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How Would You Know if You Need Marriage Counseling?

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How Would You Know if You Need Marriage Counseling?

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During a troubled phase of marital life, it is important that couples deliberately and dedicatedly give attention and work towards improving their relationship as they face turbulence in their love and romance. Also, they should not hesitate to take expert help.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. K. Shobana

Published At February 13, 2017
Reviewed AtJune 15, 2022

Introduction:

Do we need to meet a marriage counselor? Will my spouse agree to this? These are the common questions that couples usually struggle with when they pass through a troubled phase of marital life. Generally, a common answer people give to themselves is, let us give some time, and when the existing living conditions improve, so will our marriage. But, challenging situations never end in life, and they just change their identity from time to time. Hence, it is important that couples deliberately and dedicatedly give attention and work towards improving their relationship if they face turbulence in their love and romance.

Some of the effective tips for rejuvenating marital life are like giving more time to your spouse, spending quality time together, and having a daily dialogue about your feelings for each other and your lives together rather than discussing your activities that day.

However, if things do not work out, then couples should not be hesitant to take expert help immediately. I suggest some of the signs that could tell couples that they should meet a marriage counselor.

What Are the Signs Indicating Marriage Counseling?

Every decision needs a sign. Married couples confused about whether to opt for marriage counseling can lookout for the following signs and make the right decision. Few of the clear signs indicating marriage counseling are,

1. Negative Communication

This happens whenever a couple tries to talk to improve their relationship. The communication between couples becomes negative, and they end up arguing, accusing, and hurting each other. At times, a partner tends to voluntarily do things to annoy the other, ending up in arguments. Hence, their communication gets limited to small talks related to kids, home chores, EMIs, etc.

2. Spouse Becomes a Roommate

When couples become more like roommates than a spouse, it indicates that they may need counseling. It does not mean that the couple is unwilling to stay together and they are in trouble. It means that there is a lack of communication, conversation, intimacy, or any other elements that the couple feel are important, and they believe they just co-exist.

Lack of communication can cause adverse effects in a relationship. It tends to cause irreparable damages, which in the future can become a topic for the huge argument. Communication is the key to a healthy relationship, and a lack of it has to be addressed in the early stages. This can also be considered as an indication that a skilled therapist can help them sort out what is missing and how to get it back.

3. Extramarital Affair

When one or both the partners are having extramarital affairs, they both decide not to end their marriage and come back to their spouse. Extramarital affairs probably result from many events that took place between the couple that led them to seek love from outside of the two. This generally ends up in separation, but a few couples plan to give their marriages a chance. This will ultimately require some counseling for them to get over the past and establish a healthy relationship.

4. Living Together for Children

Couples having an unhealthy relationship, devoid of love, end up staying in the marriage for the sake of their children. Such couples have to come to an understanding and take up marriage counseling to help themselves. Marriage counseling will help them deal with their differences.

5. Considers Separation as a Solution

When things between couples have turned sour, and they frequently refer to separation as the only solution left, then it is time that they immediately seek marital counseling.

6. Lying And Keeping Secrets From Partner

A relationship is built with the foundation of trust and honesty. Being honest and sharing events or information about their life will indicate a sense of trust and attachment towards the significant other. When one stops sharing information and lying about things of great importance, it precisely reflects the uncertainty in the relationship. Financial secrets are also included in this case. Keeping one’s finances a secret depicts distress in a relationship (though it is not essential always). It can be due to various personal reasons and is a sign that marriage counseling is needed.

7. Lack of Intimacy

Maintaining intimacy after a few years of marriage is a common struggle for most couples, and it is normal. But being intimate with your partner becomes a struggle, then it is a sign something is not good with the relationship, and marriage counseling becomes essential. Marriage counseling will help bring back the magic in relationships.

8. Annoying at All Times

Being annoyed by a partner’s behavior sometimes is totally normal. But constantly being annoyed by the partner's behavior, however small it may be, is a sign of approaching a marriage counselor to work on emotions and compatibility.

9. No Personal or Professional Growth

A relationship is considered to be healthy when both the partners benefit from it. A relationship should nurture both the partner’s growth in terms of personal and professional life. If one feels life is stunted, it is time for both partners to attend marriage counseling to work on their beliefs and eliminate the stunting qualities present.

Does Marriage Counseling Work?

Yes, marriage counseling does work magic. But it all depends on the involvement of the individual partners. Couples taking the step to attend marriage counseling is a sign that they want to work it, and this urge, combined with therapy, will work wonders. For some, they will not be willing to change any of their traits and do not work well. It is also important to attend all the sessions (minimum of 12 sessions) in order to be more reflective. How long the counseling is going to work depends on how far the couple takes the step to incorporate all the learned healthy marriage skills into practice.

With healthcare taking its big step in online services, online marriage counseling seemed to work for many.

Conclusion:

Marriages include a lot of emotions. Going through problems in a marriage can be tough, but it is also important to address the issues right in the beginning. Leaving it unaddressed will result in bigger issues. Communication is always the key. It is advised to seek marriage counseling as early as possible to reap good benefits. Marriages are not perfect, and no couples are 100 % happy. If things are going out of hand to handle, it is the right time to seek a counselor.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

How Do We Know if Our Marriage Needs Help?

