3 Things Counsellors Want You to Know About Marriage Counselling
Most enter into marriage with high expectations, but as the years progress, find that they are not in the relationship they thought was waiting for them. When they can’t seem to find the path to where they want their marriage to be, it’s not uncommon to seek guidance in the form of marriage counselling. Most enter into counselling without a few common misconceptions, and clearing them up can help you get the best value from your first sessions, so here are 3 things counselors want you to know about marriage counselling!
1) Getting Help is Not Failure
So many treat Marriage Counselling as a last resort, which creates the impression in many that reaching out to a marriage counselor is like admitting that they have failed at their relationship.
If you were committed to finishing a triathlon with your partner, would you consider it a failure to reach out for professional training? Marriage is the equivalent of a co-operative mental triathlon, taking immense endurance from both partners to accomplish successfully. Seeking help is not only advisable, in most cases it is critical, to success.
Striking the belief that counselling reflects negatively on you from your mind is an important first step to successfully participating in counselling, and your marriage. Those that hold this belief during counselling commonly reduce it’s effectiveness, so getting the most out of marriage counselling requires you to adjust this belief if you hold it!
2) Success Takes Work
Its not uncommon for some couples to think about their marriage counselor in a way similar to their mechanic. They bring their marriage ‘into the shop’ and allow the counselor to perform the work of fixing it.
This is not how counseling works.
A counselors job is to show you new paths to the places you and your partner want to bring your marriage, and the old paths you don’t know you’ve been walking that keep leading to where you don’t want to go.
As a guide for your marriage, your counselor can only show you the way, but success requires you and your partner to follow it. Many of those that fail at marriage counseling do so because they have passed off responsibility for fixing their marriage onto their counselor. The truth is that only those in a relationship can have an impact on fixing it, and though doing so is difficult, it’s proven to work when guided by a counselor.
3) Accept Each Other, Focus On Yourself
Many approach marriage counselling as an opportunity to vent at their partner through their counselor.
“He or she did this, did that, thinks this, feels that”
It might feel good to get those powerful feelings off your back, but all this does is transfer them to the back of your partner, who is liable to throw them right back as soon as they get the chance. This is why a counselor is going to stop this kind of talk, and if you’re lucky, turn it right around on you.
Counseling is not about getting your partner to think, feel, act, and be the way you want them. Its about getting you to think, feel, act, and be the way that is best for your marriage. The first step requires you to lift expectation for change off the shoulders of your partner and onto yours, and for your partner to do the same.
Once this expectation is where it’s supposed to be, progress happens!