Marriage counseling is a type of therapy specifically focused on identifying problematic issues and patterns that exist in your relationship and involves working together with your couples therapist to find meaningful and long-term solutions. Often couples aren’t even quite sure where the problems lie, but they simply feel that “something is missing.”
Issues which often lead couples to seek marriage counseling can include:
- Family Stress
- Financial Difficulties
- New Baby
- Blended Family Concerns
- Death in the Family
- Shift in Family Structure
- Empty Nest
Relationships change over time; often this is due to a couple growing closer and more intimate, sharing interests, and nurturing each other. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. There are many reasons that our most intimate, important relationships can begin to falter and fail. Our lives can become hectic and chaotic, work can be demanding, children can keep us busy and distracted, and before we know it our marriages are lost in the fray.
Often there has been another factor that has “taken over” in our relationships such as addiction or infidelity. These problems can cause very difficult breaches of trust in the relationship that can be marriage-ending without help. Very often affairs begin as “emotional affairs” and can deplete the marriage of the focus and energy needed to stay strong even before a physical affair has begun. Although these issues can be very challenging for couples to deal with, they do not have to cause a relationship to end.
How does marriage/couples counseling work? There are a variety of approaches to doing couples counseling. Some therapists will work with the couple together only, and some will see each person individually at times. Whatever the method, the most important thing for a couple to remember is that couples counseling is not about assigning blame or “taking sides.”
A good marriage counselor will work to allow each individual to maintain equal footing in the sessions, even though at times one or the other person may be the temporary focus of attention. Blame and anger are very often components of a problem marriage, and the therapist will work to help you as a couple stop blaming and start working toward the healing your relationship needs.
Good marriages don’t happen without commitment, flexibility, growth, and a bit of hard work at times. This is where marriage counseling can make the difference between successful navigation through hard times or hitting the rocks. If your marriage is struggling, don’t wait for negative patterns to become entrenched. The sooner you begin healing the wounds of betrayal, learning new communication skills, and working together to rebuild your marriage, the better.
Maria Droste Counseling Center based in Denver, Colorado offers marriage counseling to couples by providing affordable access to professional counselors.