To start, a couple needs to mutually agree that counseling is what they want to do, and how they want to go about helping their marriage. Often times, one partner is hesitant or resistant to coming in and starting the marriage counseling process. Men have resistance to the process, as sometimes they think that the marriage counselor will side with the wife, and will malign against them. Having two marriage counselors works, and, as a counselor for men and couples here in Phoenix, Arizona, I can tell you it’s a lot easier to get men to come in when they think that a male counselor both understands their side and is less likely to side with their wife and against them.
How will you know if you need marriage counseling? A lot of couples report fighting incessantly over the same things, time and again. Fights and conflicts start from the smallest things, where it used to take quite a bit in the past to get a fight going. When communication is shut down, or nonexistent, then it’s usually time to seek out the help of a professional counselor or therapist. When joy and fun have waned, it’s probably time to seek out someone’s help. If you think that all you have together are external things, such as the children, house, car, lifestyle, or anything else outside of the relationship or marriage that keeps you together, it’s probably time to get help. The marriage needs to be happy on its own, and stand on its own two legs, not on outside things that prop it up.
Admitting that you both need marriage counseling is the hard part. Actually saying to yourself, and then to your spouse, that you think you both need help is a big step in the process of reparation and healing. Making the call is the next step.