Whether you’ve been married one week, one year or ten years all marriages have their ups and downs, their good times and bad.
Over the course of time you become aware that your marriage is deteriorating. The little things your spouse does that you used to think were cute now annoy you.
In some marriages, problems fester and grow like a cancer. When they’re finally realized and admitted, it may be too late.
Do you talk to your spouse or your friends or do you seek the help of a professional? How do you know if you need marriage counseling? It may be difficult for you to share your innermost feelings with a stranger. You think “surely, no one can feel or understand how I feel’.
Professional marriage counselors have heard it all and are trained to listen. They understand and will offer suggestions for the most suitable treatment to mend a relationship that was once filled with love. If you’re feeling lost and helpless and you believe that there is no way to continue in your marriage, a counselor may be the answer.
Marriage counseling is not for everyone and counselors realize that. They also realize that a counselor who has helped one marriage may not be able to help another.
Counseling is more effective when the couple is committed to resolving their problems and is sincere in seeking help. They teach acceptance and this means accepting and respecting your spouse’s views and habits even though you may not agree and may find certain habits annoying. Remember, you’re merging two different lives in a marriage and your goal is to emerge as one, stronger yet malleable.
Counselors want you to communicate. It’s not unusual for one person in a marriage to be talkative and expressive while the other is detached and unable to express their feelings.
It’s the counselor’s job to find the reason for the hurt and to replace it with love. You can achieve reconciliation on your own but a marriage counselor can often speed up the process.
If you’re still reluctant to seek professional help you need to create a climate of self understanding within yourself. Be certain in your own mind that the fear and the problems you that you are experiencing are real and that you have not just arrived at a point in your life where you’re experiencing complicated change.
Search your heart for the answer to this question: Have you considered divorce? If the answer is yes, then you may need more help than you’re able to give yourself. But, don’t stop there.
There are other questions to consider regarding your marital behavior:
For example, do you trust your partner? Could there be another person involved? If this is the case then counseling can certainly help. Adulterous marriages can leave the other feeling unwanted and unworthy of continuing the marriage. Counselors can sort through this problem and even help you forgive the wrong done to you.
Do you criticize each other at home and in public? If so this can be an indication of a struggle for control caused by a lack of self esteem.
Other questions to be considered can be about sharing responsibilities with household chores and children. Is money a problem? If you feel that whatever you earn is yours and not “ours” then that could lead to a misunderstanding about the future of your marriage and whether or not you view it as a long term relationship.
Discuss these questions with your partner and if the problems cannot be resolved then it may be time to see a counselor.