Many couples face issues in marriage that lead them to a place where the relationship is questioned. It could be due to natural family transitions such as becoming new parents, or having children leave “the nest”. Or, it could happen as a result of infidelity, substance abuse, loss of a child, or any number of unfortunate issues. Regardless of the cause, many couples find themselves struggling with adjustment and changes. If the marriage does not have a strong and stable foundation, these struggles can lead to irreversible damage, possibly divorce.
Marriage counseling (also known as couple’s therapy) has been shown to be beneficial as it can help couples learn to resolve conflicts, communicate their needs, gain a deeper understanding of their partner, and reconnect in a way to strengthen the relationship and add joy back into the marriage.
Children benefit when their parents seek counseling for marital issues as it reduces the tension in the home, and creates a more loving environment conducive to positive growth. Children also learn what it’s like to be married by watching their parents interact as a couple. If marital difficulties outweigh marital happiness, the children will not only suffer over the division, they will gain a distorted view of what marriage is all about.
How do You Know When to Seek Help?
Although marriage has its ups and downs, there are a few signs that indicate a more serious issue is at hand and professional counseling should be considered. Some of these indicators are:
- One or both partners feel a fundamental dissatisfaction in the relationship – loveless marriage.
- Disappointment in the relationship seems to be more present than absent.
- Partners have stopped doing nice things for one another
- Frequent arguments that go unresolved.
- Communication is limited and/or ceased being productive.
- Minor issues tend to take on a life of their own and cause significant disruption.
- Limited or no sexual activity without an underlying medical cause – sexless marriage.
- Sexual issues
- Sexual abuse history
- Loss of connection between partners
- Violence in the relationship
- Withdrawal by one or both of the partners
Although statistics indicate that divorce is common for half the couples who marry for the first time, “significant data exists which support the efficacy of family and couples therapy and that there is no evidence indicating that couples are harmed when they undergo treatment” (Friedlander, 1997)1. Furthermore, studies have shown that 75% of couples receiving therapy for marital distress were better off and reported significant improvements than those not receiving professional help.
What Happens in Marriage Counseling?
A marriage counselor is a professional trained to help couples address issues that are affecting their relationship. He/she may use one of several different approaches, depending on what problems the couple is experiencing. Whatever the therapy, the goals will be to help the couple understand one another and improve their communication skills. Watch these couples in therapy…
Some couples find it difficult to begin marriage therapy simply because they feel there is no hope for their marriage. Others fear expressing their problems to a stranger. These factors are taken into consideration by the therapist who will work with the couple to create a comfortable environment for both of you.
Strong marriages are the basis of strong families, which lead to strong communities and benefit all around. Let us help you build a strong foundation for your marriage. More Resources…
Prepare for your therapy with Joseph Follette by reviewing what he goes over with each couple.
Much like when its time to call the plumber none of us is too excited about the cost of services. But like fixing a stopped up sewer line brings relief so does therapy. Whether your issue is a simple repair or major overhaul, we can handle it. If you are attending the session in person, your health insurance plan may cover your fees minus your deductible and copayment/coinsurance. We offer an income based sliding scale to ensure everyone can afford our services. Call us at (256) 850-4426 for more information.