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Marriage Guidance - Its Strengths Vs Its Weaknesses

Marriage guidance has the negative public image of being the last ditch effort people make before their marriage collapses. It gets this image because people often go to it when things have become really bad between them and their spouse.

And the problem is that when things have got to that stage, any marriage guidance they get will have a very steep hill to climb.

This is why marriage guidance should be sought early on in a marriage so that problems can be treated early rather than letting them grow and become unmanageable.

Since it's general inception back in the 1950's, marriage guidance has grown in popularity. This growth is not surprising considering that over 50% of all married couples now end up divorcing. However, despite it's popularity, some people question the strengths and weaknesses of marriage guidance. I'd like to examine these further in this article.

Marriage Guidance Strengths

  • Strength #1: Realization of reality: Some couples seeking marriage guidance have become so bogged down in small petty arguments that often the underlying cause of their problems don't get realized. A marriage guidance counselor will know the questions to ask to get to these underlying causes of your problems and consequently be able to tackle the real reasons you're fighting.

  • Strength #2: Better understanding of your spouse: When couples go to marriage guidance, often communication has broken down to the point that the couple won't really know what the other is feeling. A counselor can help the couple engage in conversation with each other better and in this way help the couple discover what's really going on inside each others mind.

  • Strength #3 Healing: Marriage guidance is not just about solving marriage problems but is also about healing from the damage that has already been caused. While talking to a friend about your marriage problems can be healing, marriage guidance has the advantage of allowing you to heal together as a couple as opposed to doing it separately. This can help strengthen the bond between you both and promote better relations with one another after marriage guidance.

Marriage Guidance Weaknesses

  • Weakness #1: Marriage guidance needs both partners working on things: It's true that if one partner isn't committed to making things work that marriage guidance may be a lost cause. There are some things that you can do on your own to help save a marriage but marriage guidance is at it's strongest when both partners are working together on it.

  • Weakness #2: It’s seen as the last ditch effort: Some couples go to marriage guidance when the marriage is beyond repair. If too much resentment has built up, a counselor can find it difficult to get the couple to open up fully with each other and engage in the session. Also some people go just for the "kids sake" and in this way may not be fully committed to it. When a couple approaches marriage guidance like this, its effectiveness can be significantly reduced.

Final Thought On Marriage Guidance

The bottom line with marriage guidance is that no one ever regrets having gone. Even people that ended up getting divorced have said they were happy to have gone. This is because they at least know that they gave their best shot to saving the marriage even if it had ended up not being successful.

Marriage guidance is about learning the skills of solving problems as a couple. Once you have learned the skills and explored them with one another in front of a marriage counselor, it's up to the couple from there.

Want to know more?

Yes, how do I get a reluctant partner to agree to marital counseling?

What is the mentality I need to get rid of when fighting for my marriage?

How do I save my marriage by not comparing it to other marriages?

Are marriage help books actually any good?

What are the two things that determine if a damaged marriage can ever be repaired?


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