Should you seek marriage counseling when things are “good” in your marriage? I mean, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? I’m not so sure. Just like there are no perfect people, there are no perfect marriages. Unfortunately, many couples come to this realization too late.
Marriage counseling. Those words scream, “major problems,” a “bad marriage,” or “the brink of divorce.” Marriage counseling is not something couples post on Facebook, like they do their trip to the islands.
Your marriage is messed up!
Marriage counseling seems to come with a stigma. A stigma saying you don’t know what you are doing in your relationship, or one, if not both of you is messed up.
Well, that is true. Both of you are messed up, and are messing up your marriage! Which is why your marriage always needs fixing.
Preventative marriage counseling
My wife and I recently began “unofficial” marriage counseling. After meeting and becoming friends with a couple who spoke at a marriage conference we attended, we agreed to keep in touch. This led to me and the husband having phone conversations, to discussing our marriage and work, to eventually us setting up a counseling session.
Keep in mind, we weren’t having “major problems,” divorce was nowhere near our minds, and we actually were doing “pretty good.” Yet, both of us thought this would be a good idea. Hmmm…
Man, the first session uncovered some areas in our marriage that could definitely improve. It was very helpful. I noticed a few areas in which it was beneficial to us, and could be for you as well. Here are 5 ways preventative marriage counseling can help your marriage:
- Awareness. You may not know your marriage needs help. A conversation with a counselor may reveal you are further apart than one or both of you realize. You may think your marriage is an 8, while your spouse thinks it is a 3. That can’t last for long as it means somebody’s needs are not being met.
- Talk about what you haven’t talked about. Sometimes your daily routine of work, kids, and everything else keeps you from talking about certain things in your marriage. Maybe “it’s not the right time.” Well, when you have a counseling session it is always the right time. Perhaps, one spouse was afraid a blow up was certain if a certain touchy topic was brought up, or you just didn’t get around to it because of life, but it was looming in your minds.
- Accountability. Great counselors give you some action items. After all, if you go to counseling, talk, and do nothing, it is useless. If you don’t take action on these things, you will have your counselors in addition to your spouse to answer to.
- Gain some marriage wisdom. The Bible says plans fail for lack of counsel. You don’t know everything about marriage. In fact, if you are like me, you don’t know much! Learning from the experience and mistakes of other couples can help you prevent, or grow through your own challenges.
- Show good intentions. If you go to marriage counseling, no matter how your marriage is, you are seeking improvement. We went because we have been married long enough and witnessed enough divorces close to us to know that the small challenges, which seem insignificant, can become way more than they appear. That is something we don’t want. And we understood someone else could help us recognize and address them.
BMWK – What are you doing to keep your marriage growing and improving?