Myths About Marriage Counseling Debunked
MYTH 1: Marriage Counseling is for couples who are contemplating divorce.
While a couple should go to marriage counseling if they are contemplating divorce, the better option is to make it into marriage counseling much sooner than the point of contemplating divorce. If a couple waits too long to seek out marriage counseling, one of the partners may have already checked out of the marriage emotionally and this can cause more difficulty trying to repair the marriage. Aside from considering divorce, there are many other reasons couples seek out marriage counseling. Many couples who seek out marriage counseling have never contemplated divorce but recognize they need help with an issue or a problem within the marriage. One couple may be going to counseling to learn how to handle conflict better while another couple may be going to counseling because one partner was unfaithful in the marriage.
MYTH 2: Couples counseling won’t work.
When partners have had countless conversations and have tried many things other own to improve the marriage but to no avail, they begin to feel hopeless and may be skeptical about marriage counseling. There’s no way to guarantee couples counseling will save the marriage; however, the odds of the marriage lasting are much more likely if the couple goes to marriage counseling. According to research completed by The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, couples who participate in couples counseling indicate high rates of clients satisfaction. In the study, 97% of the participants who were surveyed reported getting what they needed out of the couples counseling and 93% said they left with more effective tools for handling future marriage difficulties that may arise.
MYTH 3: It will take a lifetime of marriage counseling to help out this marriage.
Lifelong counseling is not the norm for marriage counseling. The length of marriage counseling varies from couple to couple because each marriage has its unique situation. A couple that has two partners committed to making healthy changes within the relationship is much more likely to finish counseling quicker than a relationship that only has one partner who is fully committed and dedicated. A Marriage that has been having major problems for 10 years is likely to spend more time in counseling that a couple whose relationship has only been having problems over the past year. There is no magic length of time; however, marriage counseling should not be a lifelong process. Marriage counseling for many couples is successfully finished after 6 months.
MYTH 4: “I already know I made a mistake in the marriage. I don’t need to go to counseling to have both my spouse and a counselor ganging up on me and tell me so.”
In marriage counseling, both couples are made to feel safe in the room. Counselors are trained to help couples work through their issues without blaming, ganging up on, or dismissing either partner. In fact, counselors are trained to do the opposite where they form a therapeutic alliance with each of the partners in a marriage counseling setting. A therapist may not agree with your perspective and may ask you to make some tough changes, but this will be done respectfully without making you feel like “the bad guy” in the marriage. Couples counseling tends to focus on the couple and not just on one partner in the relationship. As an outsider without an emotional attachment looking in, a counselor is able to maintain a neutral perspective and identify how each partner is contributing to the relationship dynamics.