No matter how long you’ve been married or together, there will be times during a relationship when misunderstandings, conflicts and assumptions arise. Every relationship, friendship and/or marriage faces times of adversity, challenges and bumps in the road.
Talking about your problems is not easy and is often uncomfortable at first. It’s important to know that the counselor will act as a fair and non-judgmental mediator, whose responsibility is to the relationship. Your counselor will ask about your history, issues and areas of concern. Depending on the situation, he or she might talk to each person individually during the appointment or in separate sessions.
Relationship counseling can help individuals understand how conflicts may be accidentally (or intentionally) triggered and how each person contributes to both the distresses and the joys in the relationship. It can help individuals to improve upon skills such as listening, conflict resolution, seeing the other’s point of view and learning the art of compromise. The goal is to resolve underlying issues and areas of conflict and teach skills that can be used for mutual understanding.
When is it time to consider relationship counseling?
- You are not growing in a positive direction in your relationship
- You feel you are aligned in external factors – children, image, families, finances
- You are not communicating and discussions are predominately negative
- There is excessive disagreement on important issues or day-to-day life
- One partner feels or acts emotionally or physically disconnected
- There is verbal, physical or sexual abuse
- There is a lack of forgiveness
What if only one person believes counseling is necessary?
Come anyway. It is a strength, not weakness, to acknowledge the need for help. You will grow in your understanding of yourself and your relationship. In time, your partner may agree to join.
Will marriage counseling help?
Yes. If each person is willing to make changes individually and as a couple. It may be a challenge to resolve deep rooted issues, but using the tools which counseling provides, success and happiness can be achieved.