When should we go to counseling?
Disagreements happen in marriage. To believe that one can be in an intimate relationship with another without having an occasional disagreement is not rational. Why? Because you’re living with someone who views life from a different perspective than your own. You didn’t marry your clone!
So having different perspective is the norm. And healthy couples are able to navigate even the most intense disagreements without permanent damage to the relationship. The differences in perspectives become problematic for the marriage when disagreements dominate the interactions between the couple. Especially when those conflicts or disagreements turn into judgements and resentments toward each other.
Counseling may be necessary when the negative interactions start to define the relationship.
What Are The Signs?
A couple of indicators that counseling may be needed:
– When both agree the marriage is not working.
– More bad days than good.
– Same issues keep coming up with no resolve.
– Bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness keeps marriage stuck.
So What Is Marriage Counseling?
Marriage counseling is nothing more than taking a sick marriage to a doctor for treatment. The diagnosis could be a minor injury or a more serious relationship disease.
And like any physical ailment, the problems are not a reflection of the intelligence of the participants. Our skills are based on what we’ve been taught or practiced. Many of us have not been taught how to live peaceably with another for a lifetime.
Therapists are privy to effective tools that make marriage work, tools many of us are unaware of.
So there should be no shame in seeking the help.
If it’s not considered wise to self treat a broken bone on your own, why would we seek to treat a broken marriage without proper training and tools?
And until helpful resources are accessed, we may continue behaving in relationship damaging ways because the dysfunctional behavior is all we know to do.
We will continue doing what we are conditioned to do. A therapist will teach and instruct on different approaches to relationship challenges based on tools proven effective in resolving issues.
What If "The Other" Refuses To Go?
If you have the means, start therapy on your own. At a minimum, you will learn how to navigate your situation in a healthy way. And therapists are trained to prepare and coach you how to bring in a reluctant partner or provide additional referrals and resources to assist you.
Where do I start?
There are several ways to get help for yourself.
If you have insurance, a great place to start is the provider directory of your insurance. Another good place to start is your employers EAP program.
You can also look at online directories like Psychology Today for excellent therapist options.
Lastly, searching online for a local therapist may provide good options as well. Keep in mind, no two therapists are alike, so you may have to try out a few before you find the perfect one for your situation. Take a look at my counseling website for an idea of what to expect when visiting a therapist. www.stewartfamilycounseling.com.
So why suffer any longer than you must? Get the help that will bring more enjoyment to your relationship.
Let Me Know Your Thoughts
Please comment below your thoughts on the blog above. I would love to hear your experiences or answer your questions. And other readers would also appreciate your perspective as well.
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