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What happens in marriage counseling? 

What happens in marriage counseling?
What to expect from marriage counseling?

Your counseling session will generally involve some of the following stages. Not necessarily in this order, but they are key points that need to be covered.

  1. Admitting There's A Problem: It's quite common for one partner to state there’s a problem while the other one denies its existence. The reality is that if one individual is having a problem with the relationship, it automatically becomes a problem for the other partner too because relationships are made of two individuals. To make the most of couples counseling, both partners will need to acknowledge there's a problem and want to fix it.

  2. Admitting Your Contribution To The Problem: Like I’ve said above, a relationship is composed of two individuals. So very often, problems are created by both individuals and not just by one. When one partner behave's in a particular way, there’s a reaction to this behavior by the other partner. It works both ways. In this way you can see how any problem you may be blaming on your partner may in fact have been added to by you.

  3. A Requirement To Make Some Change: Almost all couples counseling will require one or more partners to do some changes to their behavior. Knowing that this will be required of you before you go in will make you more open to the idea of any changes the counselor puts to both of you.

  4. Slowing Your Expectations: Couples counseling essentially involves guiding the couple and making them more aware of their behaviors and what it takes to build a healthy relationship. Your counseling sessions will not be like a magic spell that will fix all your problems on its own. It will require self examination and work by both parties in the relationship. So you will need to understand, and more importantly acknowledge, that this will be a slow process. To a large degree, how quick couples counseling can start showing results depends on how much resentment has been built up over the course of the relationship.

And Remember...

The final point here is important. This is the main reason why people should ideally seek marriage counseling early in a troubled relationship rather than seeking it as a last resort, in the hope that it will fix an already broken relationship.

The quicker you go, the smaller the problems are likely to be that need fixing. And if you're both committed to saving the relationship, you will succeed in just that, but it will take time. The result however, will be more than worth it.

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