Sometimes marriages fall apart and sometimes people grow apart.
The sad fact is though, so many couples call it quits and start the process for divorce when they don’t need to. There are many different outlets to try and find help before doing something drastic and not to mention, divorce can be expensive. According to Forbes.com back in 2006, the complexity of some divorces and legal proceedings cost couples anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $30,000 or more.
Divorce Isn’t the Immediate Answer
If you’re having trouble or things aren’t working like you had hoped, don’t call it quits yet. You can still work things out and reconcile the relationship before it’s too late.
- A divorce procedure can be expensive, costing up to tens of thousands of dollars and that’s for average income families
- Divorces can become extremely complicated when numerous expensive assets are involved such as vehicles, boats, multiple homes and expensive non-essentials
- Divorce tears families apart and is especially hard on children, especially after the divorce when you need to figure out visitation rights
- The process can drag on and on, depending on how you do it and how long the paperwork takes to get filed
- Some people rush into the process before they even give the relationship a second chance
Why Do You Need Marriage Counseling?
Whether or not marriage counseling will work for you can largely depend on the reasoning for the counseling. Sometimes, couples find out they’re not a match for each other and sometimes, there are people who just want to go to a marriage counselor to say they tried.
You have to go in with an open mind and you have to be willing to listen and participate. If you go in with the mindset that marriage counseling isn’t going to work and is a waste of time, then it just might be a waste of time.
Marriage Counseling for Violence & Abuse
This is one thing we need to make clear. If you’re with a spouse that is violent or abusive towards you or any member of your family, leave. Don’t stick around to see if things will get better, you need to make arrangements for you and your family and leave immediately. Marriage counseling will not help in such cases and you’re supporting a criminal’s actions by remaining in the relationship. Make sure to document any cases of physical abuse so you can take evidence to the police.
If you’re being emotionally abused on a consistent basis, then it’s unlikely that counseling will be able to resolve the issue. The only way that emotional abuse can stop is if the abuser recognizes what he or she is doing and then decides to get help.
Essential Questions to Ask Yourself
Before looking for a marriage counselor, ask yourself some essential questions.
#1 – How much damage has been done to the relationship and do you personally feel that the damage done can be repaired?
#2 – How long have these issues been going on and how long have you been waiting to find professional help for these issues?
#3 – Do you see a future with your significant other? Do you really want your marriage to be saved?
#4 – What are the pros and cons of the relationship with your significant other?
#5 – Is saving the marriage worth it? If you’re constantly at each other’s throats and things aren’t working out, is living a lie and living in emotional torment every day really worth it?
The Problem with Marriage Counseling
Counselors are people, too. It can be very challenging to find a marriage counselor who can truly remain neutral while also guiding you and your spouse through the difficulties in your marriage.
Individual counseling is far less complex because the counselor only needs to work with one person. A therapist who is excellent at working with individuals might not be a good fit for relationship counseling so make sure you work with an experienced marriage counselor.
Does Marriage Counseling Work?
The big question on everyone’s mind is does marriage counseling work? While there are no hard statistics available, we can go over a few points here.
It was reported by the American Association of Marriage & Family Therapists that they saw a drastic improvement in the quality of life of couples and families after receiving therapy for family related issues. The majority of the satisfactory results came from families who attended multiple sessions. It takes multiple sessions for a counselor to fully understand the issues going on and to see the problems from every angle. Overall though, families who have gone through marriage counseling have reported success and a lot of them reconciled their marriage.
Sometimes, we just need a third-party to listen and guide us. Relationships can tend to form patterns and while some of these can be healthy and beneficial others are not. A professional therapist can help us to identify these patterns as well as what behaviors we have that are contributing to problems in the marriage. When we are open to this type of feedback and willing to make changes based on it, dysfunction can be corrected.
So, does marriage counseling work?
It can and it has for many couples who have given their relationship a second chance. You have to have a partner that’s willing to actively go to therapy with you and you both have to want to fix the relationship. Ask yourself the questions we’ve featured above, find out if your relationship is worth saving and look for a marriage counselor immediately if you feel your relationship is in jeopardy.