A marriage needs help if a person feels no respect for their partner and lacks trust in their relationship. Also, if you constantly lack communication and intimacy in your relationship, you need help. Finally, marriage counseling is required if there are more fights and arguments with your spouse and no grounds for a healthy discussion.

2.

Is Marriage Counseling Worth It?

Marriage counseling varies from case to case. Some people understand the issues in their relationship and try to save their marriage. On the other hand, some people no longer feel like staying in the marriage and decide to get separated after the therapy. Marriage counseling is not directed at keeping a relationship but gives people clarification about their marriage dynamics.

3.

Why Do People Go for Marriage Counseling?

People go for marriage counseling to resolve conflicts and problems in their married life. For example, if a couple fails to improve their relationship and has turbulence in their love and romantic life, they opt for marriage counseling. Marriage counseling sessions help couples to give time to their relationship, and it also helps them in developing healthy and effective communication.

4.

What Are the Signs of a Failing Marriage?

The signs of a failing marriage are:
- Felling of loneliness in a relationship.
- A person does not enjoy their partner’s company.
- Lack of communication.
- A person feels out of love.
- They do not think of romance and intimacy with their partner anymore.
- A person no longer feels like arguing or fighting with a partner.
- Constant feeling of disappointment.
- A person is worried about their finances.
- Lack of respect and trust.
- A person wants to stay in the marriage only for children and family.

5.

How Long Does Marriage Counseling Last?

Marriage counseling lasts six months (minimum of 12 sessions) for effective outcomes. Mental health professionals usually recommend a minimum duration of marriage counseling because the longer the counseling, the less the effects are. The success of marriage counseling mainly depends on how couples incorporate marriage skills into their practice to make the relationship last.

6.

How Is Couples Counseling Done?

In marriage counseling, the therapist talks to both partners. They try to know the history of the couple’s relationship and expect them to be honest and involved in the session.  After gathering all the information in the initial discussion, the therapist recommends a treatment plan to incorporate marriage skills according to the need of the couple.

7.

How Can We Fix a Broken Marriage?

The broken marriage can be fixed in the following ways:
- First, take responsibility for your behavior and actions.
- Give time to your partner and relationship.
- Be a good listener and try to understand your partner’s point of view.
- Spend quality time together.
- Be honest with your partner about your feelings.
- Try to repair the damage and not always attack or criticize your partner; work as a team.
- Build trust.
- Do not let distractions affect your relationship.
- Prioritize your partner's feelings and relationship needs.
- Try to work on love, romance, and sexual intimacy.

8.

When Do People Call It Quits in a Marriage?

People end their marriages when they feel a lack of love, intimacy, and a sense of belonging, which keeps changing throughout a wedding. Also, a lack of trust and respect in a relationship adds to the feeling of detachment, and people call it a quit in marriage. In addition, frequently arguing, disliking each other, and feeling angry with your partner makes people end their relationship or marriage.

9.

What Are the Benefits of Couples Therapy?

Couple therapy helps people to understand the real dynamics of their marriage and relationship. It helps couples understand each other’s perspectives and get feedback from an impartial sounding board (therapist). In addition, it allows people to learn practical and strategic coping skills to remove the roadblocks in their relationship.

10.

How Can People Restart Their Marriage?

People can restart their marriage by giving time to their relationship and listening to their partner's point of view. Next, people can resolve their relationship issues by identifying what really made them fall in love with their partner. Then, they can set aside distractions to talk freely and honestly with their spouses.

11.

Is It Normal for a Person To Feel Alone in a Marriage?

A person can feel alone in marriage for several reasons, such as
- Lack of emotional connection with the partner.
- The burden of parental responsibilities and no time for their own relationship.
- Lack of attentiveness and effort in relationships can also make a person feel lonely in marriage.
- Couples are overly dependent on each other for their validation and fulfillment and have no other social connections like friends and family members.

12.

Do Couples’ Marriage Therapists Suggest Separation?

Professional marriage counselors or therapists try to resolve multiple issues people have in their marriage. Therapists usually address the problems and concerns of the couples and help them give time to their relationship. They do not suggest separation but give possible directives to the couples based on the outcomes of the therapy.

13.

What Does a Person Gain From Marriage Counseling?

Marriage counseling helps couples to understand the dynamic of their relationship. It helps people get involved in joint therapy sessions with their partners to identify and resolve conflicts. Marriage counseling also helps couples clarify their feelings about the relationship and gives them an unbiased sounding board.

14.

What Is a Toxic Relationship or Marriage?

A toxic marriage is where people suffer mental, physical, and emotional abuse due to ongoing relationship problems. It also means that couples no longer have feelings and respect for each other and constantly try to avoid their partners. In addition, dishonesty, jealousy or envy, toxic communication, substance abuse, adultery, or extramarital affair are various signs of an unhealthy marriage.

15.

Do therapists Give Relationship Advice to Couples?

Licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFT) mainly specialize in helping couples identify their relationship issues and resolve them by finding solutions. They are supposed to give people various modalities and sustainable methods to improve their relationships outside the therapy sessions. Therapists usually advise solutions to make your marriage work based on the session's outcomes.
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Shivani Misri Sadhoo
Shivani Misri Sadhoo

Psychologist/ Counselor

Tags:

marital therapy
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