If you and your spouse have been struggling to communicate effectively, one or the other of you may have suggested the idea of marriage counseling. Unfortunately, many people dismiss this beneficial process because of a variety of misconceptions. Understanding some of these misconceptions can help you to understand what you should really expect of the process. With realistic and accurate expectations, the counseling service may be more successful for you and your spouse.
You're Not Going To Be Forced To Talk
For some people, the mere mention of marriage counseling conjures thoughts of sitting on opposite ends of a couch trying not to look at each other while being forced to talk and answer questions. That's not really what most marriage counseling is like.
Since most couples seek the help of a marriage counselor because they are having trouble communicating on their own, the main focus of your sessions will often be teaching the two of you how to communicate together. Forcing you to discuss things you aren't comfortable with is contrary to this purpose.
Counseling Shouldn't Be Your Last Resort
If you've found yourself thinking that you'll only go to counseling if nothing else works, you may be doing yourself a disservice. Counseling shouldn't be a last resort, because that often pushes your relationship far too close to the breaking point before seeking resolution of any kind. Instead, choose marriage counseling early so that you can talk things through and learn how to work together instead of against each other.
Counseling Can't Fix Everything
If you've heard that marriage counseling can fix everything, you may find yourself sorely disappointed to find out that there are some situations that cannot be repaired through normal counseling sessions. Sometimes there are deeper problems in a marriage that go far beyond what the counselor can address, including situations where there is an unforgiven betrayal or other deep-rooted problem. In those cases, you have to make the conscious decision to either keep moving forward and try to work through the problems or part ways and try to heal apart. If there are problems in the marriage that you cannot move beyond, the counseling sessions may not resolve that.
If you're ready to put forth the effort, you're sure to be able to develop those necessary skills and tools to open up the lines of communication in your marriage. If you're uncertain or feel emotionally isolated, reaching out to a marriage counselor may help you to clarify your feelings and find a resolution.
For marriage counseling services, contact a therapist such as Diane Fitch LMFT LPC.