You’ve tried to make it work on your own, but no matter what do you it seems like your marriage just isn’t getting better so you’re thinking about marriage counseling.
You know the stereotype of a couple screaming at one other while a disinterested egghead looks on in disapproval.
But you’re desperate and you’re considering giving it a go. You need to know what exactly marriage counseling is and if it will work for you.
First off, before we get into whether or not marriage counseling is the right choice, you need to believe…
Marriage Help Is Possible
Whether or not marriage counseling is right for your situation, your relationship is not doomed.
There are other avenues to fixing a marriage. I’ve seen marriages come back from the brink of destruction more times than I can count. But is marriage counseling the way out of the darkness?
Is Marriage Counseling Effective?
It’s something I’m asked on an almost daily basis:
“Is marriage counseling just a waste of time and money?”
The answer is complicated, but I’m going to try and explain it in the simplest way possible.
First off, what is marriage counseling anyway?
How Does Marriage Counseling Work?
If you’ve never been in marriage counseling (or counseling of any kind) before, it can be intimidating. You may be worried that the counselor will judge you or take your partner’s side. Don’t worry. They’re there to help you.
A marriage counselor’s job is to help couples that are having difficulties in their relationship. They listen to both sides, provide advice tailored to your situation, and suggest possible solutions to improve the marriage.
Being a marriage counselor means dealing with a ton of different sensitive issues without judgment. They’re trying to keep you together, not drive you apart.
For example, if you or your partner is cheating, the counselor will not scold or insult you. They work in that field because they’re invested in helping strengthen your marriage and they know that they can’t do that by dragging you down.
You may be saying, “you don’t know my marriage,” and you’re right, but trust me when I say, they’ve seen way worse situations than yours.
If done properly, marriage counseling can teach you to communicate better with your partner, avoid separation or divorce, and save the relationship.
That said, not all couples will benefit from marriage counseling. And not all counselors are created equal.
Marriage Counseling Can Work If
- both you and your partner are committed to change and open to the idea of marriage counseling.
- you are recently married and have only recently started having problems and both of you are willing to stay together.
- the counselor is experienced, competent, and compassionate.
Marriage Counseling Will Not Work When
- your partner is not willing to commit to change or put in the effort to save the marriage.
- your partner is determined to get a divorce and/or has already initiated the separation process.
- you or your spouse is set in your ways, stubborn, or against the idea of outside help/therapy.
- the counselor you’ve chosen is a bad fit or does not have the necessary experience.
Facts & Stats About Marriage Counseling
- A 2011 paper suggests that marriage counseling helps 7 out of 10 couples.
- Consumer Reports found that more than 50% of couples who underwent counseling saw their marriages either get worse or remain unchanged.
- Marriage counseling has the lowest rating of satisfaction of all the different types of psychotherapy. (source)
- According to a 2013 study, “most therapists practicing today never took a course in couple’s therapy and never did their internships under supervision from someone who’d mastered the art.”
Are There Alternatives To Counseling?
I started Love Learnings because I believe there is a better solution to unhappy marriages than in-person marriage counseling. That solution is my Mend the Marriage System.
I’ve taken all the knowledge about what makes a marriage work from years as a relationship coach and distilled it down into a foolproof system that can give you the best chance at a happy marriage. Best of all, it costs less than a single session with a marriage counselor.
Mend The Marriage has distinct advantages over marriage counseling. Unlike counseling, which requires both partners to be committed to the process, Mend the Marriage works even if only you are willing to make a change.
Choosing a counselor can be a gamble. Any marriage counselor can be kind and listen to your problems, but you can’t know if they’ll save your marriage or make things even worse.
My system takes into account years of scientific research and has a proven track record of preventing divorce and a line around the block of people willing to recommend it as the key to a rock-solid marriage.
Whatever your choice, if there’s one thing I can say for sure about marriage, it’s this:
Marriage Problems Won’t Go Away On Their Own
Whether or not you choose marriage counseling, you will need to make positive steps towards fixing your marriage if you want it to get better.
Would you expect to get six-pack abs without ever working out? Then how can you expect your marriage to magically heal itself? It’s just not realistic.
Marriage Counseling Requires Commitment
In order for traditional couples therapy to be effective, both you and your partner need to be willing to work to fix your relationship.
Quite often, one spouse is far more interested in working on repairing the marriage than the other. Your partner may even act like they are interested in saving the marriage but are just trying to get you off their back and avoid further conflict.
In cases like this, marriage counseling often isn’t helpful. You need to take a good hard look in the mirror and ask yourself “Is my spouse as committed as I am to saving our marriage?”
If you feel like your marriage faces specific challenges that are unique to your situation, consider signing up for my personal marriage coaching.I’ll work with you to develop a plan tailored to your specific marriage. My approach differs from marriage counseling in that it does not require the cooperation of your spouse, it changes over time to fit your specific needs, and I’m able to help with with more frequency and regularity than any marriage counselor.