All marriages can be plotted on a spectrum of terrible to great. Some couples are in horrific relationships and on the brink of a divorce. On the other end of this spectrum, some couples believe they have the best marriage possible and enjoy every moment of their relationship. Most marriages fall somewhere in between these two extremes.
All of these marriages, no matter where on the spectrum they fall, can benefit from marriage counseling; however, many couples resist, avoid or delay seeking help with their relationship. Often, couples near divorce give up on their relationship; the spouses speak to lawyers instead of counselors. They believe their relationship is beyond help. Spouses who are in poor, but not terrible, relationships figure they do not need help yet. According to their view, counseling is only a last-ditch effort, which they do not need. Finally, people in good marriages think counseling has little to offer them. Yet, they too, like all other marriages, can benefit from the insight of a counselor.
When a marriage reaches the point that the spouses involved have resigned themselves to a divorce, communication has broken down. In many cases, the husband and wife will not talk to each other. Even in situations where they talk to one another, they no longer are communicating as a husband and wife should. Each spouse must guard himself or herself from emotional, financial or custodial damage. Being honest is a risk that people are often unwilling to take in these situations.
In the midst of these broken relationships, a marriage counselor can help couples communicate to one another. Experienced counselors realize that reconciliation is a process, and spouses are not going to want to share information until underlying problems are addressed. A skillful counselor will help couples identify the real issues and work through solutions, so that the relationship can be reconstructed.
A poor marriage has small problems, which is why people are unhappy. These issues vary from couple to couple. Some are very minor, others are slightly more significant. Yet, each of these issues will grow over time. If these small matters are not discussed, they will fester and slowly ruin a marriage.
In these situations, a counselor can help people identify problems that they may or may not be aware of. These can then be addressed in a controlled setting, with a counselor acting as a mediator. By taking care of problems when they are small, couples can prevent them from growing in to the major issues that cause couples to seek a divorce. Counseling in this scenario is a preventative measure.
Despite how it may seem, many couples enjoy good, even great, relationships. They are happy with their spouse and their relationship. In addition to enjoying and loving each other, they work through life’s logistics well. No matter how pleased a couple is with their marriage, counseling can help them improve it.
No marriage is perfect, but people might think they are in the ideal relationship. Anyone who thinks they have the perfect marriage is either blind to a weakness in their relationship or is not dreaming great enough. People have difficulty identifying their own faults. Couples are no different; they have a hard time seeing the blemishes that hold their relationship back from being even greater. In some relationships, couples do not have an example of the perfect marriage. They have never seen what can be aspired towards.
Counseling helps people identify detractors and seek more. When counselors help people who are in good marriages, their role is not to solve problems. In many of these instances, their purpose is to be an objective and honest auditor of the relationship. They can see things that spouses are blind to, because the counselor is not in the relationship. Once these minor blemishes are identified, they can be conquered for a deeper relationship. In some scenarios, counselors are there simply to inspire couples. People do not always know their full potential. They can benefit from hearing someone’s beautiful vision for their relationship. Counselors can provide that great vision, because they have studied and witnessed great marriages over the years.
No matter what stage a couple’s marriage is in, a counselor can help them improve it. For some people, this merely means avoiding a divorce. Others will learn to have a better marriage. The goal of every marriage counselor is to help married couples have great relationships within their special bond.