Marriage Counseling For Prevention
An unfortunate by-product of our insulated culture is that therapy, including counseling, is seen as a sign of weakness or that a relationship has turned sour. This does not have to be the case- in fact, many marriage relationships that are strong can benefit from the services a professional counselor can offer.
There are a few stages in marriages, and counseling can be extremely important in each of them. The first stage is the time before the couple actually gets married, after the decision to take the big step has been made. Good counseling at this time can help the couple to anticipate areas of conflict that may arise when the actual event takes place. Couples who have not previously lived together may not be fully prepared for what it means to have another person live in your life 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is critical that these couples be prepared for the challenges that face them, form the dividing of the household and other workloads to issues that will come up when it comes to finances, sex, and free time. Couples that have lived together might also find some pre-marital counseling beneficial, as the actual process of marriage seems to alter the expectations of the relationship in many different ways. Above all, counseling before marriage can help a couple identify potential trouble spots within the relationship that may be exacerbated once the commitment has been made.
Counseling over the course of the marriage can also help to strengthen the relationship as well as identify potential areas of conflict before they boil over into larger fights. A counselor is trained to hear what the people speaking are saying, while partners in a marriage will inevitably filter out some of the other person’s message, no matter how clearly they believe they are putting it forward. An attentive counselor can therefore be expected to have the ability to head trouble off at the pass.
Marriages will also experience considerable upheaval with the arrival of a new baby, and in fact the family dynamic can be expected to change with the arrival of each subsequent child. A counselor will again have the background to enable him to identify potential trouble spots and the education to offer problem solutions so that the couple does not find their relationship ambushed in a time of upheaval.
Regardless of your feelings on the strength of your relationship, good marriage counseling is a great option just to make sure that the lines of communication stay open. Even people who are hopelessly in love may not realize that their partner does not have the same impression of a situation that the individual is experiencing. A counselor will help to identify and clarify these areas, and offer solutions to keep them from arising in the future.
Remember that counseling is not a sign of weakness. It does not even mean that there are necessarily problems within your relationship; instead, it may just be another tool to keep your relationship at its very best.