Wondering if marriage counseling is for you? Take a quick peek at this informative article written by our team Member, Kevin.

Can Marriage Counseling Help Fix My Marriage?

by Kevin Mimms

Published: http://www.5thstreetcounseling.com/marriagecounseling/
 

Can Marriage Counseling Help Fix My Marriage?
Posted on January 5, 2017 by Kevin Mimms

You may have been fighting for months, years even. Maybe you discovered an affair, or perhaps you are worried about how you handle simple disagreements with your spouse. Then again, things might be totally fine, but you are wondering what you can do to strengthen your relationship. Marriage counseling isn’t for right for every situation, but it is helpful more often than not. Wherever you are in your marriage, consider these things:

Know Yourself

At the first session of marriage counseling with a new client, I always ask the same question after we get to know each other a bit. I ask each person, “What are your best hopes for marriage counseling?” They almost always pause, sometimes for a long time. It’s as if they never thought about what they actually wanted to happen on the other side of this conflict. Having these hopes for their lives and their marriages in hand, couples can be helped to take steps toward realizing them.

Beyond knowing and understanding what you hope for your relationship, it is also helpful to think about what your spouse wants. What do their best hopes mean for your relationship? What might need to change to help achieve the goal? What is already working? Working out goals can be encouraging and exciting, but even at this stage, it is important to remember that no meaningful change occurs instantly. Time is required to reach enduring goals.

Slow Down

One of the most difficult things to do when things are tense with your spouse is to take a breath and stop the exchange. However, that may be exactly what your marriage needs. If you notice that you are becoming frustrated, take a moment before responding. Some people take deep breaths, counting from one to ten, and others think of a peaceful place. Whatever your choice may be, just slow down before you make a tense situation worse. If you wait and still feel you need to discuss the difficult topic, you have the benefit of coming to it a little bit separated from the powerful emotions you had when you were feeling frustrated.

This step of improving everyday interactions is the most difficult to do without assistance. It may be necessary to have a therapist coach the couple through this stage of the process.

Communicate With Purpose

One of the most important parts of any relationship is communication, but what is the point of communicating? How you answer this question changes that way you communicate greatly. If you believe that you communicate to get your point across, then you will be more likely to be direct and upfront, sometimes at the price of being kind and considerate. If you believe that the point of communicating is to affirm people, you are more likely to compliment and nurture, sometimes at the price of removing your own input and perspective. If you believe that the point of communicating is to connect, you will be more likely to see deeper meaning in conversation with your partner, sometimes at the cost of being aware of practical concerns.

There is room for all of these different views of communicating in a happy marriage, but the drawbacks of each viewpoint can cause problems. Rather than trying to do one of these all the time, spend some time thinking about what methods work for situations that repeat in your relationship.

If Wishes Were Horses

There is an Old English proverb, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” The meaning of the proverb is if people are able to achieve what they want just by wishing for it, even the most desperate of people would have everything their hearts desire. This proverb applies to relationships as well. If wishing you would stop fighting or being upset by your partner were all it took to get past it, we would have perfect relationships. We would always be satisfied because, if we weren’t for any reason, we could fix it just by wanting something else!

Of course, it isn’t that easy. In fact, it can be very difficult to work better with your spouse. You may wish that you knew some way to improve your marriage but don’t know where to start. If that is the case marriage counseling may be for you, if so, please set up an appointment today.

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