What Is The Meaning Of Marriage Counseling?
Are you thinking about marriage counseling for you and your spouse? It is a great way to improve communication in your marriage and save you from getting a divorce.
Marriage counseling began in Germany during the 1920’s. Afterwards, it went to the United States a decade later. The 1950’s was the “big boom” for couples to start working on their marriages through counseling.
Names That Were First Associated With Promoting Marriage Counseling:
- Paul Popenoe – Eugenicists
- Robert Latou Dickinson – Research Scientist
- Abraham and Hannah Stone – Birth Control Adbocates
- Lena Levine – Psychiatrist
- Margaret Sanger – Birth Control Activist
Before the 1920’s, marriage counseling was often done by close friends, pastors, family and those that the couple considered close to them. Psychologists and Psychiatrists mainly dealt with the mentally ill. Marriage counseling conducted by a professional psychologist/psychiatrist before the 1920’s was unheard of.
In today’s world, counselors are often trained by schools, government agencies and through online courses. You can often find a marriage counseling through a University or a volunteer service. Professional therapy can be either free of charge or payment. Most insurance companies do accept certain types of marriage therapy. It is best to speak to your insurance company for more details.
Counseling in the 21st century is becoming more regulated. Many governments around the world are requiring certification and government regulation for these types of services.
If you are thinking about marriage counseling, there are some things that you should know. For starters, every person has their own character. They also have their own opinion towards different circumstances. Your counselor will as well. It is also important to know that you and your spouse may have a different set of core values that make up who you are as a person.
The therapist’s job is to help the couple to communicate better through marriage counseling.
Marriage can be tough at times. You often must go through a series of change. Sometimes someone in the relationship feels stressed about money or intimacy in the bedroom. Perhaps either the husband or wife has an anger problem. Maybe they scream and shout instead of talking.
Other Problems In A Marriage:
- Fear of Being Alone
- Ignoring Games
- Medical Issues
Often, a married couple will go through circumstances that affect your physical and emotional health. At times, it may feel like there is no hope of ever returning your marriage back to normal again. Married couples often forget that your family members, children, and outside influences can have a poor impact on your marriage. Sometimes it can be a jealous mother in law or a friend that is jealous of your relationship.
Couples often seek out marriage counseling when they feel that the other person in the relationship is not listening to them. Unfortunately, couples often seek out marriage counseling as a last resort. However, it should be something that you do regularly just to communicate better with your spouse.
The job of the marriage counselor is to try to help the couple to see that they can work out their problems amongst themselves. The goal of the marriage counselor is to find the best resolution for the marriage. The meaning of marriage counseling is really all about learning how to communicate better.
Your marriage counselor may use a counseling method known as “active listening”. This method works by allowing one person to be the listener and the other to be the talker.
Perhaps the counselor will ask the wife to please sit back on the sofa and do not speak. Only listen to what your husband is saying. Absorb every word that he is saying without interruption. This method was first used by legendary psychologist Carl Rogers and therapist Virginia Satir.
The purpose of active listening is to let the couple learn techniques that they can use at home to better their communication. The marriage counselor will often ask the couple to go home and practice this. It may be given to them as a homework assignment. He may ask the husband and the wife to do this exercise in the comfort of their home.
Most people have marriage problems because they do not practice active listening. Often, the couple is both talking at the same time or one person is to angry to listen and walks out of the room.
The marriage counselor will often instruct the active listener to not take anything personal. Learning to listen is more about learning how to understand what the other person is trying to say to you. It allows you to fully be absorbed in the moment and to not focus on anything else but the words of your spouse.
Active listening takes practice and removing ego. People that practice active listening see it as an art. It is not easy to sit there and listen to someone criticizing you and putting you down. However, it allows you to fully hear what is going on inside the other persons heart.
Psychologist John Gottman found that couples that are in a good marriage often do not listen to one another. They have a natural ability to not focus on it.
Professionals That Do Marriage Counseling:
- Social Worker
The marriage counselor will often ask each person in the marriage to be: respectful, empathetic, consenting to hearing what the other person has to say, confident that you can work out your problems with better communication, being accountable for your actions.
It will be entirely up to the marriage counselor to see the both of you at the same time or individually. Some marriage therapists may see one person in the relationship as being more problematic or hurt.
It may make more sense to have them talking out their problem without interruption if active listening is not working when the couple is together in the counselor’s office.
Changing habits with communication takes time and effort. Counseling also involves action. As the couple learn how to do active communication, they must learn to change things about themselves that are troubling their partner. This is often hard since most people are set in their ways and do not want to change.
The longer that a couple is in the relationship with poor communication, the harder it will be to change. Not every couple changes easily or quickly. Marriage counseling can take anywhere from a few sessions to a few years. It all depends on how active the couple wants to be with learning how to listen to their partner’s needs.
