Saturday, May 9, 2009

When Should You go for Marriage Counseling?

When, if ever, should you consider Marriage counseling? Perhaps, rather than readily considering divorce as a viable solution, you may wish to seek the services of a marriage counselor. In the throes of rampant divorce-rates, it is encouraging that couple's counseling is very popular today.

Whatever the term "falling in love" connotes, remaining "in love" may, at least at times, appear arduous. A neglected marriage rapidly deteriorates. This deterioration may affect all aspects of your life.

The societal-impact of a healthy marriage is readily apparent. Healthy relationships, among other benefits, provide the following:

1. Longer lives.
2. Less illness.
3. Less stress.
4. Children are better-adjusted.

However, to achieve the foregoing, both partners must participate (i.e., pursue a mutually-compatible goal). It is necessary to work on keeping a healthy marriage.

Counseling often helps marital partners understand various aspects of their relationship. To achieve a fuller understanding, it is often advisable to counsel spouses both individually and jointly.

While it is true that people change as they grow older and, hopefully, mature, it is important to bear in mind that healthy couples mature together. Sadly, too few couples realize that the most profound aspects of love are derived when physicality is eclipsed by an indescribable unity in a relationship. Essentially, you see not merely the outward appearance of the object of your affection, but the totality, at least to the extent our mortal existence permits, of the other's being.

In our society, many have bought into the myth that beauty is "only skin-deep". Nothing could be further from the truth! True beauty is much, much more - it permeates the entire being.

Receiving professional help before problems reach critical stage may be beneficial to a marriage. A great deal of research is being conducted into such counseling. However, results are mixed.

Marriage counseling is certainly no panacea. Women appear to derive greater benefit from sessions than do men, but the reasons are unclear.

It may be that women who agree to such approaches may feel as though they have a greater stake in a positive outcome. There are myriad reasons why women derive greater benefit, an inquiry I will leave to my readers.

Joint-therapy sessions often bring couples together. Employed competently, these sessions will help couples pinpoint and understand conflicts by understanding causes. Once root causes of such conflicts are understood, techniques are developed to resolve them. To be effective, partners must analyze both the good and bad of their relationship.

What is the purpose of marriage counseling? While there are numerous, fundamentally such efforts are expended to help couples experiencing difficulties pinpoint and understand conflicts by understanding causes.

Licensed therapists work with couples to provide tools intended to improve communication, assisting in negotiating their differences and solving their problems. Couples work toward improving their relationships during these sessions, particularly during crisis situations.

The number of sessions required is often a factor of the extent to which the relationship has deteriorated. Irrespective of the number of sessions, the focus is on bringing partners together for joint therapy, at which time each partner is given the opportunity to analyze sources of conflicts.

Should marriage counseling be the first choice? Of course not!

However, many couples keep repeating the same mistakes. The repetition creates a sense that the pain can only end when the relationship is severed. The constant infliction of pain often results in huge craters in a relationship. Unfortunately, in the absence of adequate communication skills and a barrage of pain, despair, and increasing animosity, there appears to be no hope in salvaging a relationship.

Obviously, it is not wise to wait until a relationship erodes to the point that no hope appears to remain. At this stage, a counselor may be the last hope!

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