Marriage counseling isn’t magic. It’s hard work. It’s about a couple’s motivation and timing. Only time with a counselor will tell whether a couple has waited too long.
Dr. John Gottman, author of The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships, relationship and marriage expert, notes that most struggling couples wait an average of six unhappy years before seeking help!
Michele Weiner Davis, author of The Divorce Remedy shared that by avoiding conflict all that time, a couple just sees negative thoughts and feelings fester with no opportunity to affect change. Partners don give each other that chance.
In his best-selling book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert, Dr. Gottman describes some people as “marital masters.” Those types of couples are great at managing differences. They do things like intentionally spend time together in relaxed places to foster non-combative conversation. They commit to open-ended dialogue and avoid the “blame game.”
All told, the goal is to refrain from taking love for granted and fix problems as early as possible, to “turn toward” your partner, and resist the urge to push him/her away.
Marriage counseling can be beneficial in the following circumstances:
- When “toxic relationship patterns” are clear to both partners and change is wanted.
- When a couple is motivated to view their problems from different angles, and learn new therapy tools, troubleshoot and solve conflicts.
- When partners decide to rebuild broken trust and communication, contributing to the poor quality of their interactions.
- When the couples counselor provides supportive “neutral territory” where couples agree to tackle tough issues.
- When couples need to decide whether to rebuild their marriage, or clarify the decision to separate.
Dr. John Gottman advises couples to remember: [Partners] “who know each other intimately [and] are well versed in each other’s likes, dislikes, personality quirks, hopes, and dreams” are couples who make it.
Read the full article here: Timing Is Everything When It Comes To Marriage Counseling
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