If you are currently unhappy in your marriage, then marriage counseling is probably an idea that is being bounced around between you and your spouse. Even though marriage counseling is often suggested to fix martial issues, you have probably often heard statements similar to “We tried marriage counseling, but we were too far gone to get the marriage back on track”. Considering reputable therapists claim that any marriage can be saved with the right knowledge and tools, this common statement from divorced people can create a lot of concern for people who are thinking about seeking help.
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Does Marriage Counseling Work?
It has been said that about 43 percent of couples who seek marriage counseling end up in divorce within five years after they seek help. This says a lot about the therapy that is being provided.
It shows that even though it may have initial benefits, it is not always a permanent solution to the problems that couples face. This means that it is not addressing the key issues in the marriage and offering a way to change the way couples interact with and relate to each other on a permanent basis. If it was, then the success rate would be much higher.
One Huge Reason Why Marriage Counseling Can Fail
There are many reasons why marriage counseling can fail, but one reason stands out above them all. If communication is hard within the relationship, why would it get any better in front of someone else?
We can all agree that men and women approach conflict very differently. Often, a man will not want to pour out his true feelings to his wife because he is afraid that they will make him look weak or out of control, so why would he tell his true feelings to someone else? You cannot fix issues when honesty is not present, and the likelihood that both people in the marriage will be honest about their true feelings and concerns when they feel as though they will be judged by someone else is very slim.
What makes this even worse is that men and women often don’t understand why their partner does not deal with conflict the way they do and a marriage counselor can add to that frustration. For instance, when a man doesn’t open up in a session, and the counselor takes note of this, his wife’s fears about her man’s inability to communicate may be validated, and she may lose respect for her husband and hope for the future of the marriage.
Another Huge Reason A Marriage Counselor May Not Be Able To Help You
Many therapists offer marriage counseling, but are not actually trained in marriage and family therapy. The fact that these therapists often take on marriage counseling because it is in such high demand does not mean that they are capable of helping a marriage. In fact, many therapists have had failed marriages themselves or have never been in a marriage in crisis.
The Benefits Of Self Marriage Counseling
If you are going to invest in your marriage, why leave it up to chance that you ‘might’ get a really good therapist who not only understands what you are going through and how you need to relate to fix things, but also cares about your relationship success enough to invest quality time and effort towards you.
You are the only person who is truly invested in your marriage, and if you want to fix it, then self marriage counseling is a very viable solution.
One great thing about pursing self help marriage counseling is that you have the best insight into your specific problems, and you can actively search for specific answers related to those problems without having to delve into information that has nothing to do with you.
For instance, every marriage enters many different stages, depending on life choices. You may be 35 and have no kids, which makes your marriage different than a marriage that includes someone who is 35 and has six kids. There are different dynamics and different concerns to address, and this can be done in self marriage counseling.
Better yet, engaging in self marriage counseling can be done without the participation of your partner. This is good news to most people because, often, one partner does not want to participate in counseling or actively seek out help, which can spell divorce if marriage counseling is the only option considered.
Self marriage counseling does not require your partner to actively search for answers and solutions with you. In fact, one small and positive change in you can cause a small and positive change in your partner without them even realizing that they are helping fix their marriage as a result of your own personal research.
Even though you can tackle issues by yourself and directly influence your partner’s behavior, you will find that your partner will likely be willing to participate in home marriage counseling behind closed doors. It allows them to address issues without having to open up to a stranger. If you can create a safe and non-judgmental place for your partner, you can often make some really big changes in your marriage through self help resources.
In the end, does marriage counseling work? Well, it can if you end up with the right therapist who is trained and skilled in marriage counseling and can also offer you specific insight into your problems, get you and your partner to be completely honest, and help you find a new way of interacting and relating to each other for life. However, you can avoid the risk and do all of this on your own through self help marriage counseling, and you can do it without the initial cooperation of your partner.