When couples seek marriage counseling, Psychology Today says that it shows the important step of commitment by the couple to solve their problems instead of ending the marriage. With over 50 percent of first marriages ending in divorce, it is a good idea for any struggling couple to seek counseling first. These are some of the most common reasons for seeking counseling.
1. Negative Communication
When communication either stops or devolves in a marriage, it can be difficult for couples to initiate positive communication again on their own. Words that leave the other partner feeling insecure, depressed or withdrawn are common reasons for heading to a marriage counselor’s office. In therapy, counselors stress the importance of communication quality. Couples learn that how something is said can be more important than the chosen words themselves. Abusive language is especially a focus for something to avoid. Couples who simply do not speak will learn how to communicate again.
2. The Roommate Situation
Marriages sometimes deteriorate into a situation where one or both partners feel that they are simply living in the same space as roommates would. Common reasons for this happening are a lack of communication or a lack of intimacy. This means an emotional closeness and not just sexual contact. Also, one partner may feel that he or she does more work around the house or more work outside of the home. The root of the problem is usually something that the couple will not discuss with one another or something that initiates frequent fights.
3. An Affair
In many cases, an affair is more than enough to end a marriage. However, some couples choose to work past it. When they do, counseling is a must. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for getting past an affair. It takes commitment, building trust and the willingness to move forward together. Couples who have children together can especially benefit from counseling in this situation. In some cases, therapy may also lead couples to discover that it is better for them to move on than to stay together.
4. Unsolvable Problems
When couples argue or fight about different issues, they may be able to reach an agreement or compromise. However, some couples will not compromise on issues at all. When both partners do this, it creates a tension that can be hard to fix. People who know when their relationship is in trouble because they cannot solve their problems have already made the step of identifying the issue, which is half of the battle. The other half is difficult and requires therapy, cognitive behavior changes and a willingness to compromise.
5. Spiteful Behavior
Couples may hurt one another out of spite. One partner may treat the other with spite because of anything from an affair to a disparity in income. The reason usually boils down to some form of inequality. Women who complete the house work but expect help from their husbands may become spiteful toward them, and men who think they do most of the house work may feel spiteful toward their wives. Partners’ actions are usually made with the intention of causing the other one hurt, jealousy or another negative emotions. Solving these issues takes behavior changes and commitment.
Related Resource: The Top 10 Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degree Programs
There are many other specific reasons why couples seek counseling. Marriage counselors who think creatively and can help couples keep a desire to solve their problems can make people happier and save homes from being broken. The first step toward becoming a marriage counselor is finding the right psychology degree program.