Marriage Counseling Does It Work? — In Marriage Counseling

Posted on May 6, 2011

Most couples struggle at some point in their marriage.  Life’s stresses (job loss, divorce, infertility, infidelity, death of a loved one, etc.) make it difficult to maintain the love we obtained in the beginning of our relationship.  As a marriage family therapist, I often get asked, “Marriage counseling…Does it really work?”  And my answer is a resounding “YES!”  I’m a believer of being in marriage counselling myself.  But, I can tell you marriage counseling won’t work if you don’t take the time to evaluate these five questions:

1)  Are you committed to staying married?

If you are not willing to stay married, marriage counseling is a waste of time and money.  Marriage counseling’s sole purpose is to restore and reconcile your marriage.  Really assess if you are willing to do what it takes to stay married.

2)  Are you open to receiving marriage advice?

Being open to receiving marriage advice takes courage.  Solid marriage advice doesn’t have to come from marriage counselors, but from an encouraging Christian family member, friend, pastor, or co-worker.  It is important to reach out to others you trust when you are struggling in your marriage.

3)  Are you willing to do what it takes to meet your partner’s emotional needs?

Most couples have no idea how to love their partner intentionally.  They have never asked or assessed what emotional needs their partner has.  This is not unusual.  Marriage counseling can give you the communication skills and tools to evaluate how you love your partner.

4)  Are you willing to be honest about the ways you are not loving your partner?

It is easy to point the finger at our partner’s actions.  Especially when they aren’t loving you in the way you need.  But looking at your own behaviors requires insight about yourself and a willing heart.    Being willing to make corrections in your own behavior is a great first step.  Justifications won’t work.

5)  Are you willing to address how your marriage is impacting your children/family?

There are many couples who choose to stay together for the sake of the children.  I usually ask, “Why?  Don’t you want a great marriage, too?”  Being willing to look at your own actions, feelings and intentions speak volumes for your children.  Don’t model for your children a lifeless, crummy marriage; they need two parents who really love them and each other.

Marriage counseling does work, but it takes committment on your part.  So before you evaluate, “does couples counseling work?”  Why not ask, “what am I willing to do for our marriage?”  Marriage counseling is more than just valuable time and money.  It’s an opportunity to grow in your knowledge about yourself and how to love one another.  And without this knowledge, your marriage will suffer and so will you.

Written By:  Sally Groff, MA, LMFT, RPT

Sally Groff is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Play Therapist in Indianapolis, IN.   She is the Clinical Director of Groff & Associates and is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor.  Her passion is to offer professional, outpatient care to couples.  Her desire is to restore and reconcille marriages; taking a good marriage and making it a great marriage!  Contact Sally Groff to discuss your marital situation with her.

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NzE6Imh0dHA6Ly9ncm9mZmFuZGFzc29jaWF0ZXMuY29tL3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMy1ncm9mZl9oZWFkZXIucG5nIjt9PC9saT48L3VsPg==