Many people consider marriage counseling to improve or save their relationship, but a common question many therapists encounter is, “Does marriage counseling work?” Each relationship is unique, and there are many complex factors involved when it comes to relationships. Relationship counseling takes dedication and hard work. Here are some important points to consider when beginning marriage counseling:
1. Timing is everything. Couples who seek therapy proactively or as soon as issues arise have a greater chance of success. When toxic patterns can be identified and worked on early, change can begin.
Many couples ignore problems and let resentment build, which can make it much more difficult to repair a marriage. Couples counseling is a valuable tool that can even be explored before marriage, so you’re both on the same page when it comes to communication about serious issues. Ongoing periodic check-ins and “relationship tune ups” can help you grow both individually and as a couple and keep your connection strong.
2. Motivation matters. The success of marriage counseling is directly related to the motivation level of those involved. Both people need to make a commitment to facing and resolving issues that are hindering the health and growth of their relationship. Relationship counseling can be challenging, but it’s definitely worth it to learn how to improve your relationship.
3. Conflict is a normal part of any committed relationship. All relationships have their ups and downs. Conflict can be very difficult to deal with for those who fear it will lead to losing their partner. However, ignoring problems to avoid conflict can actually destroy your relationship. Negative thoughts, irritation, anger, and frustration are all a part of being human. What matters is how you choose to deal with these thoughts and feelings.
Your partner is unlikely to change a behavior that upsets you if you don’t let them know it does. It’s important to pick your battles wisely. Ignore the petty issues that get on your nerves, but make sure to address the big ones in a respectful manner. If you have a hard time doing this or tend to fly off the handle, couples therapy can help you be less reactive and learn positive communication skills.
If serious issues or communication breakdowns are plaguing your relationship, marriage counseling at Kayenta Therapy can help you learn tools to improve your relationship and strengthen your connection with your partner. Contact a therapist at Kayenta directly to schedule a session today.