Marital Counseling is recommended when
someone is needed to help manage relationship challenges. All marriages have their ups and downs, but when a couple can’t seem to work things out for themselves, a professional counselor or therapist can help them find common ground and reach reasonable solutions to conflict. Marital counseling is about fostering better communication and helping the couple understand what is going on.
The lyrics to a well known song say, “All you need is love.” Perhaps not, but love is definitely a fundamental human need and for most adults, marriage is the longest and most intense relationship they will ever have. Half of first marriages end in divorce and the institution of marriage is on the decline across the globe. Despite these facts, most American adults do marry and they expect their marriage to last. Marital counseling can help them deal with conflict as it arises, as well as give them the tools to help create a firm foundation and cement that expectation.
Signs of a Troubled Relationship
No marriage is free from conflict, and a lot can happen over the course of a relationship that can last as many as five or six decades. Some characteristics of a relationship that is in danger are:
- Lack of communication
- Harsh criticism
- Substance abuse or legal problems
- Frequent bickering and fighting
- Physical or emotional abuse
- Lack of intimacy and/or change in sex life
- Extreme jealousy or possessiveness
Some people stay in unhappy marriages; reasons can include a need for financial security, religious or social pressure to stay married and the need for emotional support.
Causes of a Troubled Relationship
It might not come as a surprise that finances are at the root of most disagreements between married couples. There are other sources of conflict:
- Disagreements over money
- Different child-rearing philosophies
- A traumatic life event
- Holding on to the past
The earlier therapy is begun, the better the prognosis is for a healthy, long-term relationship. Proactive couples seek to solve issues before they have a negative affect on the relationship and some research suggests that couples who have pre-marital counseling have a lower divorce rate.
- Couples therapy – A trained therapist can help the couple vent any frustration, anger or resentment in a structured environment. Only then, can the couple move past those negative feelings. Learning communication skills and constructive coping mechanisms can help diffuse conflict.
- Couples Group Therapy – A confidential, safe environment can provide positive feedback and support.
The most important thing to know about marital counseling is that the earlier any problem(s) are addressed, the easier it is to resolve them.
Individual and couples counseling can help with marital issues. However, marital counseling isn’t just for struggling relationships; it’s also for those people who want their marriages to thrive. We’ve supported many clients as they have transformed their marriage relationships.