, it can even provoke a divorce.
Your counselor will talk through this situation with you both so you realize that the person working less is still every bit as important with their role in the partnership. They may be doing the cleaning, bill paying, child rearing, meal preparation, or more.
If there is a lack of financial stability within the partnership on both ends, there is apt to be some confrontational situations. Your marriage therapist will help you learn what to do in an emergency financial crisis and how being strong and caring toward each other overcomes being negative and derogatory when money is sparse.
Marriage counseling may be one of the best things you will ever do for your relationship. Don’t buy into old stereotypes that suggest marriage therapy means something is wrong with your relationship. It simply isn’t true.
If you are interested in learning more about how the marriage counseling process works, we encourage you to read our ultimate guide to couples/marriage counseling.
The best part about this guide is that it’s completely free! You’ll learn all about marriage and couples counseling, including how to pay for it and what to expect from the process. The guide was authored by the founder of Couples Counseling Center, Dr. John Moore.
Thanks for visiting the Couples Counseling Center in Chicago online. Be sure to stop by our relationship counseling bookstore for more insight and guidance on all things related to the heart.