Does Marriage Counseling Work?

Happily Ever After?

Society, culture, and fairy tales teach us that marriages are made in heaven and the person you love will be the person you grow old with. We are told that love lasts forever, and there’s a happily ever after. A good number of us actually believe it as well.

The truth is that people can fall out of love, sometimes for seemingly mundane reasons. That is where marriage counseling comes to play. It is often advertised as a last ditch effort for marriage troubles. People even say that if counseling doesn’t work, nothing else will.

Marriage Counseling: How It Works

The decision to begin marriage counseling is an important first step–but it is not a magic pill. It takes work from both partners. Therapy does not magically make your problems vanish. Rather, it teaches you tools that can help you deal with issues that are present and driving a wedge between you and your partner. You will then have to take these tools and use them in everyday life. So counseling teaches you a new way to interact, but it’s up to both of you to keep using the new skills.

Do You Want the Counseling to Work?

It seems like a silly question, but marriage counseling, much like any other type of counseling will work, only if you believe it will and if you apply yourself. You can certainly question its effectiveness, but for the sake of your relationship, put the tools to work in your day-to-day life. You may be surprised with the results.

Some couples fall into a pattern where they become roommates who share a bed. There is little communication and intimacy between them. You owe it to yourself and the person you once loved and cherished to try your best; fight for your relationship.

What if It Still Doesn’t Work?

The success of marriage counseling is not strictly measured by whether you are back together with your partner, like the good old days. In fact, in many cases, the counseling may lead to divorce. While it may seem weird, there are times when you are better off getting out of a relationship than staying in it. If therapy makes you realize that, then it is a success.

So a divorce as an ending to counseling does not mean it didn’t work. There are times when one partner may not be willing to work on repairing the relationship. There are also times when people enter counseling way too late, where they cross over a “point of no return”.

The Sooner You Get Help, the Better

If you are considering couples’ counseling, but fear it will not help, rest assured that getting help now is not a mistake. The longer you wait, the more problems are downstream and must be worked on. Reach out for help soon.

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