Sometimes, one person in the relationship may see the counselor as taking sides. This is often because they view everyone always siding against them. Perhaps the husband or wife gets emotionally attacked when they go out for dinner. The husband may feel that because the counselor is a woman, he is taking his wife’s side or vice versa.
The truth of the matter is that the marriage counselor is not trying to take anyone’s side. If the counselor tells you something, it is important to learn how to listen and see your faults for what they are. This takes time and often the husband or wife will not change easily.
It is common for couples to often take a break from marriage counseling because they do not see it working. This often happens when active listening techniques are being ignored at home. This can also happen if there is an affair going on outside of the relationship. Sometimes, couples are not honest with one another for a variety of reasons.
What Is The Success Rate Of Couples Counseling?
Research has been done over the years on how effective marriage counseling is. It has been found that around eighty percent of marriages become more successful after counseling.
Only 20% of cases show that people get divorced after going through marriage counseling. It is one of the most effective means of saving your marriage from divorce.
Couples that go through at least four years of marriage therapy say that they learn a lot through active listening and have become better communicators with their spouses.
Often, it takes time for a person to change. The longer that you stay in marriage counseling, the better off you will be according to most couples that go through the process.
How Does Marriage Counseling Work?
The marriage counselor will set up a specific date and time for you to see them for counseling. Today, it is common for couples to use Skype or another digital communication on video. This saves time in traveling to see a counselor.
The counselor will often give the couple instructions on who should talk first and then write down things that they are learning about the couple. It is important for the couple to feel like the counselor is listening to what they are saying.
The counselor will then give feedback on what to do concerning the issues that you are having in your marriage. Marriage counselors do not all work the same. It all depends on where they have received their training.
The marriage counselor will often give you an assignment to do between now and your next session. The counselor may tell the couple to go home and practice active listening or to write down what they expect from one another.
The marriage counselor may also tell the couple to write down what they are not getting from their spouse. Over time, both the husband and the wife must see where they are lacking. It often requires change in each person to create better communication.
The marriage counselor does not want either person in the relationship to feel like they are taking sides. Often, the husband or the wife feels like the therapist is taking sides because they do not want to see their own faults. This is common with therapy.
This can often make the husband or wife feel like they are being put down. The counselor will often have to bring the husband or wife back to a place where they feel that they are not being judged. Rather, they are being told how to correct the problem.
How Much Does Marriage Counseling Usually Cost?
Traditional marriage counseling often costs between one hundred and two hundred dollars. Celebrity counselors often charge $300.00 or more dollars per hour.
However, there are some place where you can get free marriage counseling. This often includes churches, state organizations, NHS, schools (universities where students are in training to be marriage counselors).
Will Marriage Counselors Ever Suggest Divorce?
There are certain situations in which the counselor will suggest divorce. This often happens when the counselor sees that the husband or wife does not want to be married. They are not interested in improving communication and have no desire to change.
Some situations where divorce may be suggested:
- The husband or wife is having an affair and does not want to leave that relationship.
- The husband or wife realizes that their sexual orientation has changed. Perhaps they believe that they are gay and do not desire intimacy from their current partner.
- Either the husband or wife is physically abusive in the relationship and can cause injury or death to the other spouse.
- There is a history of drug abuse for either the husband or wife and all forms of recovery have not worked because they are unwilling to cooperate with drug and alcohol treatment programs.
Can Couples Therapy Make Things Worse?
Couples therapy can only make things worse if either the husband or wife cannot forgive their spouse. Often, an old affair may come out in therapy or perhaps your spouse still has feelings for their ex that you did not know about.
Hearing the truth about something that happened years ago or even in the present can be devastating. Sometimes, the husband or wife in the relationship wish that they never would have known the truth because they do not want to get a divorce.
Often, cheating is unforgiveable. Sometimes, one person in the relationship cannot move past something that happened years ago.
What Should I Not Tell A Marriage Counselor?
There is nothing that you should not tell a marriage counselor. The purpose of getting counseling is so that you can improve communication. This includes improving communication with your therapist.
There are certain things that the law requires your therapist to report if it is illegal activity. This can be if your husband or wife is molesting one of your children or if either one of you have committed a crime.
You should always talk to your therapist about this, but your counselor is also required by law to report crimes to local authorities.
How Can I Fix My Marriage Without Counseling?
You can fix your marriage without counseling if you are willing to work on communication. Many couples do this successfully. Often a couple will read a book together about how to improve your marriage. There are many workshops and online courses that you can take that offer solutions to improving your marriage.
It is also common to go on a couples retreat or health spa to get closer to one another. Often health spas like Hippocrates in West Palm Beach offer a wellness program for all types of problems. They have counseling services on campus and massage therapy. Often, you can balance out your life through doing activities together that bring you both closer to one another.
How Do You Know When Your Marriage Is Over?
Your marriage is over when your spouse says that they no longer want to work on communication and have moved on. They might tell you that they have a new man or woman in their life. They may say that they no longer love you and they have tried to love you. However, they see no point in staying together.
