It’s a well-known fact that marriage is not easy. There lies more beyond the beauty of being in love and committing to each other. After all the excitement during the wedding, the pure bliss of honeymoon, and the fun “firsts”, reality starts to kick in. Couples begin to see flaws they haven’t seen before. Their patience gets tested by differences. They experience problems married people have. Marriage counseling can help not only resolve conflicts, but teach important matters related to marriage and help improve life together, overall. Read on to find out how you and your partner can benefit from it.
If you’re about to get married, marriage counseling is a great way to prepare you both. There’s a lot of plans, nerves, and tasks you need to deal with. They can wear you down. From the venue to the program, the number of guests and the food, you might have trouble organizing everything. Even more so if you’re already running low on time. Sadly, some couples even call it quits before the big day. Patience and compromise are essential. Counseling can help you do what it takes to make the process peaceful and less difficult.
Going Through A Big Transition
Moving to a new home and moving in with your partner’s family (parents, children, etc.) can be stressful. You have to get used to things you’re encountering for the first time. You need to learn how to fit in relationships you must now treat as your own–you may face a few challenges if they don’t warm up to you right away. Change is uncomfortable, especially at first. Nonetheless, marriage counseling can help you get through it successfully.
Relationships require proper communication. It takes time to fully understand another person. As you experience life and all its ups and downs, you discover your partner’s raw self and master how to communicate with them. Arguments are normal, though, when you’re living with someone. No one can always agree on everything. However, constant bickering or intense fights that lead to passive-aggressiveness are unhealthy. They can hurt feelings and do serious damage to your relationship. Through counseling, you see your negative patterns in communication and figure out how to break them.
Not all couples are capable of resolving their differences. This is why you see most couples-usually celebrities-going their separate ways even after barely a year of marriage. Having opposite beliefs (religious, political, personal, etc.) and preferences can pose a big problem, especially if you or your partner, or both of you, are deeply grounded in them. Marriage counseling attempts to help you overcome your differences without affecting your relationship.
Lack of Physical Intimacy
Once you’ve reached old age, your bed can become a place meant only for sleep and conversations. You may no longer have the strength or desire to engage in sexual activities. On the other hand, if you’re still young enough for intimacy and you don’t even have time to cuddle, that’s a red flag. You’re probably too busy, but if you’ve come to a point where you feel like roommates, you need to be bothered. Physical intimacy, in whichever form, is very important in marriage. Without it, your relationship may suffer. No matter how committed you are to each other, you still can never tell what might happen when human nature is neglected.
Having children from a previous relationship means you have to share the responsibility with your partner. You need to talk about your co-parenting arrangement and work through the boundaries and struggles that come with it. When you undergo marriage counseling, the therapist guides you in discussing parenting differences, assigning roles, and developing your family’s new identity.
Difficult Life Events
Death and other unfortunate circumstances are inevitable. They exist along with the world we live in. It’s not easy going through losing a loved one, experiencing health problems, or getting unemployed. Such distressing events can have a huge impact on you and your partner. Negative emotions, when not dealt with right, can tear you apart. Moreover, mental health problems might occur. Depression, for instance, can ruin both your relationship and your whole well-being as individuals. Therapy and marriage counseling can help prevent all this from happening.
The things you always fight about, or the topics that make you question whether you married the right person or not, are recurrent matters. You seem to encounter them almost everyday. This is a sign you need to seek marriage counseling. By yourselves alone, you probably wouldn’t know if factors like having unreasonable expectations (consistent availability, great sex, etc.) are taking a toll on your relationship.
Disagreements over money is one of the most common reasons couples get into conflict with each other. You and your partner can find it difficult to have a common ground when it comes to handling money. You both might have different spending habits or goals.For example, you might want to save up for travel while your partner wants to save every single extra penny for emergencies. Marriage counseling provides a supportive and confidential environment for you two to discuss financial issues.
In reality, “a match made in heaven” is not as common as the movies portray. Maybe even rare. Those who look so perfect for each other may not be so behind closed doors. Still, having huge differences is risky. Your incompatible personalities, sex drives, or social statuses can clash. Although opposites do attract sometimes, being polar opposites may present serious problems. Don’t hesitate to seek marriage counseling if you and your partner are struggling with this. Relationships don’t have to end because of incompatibility. Many have already proven so.
Acceptance is an essential piece of marriage. You can’t love and continue to be with someone you don’t fully embrace. Not understanding and accepting your partner’s history can make your marriage rocky. You’ll be tempted to bring up their past every time you get into intense fights. If the person has shown change or true willingness to change through their actions, they deserve forgiveness. Marriage counseling can help you process your issues together, and also personal issues that lie beneath inability to forget.
For a lot of people, infidelity is a deal-breaker. They immediately cut the other person off regardless of any excuse. Some choose to put up with unfaithfulness for the sake of their family or the amount of years spent together (they just can’t live without their partner anymore). It hurts to know you’ve been cheated on, but you may not be at fault. Marriage counseling aims to find the real cause of an affair and help save marriage if still possible.
Broken trust can harm or end any relationship. Learning how to trust again takes time, healing, and strength. Marriage counseling coupled with other related forms of therapy is an ideal way of regaining trust. Group therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and simple individual therapy are a few examples. Ultimately, your marriage counselor can help you know if you need to undergo psychotherapy.
Enduring Each Other
Staying together merely for the children may take a toll on your mental health, and eventually, your physical health. Playing pretend is not good at all for both you and your children. Even little children are said to have the ability to sense when something’s off. Marriage counseling can help you figure out whether there’s still hope left for your relationship, or it’s better to finally be apart. If there’s still hope, counseling will guide you in fixing what needs to be fixed and in moving on to a healthier, happier relationship. If separation is necessary, counseling can help you do it properly and help you decide the best way to share parental responsibilities.
Ending a relationship is the only resolution in certain circumstances, but if you’re still in the early stages of a divorce, maybe you should think twice. Try marriage counseling first. Saying you’ve had enough after a big misunderstanding when you know love still exists somewhere deep in your heart, is not reliable. Likewise, you both might come to a conclusion that you’re better off apart after getting used to running away from your problems, instead of dealing with them. You can’t make a final decision after a sudden burst of emotions. You probably need a short break before you set words in stone.
Indeed, marriage is something that needs to be taken seriously. It’s not just a simple “playing house” game you can quit anytime you want to. There is a lot involved. You need to consider people, situations, time, and many other factors. Feelings, reputation, and consequences are also at stake. Every marriage can either last or end. Problems are inevitable. Sometimes you have no choice but to accept fate and move on. However, there are times when you can still save your marriage. You just need to do a little fixing. All in all, marriage counseling can help you and your partner improve your relationship and maintain a healthy married life.
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