We live in a time where it’s very easy to put the most important things on the back burner. When we look at our list of priorities, often nurturing our marriage gets pushed to the bottom of the list. Today I want to talk to you completely unfiltered about why Marriage Counseling can help you.
The reasons that couples start Marriage Counseling can look different from couple to couple. I’m going to attempt to address some of the most popular reasons why couples come through my door:
Do you find yourself struggling to communicate with your spouse? Do you have the same fights over and over again, with no resolution? Marriage Counseling can help you learn to talk to each other in a healthier way. A therapist can help you both look at the “dance” you’re doing and learn other ways to communicate without pushing each others’ buttons. In addition, Marriage Counseling can also help you both learn how to actively listen and validate feelings.
When one spouse is angry with the other, it’s not unusual for unkind things to be said in the heat of the moment. If your fights are escalating to the point that name-calling happens, things are thrown or broke, or someone is threatening to leave (or actually does), it may be time to seek professional help. Marriage Counseling can help you learn healthier ways to manage anger so that fights can actually be talked through.
Unhealthy Patterns of Behavior
There are many unhealthy behaviors that one or both spouses may unknowingly bring into the marriage. Topics like codependency, shame, and grief are all important issues to delve into during Marriage Counseling. Also, it’s important to look at any childhood issues that may also be impacting the marriage. Remember that our parents’ relationship(s) is our first model of marriage, regardless of if they are healthy or unhealthy. Many of these topics can create resentment with the relationship and are incredibly important to address with a therapist.
Problems with intimacy
It’s common to struggle with intimacy issues at some point during a marriage. Intimacy can change after children come along, as you both age, and as big life changes occur. It can get better! Marriage Counseling can give you space to safely communicate your needs and desires without fear of judgment. You can learn to create deeper intimacy outside of sex, so that sex itself is more enjoyable.
If your needs are not being met in your marriage, it can feel very lonely. Things like household support, parenting support, affection, and gratitude are all important in a marriage. Marriage Counseling can help you both identify and communicate needs you didn’t even know you had! When needs are unmet, there is an opportunity for resentment to build.
Having children changes everything! Many couples don’t feel prepared for the amount of adjustment it takes after having a family. Marriage Counseling can help you figure out how to co-parent and be on the same page with your partner. It also can help you learn to set better boundaries with your children so that your marriage is still a priority.
Adjustment to change
In addition to having children, there are many changes that can occur during the lifetime of a marriage. Things like grief and loss, big moves, job loss or promotion, etc. can all cause a shake-up in a marriage. Marriage Counseling can help you both communicate needs and also process the emotions connected to the big changes that have occurred.
Miscarriage and infertility
Marriage Counseling can help you both process grief related to pregnancy loss and/or infertility. When you go through grief like this, it can feel isolating and lonely. A therapist can help you both learn to process your grief together and communicate your needs to one another. It’s extremely important to move towards one another and not away from one another with pregnancy loss or infertility.
Marriage Counseling can be effective in helping you to process expectations related to your faith. It’s not uncommon for couples to seek professional help when they are coming from different faith backgrounds. In addition, Marriage Counseling can help you grow together spiritually by learning ways to support and challenge one another.
Secrets and infidelity
This is a big reason why couples come to Marriage Counseling. When one spouse has kept a secret from the other, it destroys trust. Counseling can help couples learn ways to work towards forgiveness and rebuild trust through communication and transparency. Marriage Counseling also creates a safe environment to be able to process very strong emotions with support from a third person.
Money is the number one topic that married couples fight about. Marriage counseling can not only help couples learn to communicate healthier, but also give guidance for steps moving forward. It’s important to process how each person in the marriage views money, and how the money stress impacts the relationship.
Marriage Counseling forces you to spend time together, even if it is one hour a week in a therapist’s office. It requires you to be an active participant in the process. A therapist will provide accountability to ensure that you are working on the topics discussed outside of the therapy office. It requires you to actually confront the issues within your marriage, instead of continuing to ignore them. Marriage Counseling sheds light on below the surface issues that are contributing to bigger problems within your marriage.
This list is not all-inclusive, but it definitely highlights some very important ways that Marriage Counseling can help. If you are reading this, and recognize that there are some problems in your marriage, please reach out for help!
Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW
*Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Journey to Joy Counseling. Christy enjoys doing marriage/couples counseling, individual counseling, premarital counseling. She also provides family counseling, teen and adolescent counseling.
Journey to Joy Counseling serves the Indianapolis area, including Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.