Do Marriage Counselors Take Insurance?
You need to check with the counselor that you want to use. Some counselors take insurance and others do not. Your insurance company will often have a database of counselors that you can use that take your insurance.
When Should I Stop Couples Therapy?
You should stop couples therapy when either person in the relationship is not practicing active listening and does not want to improve communication. This often means that the person does not want to improve the marriage and often wants out of the marriage. You cannot force your spouse into marriage counseling. Therapy is a commitment that the both of you must make.
Couples therapy should only be stopped if one person in the relationship does not want to cooperate with the therapist.
How Do I Choose A Marriage Counselor?
You should base your choice on a marriage counselor through their credentials and online reputation. You should not choose your counselor by their gender or sexual orientation.
You will often benefit from a counselor that understands your needs and where they got their training. You should ask the counselors what kinds of techniques they may use during your sessions and how many sessions it will take to get results.
The more experience a marriage counselor has, the better. You want to work with a counselor that also speaks your language. If your first language is Spanish, French, Italian or another language, it is important to get a bilingual therapist. You should feel free to communicate freely and within the language that you feel most comfortable.
How Do I Fix My Marriage On The Brink Of Divorce?
Communication is key to fixing your marriage that is headed for divorce. Without proper communication, your marriage will fail. You need to learn techniques on how you can improve the way that you both talk and listen to one another.
If you have lost your way in communicating with your spouse, its important to get your talking back on track again.
What Are The Warning Signs Of Divorce?
If your spouse keeps on mentioning the word divorce about you, it is serious. Often, your spouse will drop hints that they want to divorce you. They often feel that they have tried all that they could to save the marriage, but they cannot.
They often feel that communication is not working, and they have extreme anger towards you. Do not just blow off a spouse that mentions that they want to divorce you. This means that something is seriously wrong in the relationship.
Can A Therapist Tell You To Leave Your Partner?
If your therapist sees not hope in your relationship because you are not practicing active listening to one another, there may be no more hope in the relationship. Marriage therapists will often tell you to leave your partner if they feel that there is a danger for you or your children.
Is It Normal To Argue Every day In A Marriage?
In marriage, husbands and wives argue all the time. Arguments are often resolved within a few hours to a few days. It is not normal to argue and to ignore one another for a week or more at a time.
If this is happening in your relationship, it means that you have serious communication problems and should seek out the help of a marriage counselor. Silent treatment towards your partner long term simply means that you do not respect your partner enough to resolve your issues.
Can Individual Therapy Help A Marriage?
Sometimes, the problem is not with your spouse. The problem may be with you. You may feel as though you are suffering from depression, anxiety, or another psychological ailment.
Perhaps you spend days at a time lying and bed and not wanting to get up. You may have an eating disorder and not want to leave your home. These types of problems may have nothing to do with your spouse and therefore, needed to be treated individually. It is important for you to get help as quickly as possible.
Should I Go To Marriage Counseling By Myself?
If you believe that you are the problem in the relationship and not your partner, going to marriage counseling by yourself may be a good option. If you can honestly look at yourself in the mirror and say that you are the problem in the relationship and not your lover, then talk to a counselor about your findings.
You may feel as though you cannot love your partner romantically because you were molested as a child. Perhaps you experience an abusive relationship before entering the marriage.
There are many different scenarios as to why you are not giving your partner what they need. It is important for you to take this seriously and talk out whatever is bothering you.
How Do I Convince My Wife To Go To Marriage Counseling?
If you are a husband that is seeking help for your wife, it is important to tell them why you believe they need it. If your spouse fights with you and says, “You need counseling as well!”, it is important to agree to go. It is possible that only she needs counseling in the relationship. However, let the marriage counselor tell that to her directly.
Sometimes, your spouse may have an issue that you know that they are dealing with and they need help. Perhaps when you touch them, they start crying or pushing you away. You never cheated on them and yet, she does not want to be touched by you. This can cause problems. It may be another problem that has nothing to do with you.
The first step in getting your wife to believe that she needs counseling is to be willing to go together. Often, spouses do not feel judged if you are willing to go as well.
Final Thoughts About Marriage Counseling
As you can see, marriage counseling is a big step that you need to take to get communication moving again. This is nothing to be ashamed of. It is important for you to accept that you do not have all the answers.
Communication takes time and often a lifetime to perfect. There are couples that had communication problems for 50 years and still made the marriage work. If you love your spouse and want to see things working out for the best, it is a good idea to seek out therapy.
The thought of learning more about yourself through a counselor’s eyes is exciting. You will soon come to see that marriage counseling is a tool that you can use to improve your listening and speaking skills. The techniques that you will learn in counseling will often make you feel understood.
You will be able to make better choices when problems arise in the relationship. You will also learn what is acceptable in love and what is not. You will soon come to see that when you have a spouse that loves you, the relationship is worth saving. It is important to never blame your spouse for communication issues. Simply meet them where they are at and try to find a peaceful resolution.