Many couples find themselves in need of a tune up from time to time. Whether you have been together 6 months or 60 years, fights and growing pains are perfectly normal and natural to experience as you both grow together.
Sometimes that growth occurs in perfect harmony and unison, while at other times you might look around and realize that that “growth” is headed in opposite directions, pulling at and straining the relationship in different ways.
Perhaps the relationship received an injury in the form of a particularly nasty fight, a hidden secret, or infidelity. Sometimes injuries don’t occur in one sudden instance, instead forming around a long-term, low-level stress that was never resolved.
No matter what has occurred, relationships can always benefit from marriage or couples counseling.
How Does Marriage Counseling Work?
Now you might be wondering, How does marriage counseling work? Many people feel intimidated by coming in for marriage counseling, especially if they have never been in any sort of marriage or individual counseling or therapy before.
Well, from here on out I will attempt to outline what you might expect when coming into marriage counseling with me or any other therapist. I will outline some of my own approach, which is lar...
I remember the feeling of “being in love” when I first started dating my wife. What a thrilling experience! As I floated through each day, the world seemed like such a marvelous place. Everything beautiful reminded me of her. I would fall asleep grinning and wake up to the joyful anticipation of getting to see her or talk to her.
My heart would melt when our eyes met and she smiled. Her laughter was music. Her words were poetry. I would get flustered just talking about her. I believed all the best things about my beloved, and wanted to show her only the best parts of myself.
We would stay up all hours of the night (even if we had to work the next morning) just to spend more time together, and being together was all we needed. I had found the woman my heart longed for all my life, and I felt an exhilarating sense of fulfillment.
I could relate to the words of Dr. Seuss when he wrote: “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
Flash forward five years to the present, and I have learned that marriage in all its fullness and beauty is more demanding that the simple experience of “being in love.” As it turns out, my wife and I have countless differences that s...
Your wedding day represented a beautiful union between you and another person. A happy event with lots of celebration. Life as newlyweds seemed wonderful as you and your spouse continued to celebrate each day with each other.
Then, one day, something felt different. Maybe you couldn't name the feeling or the moment you started noticing something wasn’t right, but you do know that outside help might be needed.
As you start to look for a counselor, you might be wondering what happens in marriage counseling.
Hopefully these 7 frequently asked questions can be helpful as you make your decision.
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7 Frequently Asked Questions about What Happens in Marriage Counseling
1) How Does Marriage Counseling Work?
Every therapist is different and they each have their own unique way of working with married couples. However, some things are usually the same regardless, so we will look at what is typical. After you reach out to a therapist about counseling, you decide on a time that works for your schedule, then you and your spouse have an initial session with the therapist.
Trying to find the right counselor that fits your needs can feel overwhelming –especially if you’ve never been to counseling before. The following tips are meant to help the process of finding the right counselor for you feel a little bit easier.
First, you’re going to want to identify your goals for counseling. Why are you seeking counseling at this time? How are you hoping to see your life changed through counseling? The answers to these questions will help you to find the right counselor whose specialties or focus areas fit your needs and concerns.
Next, you’ll want to consider your counselor preferences. You are the consumer, so you get to have preferences about the type of counselor you see. You might prefer to see a counselor of a particular gender, ethnicity, race, faith background, etc. Keep in mind that the more comfortable you feel with your counselor, generally the more honest you’re going to be in counseling. Your openness and authenticity is important to the counseling process.
It’s also important to take a look at your budge...
If you’ve found yourself here, something’s probably not going as planned. Where did it go wrong? Why can’t he just listen to me? Why can’t she understand? How could he have done that to me? Perhaps these are some of the questions you might be asking yourself.
You’ve opened up your computer or phone and have started searching for answers to these questions. You’re looking to make sense of what’s happened in the last six months or six years.
Let me first say, just by looking for some understanding you’re taking great first steps toward growth in your marriage. Acknowledging the invasion of marital pain and stress shows great potential for you to grow both personally and as a couple.
Often, such as in this very moment, we tend to look for help on the internet – but why is that? Hopefully by reading this article you’ll find some comfort and hope; I desire that for you. However, we can gain so much more from interpersonal interaction.
If you were learning to play the rules of a new game with your partner, such as a sport or board game, would you rather read about it online or get into it and learn through experience? I would guess the latter. Why then, when the stakes are so much higher, do we seek help through the online world?
Choosing to see a marriage counselor can be an unnerving proposition. We want our relationship to improve, but then it always begins with our having to be vulnerable with a stranger. The good news is that most counselors are used to this discomfort and skilled at helping new clients through the process. Having said that, we do not have to go in to marriage counseling unprepared.
6 Marriage Counseling Questions to Ask Yourself
Below are 6 marriage counseling questions you can answer for yourself as you begin this process to allay some of the mystery.
1. What do I want?
This may seem like a silly question at first. If we have gotten to the point of wanting to see a counselor, there are serious issues that are likely pretty obvious. It will help, however, if we can express what we want without generalities. We can decrease our discomfort with the transition into counseling by having specific, realistic expectations about what is possible and how long it will take. Recovery takes time and we have to be willing to be in it for the long haul.
Here are a few more and less useful examples of answers to this question:
“I want my spouse to stop treating me like the enemy.”
This is a great short-term, specific, and realistic g...
Not all blended families are alike. Some have young children; others, teenagers or young adults. Some are the result of divorce, while others come after the death of a spouse. However, there is one thing every step family has in common: family members have a history that involved at least one other parent and spouse. Memories of the past may be pleasant or painful, but those memories do influence attitudes and emotions.
Challenges for blended families include:
Achieving marital intimacy after being hurt
Parenting and step-parenting roles and rules
Questions of spiritual integrity and church involvement
How to integrate the members of a stepfamily over time
Dealing with ex-spouses and co-parenting issues
Helping children emotionally and spiritually
Handling sexual pressures between step-siblings
Issues of money management and financial autonomy
Parent – Child Discussion Ideas
Listening to teens is particularly important when rules are changing, or unwanted transitions in the family are taking place. Adolescents need to know they are being heard and that their opinions are being considered. Especially when their thoughts are not changing your mind or...