A couple of days ago, Jamie from Irvine, Californian, sent me the following email:
Hey Jessica quick question: My husband of seven years and I are fighting a lot lately, especially about stuff related to our daughter. Should we see a marriage counselor or will that be a waste of time and money?
Hi Jamie! This is a question that I actually receive very frequently.
Even the strongest, healthiest marriages tend to go through rough spells. Even the most devoted lovers tend to disagree at times.
And while resolving differences of opinion usually just requires a simple, level-headed conversation, there are times when no amount of dialogue will fix the underlying issues.
Here are a few signs that indicate it’s probably time to see a qualified marriage counselor or therapist:
When Communication Has Broken Down
There are lots of reasons for a breakdown in communication between married spouses. Sometimes it’s an unwillingness to listen to one another, sometimes it’s a reluctance for one person to listen to the other, and sometimes it’s because the topics are sensitive and both parties avoid talking about them.
If you and your husband are having issues actually sitting down and having a reasoned conversation about the issues at hand, then a counselor can help you talk through them.
When There Are Recurring Issues
If your arguments always have a common theme — and that theme has been around for months or years — then it’s probably time to seek help in addressing the underlying issues, with the goal of settling things once and for all.
When Sex or Money Are the Issues
These touchy subjects often require a certain level of diplomacy and sensitivity, which a professional relationship counselor can help you provide. The counselor will attempt to create a safe and neutral environment to discuss these issues.
When You’re Both Sure You’re Right
A marriage counselor is not a judge, so don’t expect them to take sides in any argument. But when you continue to butt heads over something and you’re both 100 percent certain that the other person is at fault or in the wrong, the counselor may help you find common ground and see the reason in one another’s arguments.
When You’re Considering Separation, But Still Love One Another
If you need a second opinion on whether or not your relationship is salvageable, a marriage counselor can help you talk through the issues and figure out whether your love is strong enough to continue the marriage.
When Your Spouse Requests It
Even if you don’t think it’s necessary to see a counselor, your spouse may want to. And that means you should probably give them the opportunity and go to a counselor together. Be sure to keep an open mind!
So, Jamie, if you recognize one or more of the above symptoms, then it may be time to see a counselor.
A good counselor won’t come cheap, but make sure you do your homework and pick a reputable therapist or counselor who can create a healthy environment for dialogue.
And make sure you both go into the counseling session with an open mind and a positive attitude, or else you’ll quickly realize that no amount of counseling will help.
Hope that gives you something to think about — best of luck working through your marital issues, I hope everything works out for your and your husband!