For a long time now, there has been a stigma attached to having relationship problems in a marriage; in the past, it seems, couples were just expected to grin and bear it in public, no matter how much they were hating each other when no one else was around. Luckily, that stigma is starting is starting to change.
Not only is the number of marriage counselors starting to increase — showing an increased demand for marriage counseling — but there have been plenty of high-profile couples who have openly discussed their plans to receive counseling, and plenty of respected authors and psychotherapists who have published books on the topic. Now more so than ever before, a couple having relationship problems is encouraged to seek help from a professional therapist. And there are few really good reasons why so many couples are choosing to do exactly this:
- Most marriage counseling is begun with the intent of saving the marriage, and couples therapy often focuses on conflict resolution; i.e., teaching both partners to be more empathetic and to listen. It’s natural for people to change over time, and it’s natural for one partner to lose touch with the other in the process. Sometimes both partners simply need to sit down in a calming and peaceful environment where they’re encouraged to both talk and listen — essentially, they are learning to communicate effectively again.
- Setting realistic goals is always an important part of every relationship, and quote simply, it’s unrealistic to expect every relationship to be perfect. Most people have at least one friend who’s in “the most perfect marriage ever,” but chances are, a lot of disagreements happen in that relationship behind closed doors. Marriage counseling isn’t about learning not to fight with each other; it’s about learning to communicate with each other so that the fight can eventually be resolved. If a couple has kids together, a counselor will probably also focus on parenting and family issues (because if one thing leads to a broken family, it’s that the parents completely disagree on how to raise the kids, and both parents are unwilling to compromise).
- A type of marriage counseling called ‘discernment counseling’ is a fairly new approach to couples counseling, but it’s becoming increasingly popular. Unlike normal marriage counseling, which focuses on keeping two partners together, discernment counseling first figures out whether a marriage is worth saving, or whether both partners would be better off by splitting up; if there is some hope left, then the counseling sessions focus on building up trust and emotional attachment.
No marriage — no relationship, and no friendship, even — is perfect. It’s completely normal to struggle a little bit. But there’s no reason to feel ashamed about wanting to get professional help and fix things. In fact, that could just be the most admirable thing a couple could do. Visit here for more.