Couples are hesitant about getting marriage counseling for many reasons. One of the most common is fear of failure. People who are already unhappy about the state of their marriage may believe that if counseling doesn’t help them resolve their problems, it will only make them feel worse. However, what many couples find is that a first round of counseling – even if it doesn’t resolve all of their issues – still puts them on the path toward healing.
What to expect in marriage counseling
How marriage counseling progresses varies based on the therapist’s approach. Some counselors will ask to talk with each participant separately before talking with the couple together. Others begin by speaking with both participants at once.
In either case, the therapist will likely ask basic questions about the history of the relationship such as how long the couple has been together, marital status, and what brought the couple to therapy. It’s important to know that the therapist is not looking to judge the individuals or the relationship, but simply to understand where things stand and what issues are causing problems so that a healthy resolution can be reached.
The upside of setbacks
While nobody looks forward to facing the challenges of marriage counseling initially, there are some very positive aspects to setbacks if you look at them the right way. For example:
Struggling helps you clarify your goals
Sometimes people enter into counseling not exactly sure what they want to get out of it. Falling short of a vague objective can help you bring goals into sharp focus. And that clarity can be exactly what is needed to succeed in your next attempt.
Taking action is much better than doing nothing
Few things are more distressing than feeling like your relationship is broken and there is no way to fix it. Taking action, even if it is unsuccessful at first, can help you feel empowered and give you the confidence needed to ultimately achieve your goals.
Failure and success almost always go hand-in-hand
If you learn about people who are successful in any area of endeavor — business, sports, relationships, etc. — you’ll find that the percentage of people who “nailed it” on their first attempt is quite low. The vast majority of successes come after at least one failure, and often many failures. The key to success is persistence.
Struggling tends to generate support
We all want our friends and family to achieve their objectives. When we see them making a good effort but still struggling, our natural reaction is to lend a hand. This support can be crucial in helping a couple succeed in marriage counseling.
Your struggles don’t define you
We should learn from our setbacks that who we are and what we’ve accomplished are two very different things. That realization can create a mature confidence that affects all areas of our lives.
Helping couples make it through the tough times
No one who has ever been married would describe it as easy! However, a willingness to ignore the fear of failure and commit to marriage counseling can help you overcome tough times and move ahead to a bright future. If you have questions about our services, please contact us online at communityreachcenter.org or by phone at 303-853-3500 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We have centers in the northside Denver metro area including the cities of Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn, Commerce City and Brighton.