Does Counseling really Help Save Marriages?

Counseling is a great way to try and save your marriage and many couples are seeing a counselor before they even consider divorce.  That being said, whether counseling will save your marriage or not depends on many factors.

For counseling to have a chance, both partners need to want to save the marriage and need to be willing to be perfectly honest during the sessions.  A half-hearted effort will not help, unless as the sessions continue, that spouse realizes how much they do want to save their marriage and begins to try harder.

You also need to find a counselor that you are both comfortable talking to.  It isn’t fair to expect your spouse to be completely open with a person he/she is not comfortable around.  Counseling requires both parties to be open and honest and neither of these can happen if someone is not relaxed.  Talking to a complete stranger about deeply private subjects is one of the hardest things you may ever do.

Finding a counselor will take some effort.  Many people start with their church’s pastor.  If the pastor isn’t a trained counselor, they can often recommend someone for you to talk to.  Sometimes, just having another person to listen and not be judgmental is enough for both spouses.  If you truly want a trained counselor, you may have to look in the phonebook or online.  Asking friends or family for a counselor’s name can be awkward, but you might be surprised at how many people have sought a therapist’s help before you.

Sometimes, the problems in a marriage occur because neither spouse truly hears what is being said to them and a neutral therapist can help with this.  Some people shut down when they hear blame or anger in another person’s voice.  A counselor can help you both learn ways to communicate so neither party feels attacked.

Whether counseling can save your marriage also depends on how close each spouse is to wanting a divorce.  Once respect has been lost, whether that loss is caused by an affair or something else, it can be really difficult to regain that respect.  A loss of trust is another big problem to overcome, but if there is still love in their marriage, even it if is buried deep, there is a good chance that marriage can be saved.

Counseling is not magic.  You both need to want to save your marriage and you need a counselor that both of you are comfortable with.  With a lot of hard work and honesty, counseling could save your marriage.

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