By:Sarah Henry, Graduate Student Intern
Most people hear marriage counseling and quickly come to the conclusion that whoever is attending must be struggling in their relationship. Although that may be true for some, not everyone uses marriage counseling as a last resort to save their marriage. Some couples see it as a way to continue to grow and nurture their marriage. In an effort to debunk the myth that marriage counseling is only for those who have no other options left, let me give you a few notes on how it can be beneficial, even for those in a happy marriage.
First, marriage counseling can simply act as a check up for you and your spouse. People don’t just see the doctor when they are sick. Most go for a yearly check up to make sure everything is still working properly. While most checkups show that everything is normal, every now and then something unexpected can pop up. In the same way, attending a brief session marriage counseling can help you and your spouse officially check in with each other. It can help identify some problem areas that may be rising up or just serve as reassurance that you guys are doing well.
Marriage counseling can also help fine-tune those issues that may cause strife in a happy marriage. Finances may be a struggle and adding a third party to help mediate the disagreement could lead to better financial planning. Deciding whether to start or expand the family, go back to school, switch jobs, or learning how to parent together may also be some areas of focus during marriage counseling.
Finally, after years of marriage, some couples need help reconnecting with each other. It doesn’t mean they no longer love each other; it means life got in the way. With work, school, children, and pets, everything is begging for our attention. We focus on everything running smoothly and at the end of the day, we are lucky to get a goodnight kiss. Busy schedules make it easy to forget why you fell in love with your spouse. Attending marriage counseling can bring back those romantic feelings and reignite the flame that once burned bright as day.
It’s important to remember that asking for a counselor to help is not a sign that your marriage is crumbling. Recognizing that you and your spouse cannot do it alone is a strength that many couples lack. Reaching out to a professional is nothing to be ashamed about. Working hard to maintain a healthy marriage is something to brag about, not hide because of a false stigma.