Some people imagine marriage counseling is only for couples who are nearing divorce. Though couples who are constantly arguing—or worse, who’ve stopped speaking at all—may certainly be good candidates, marriage counseling is intended to help strengthen even relatively strong relationships. 610-596-4222
Some couples prefer to enter counseling even when they’re in a long-term relationship, with no wedding bells in sight. These couples want to make sure they have the communication skills and mutual understanding necessary to endure the hurdles and blessings that marriage, or a long term romantic partnership, can throw at a couple.
According to a survey by the Journal of Family Psychology, couples with premarital education or counseling, reported higher levels of satisfaction and experienced a 30% decline in the likelihood of divorce within five years.
Most people want to know there will be a benefit to taking the time to engage in couple’s or premarital counseling. Some benefits to counseling include:
- Creating a plan for your life together—how will you handle finances, kids, or even sex?
- Improving conflict resolution skills
- Working through fears about marriage and commitment
- Resolving issues that could continue to fester if not discussed
- Looking for habits or quirks that could cause problems later on, so they can be worked on now
- Setting realistic time frames for big decisions, such as buying a house or having kids
During counseling sessions is also a good time to address concerns you have for your relationship, such as how children should be disciplined, what faith tradition your family will follow, or how best to address any problems you’re having within the marriage—you’ll need to know how to have the conversation when the dirty socks left all over the house cause you to snap at your spouse.
You and your partner both must be committed to the process. It’s not easy learning that your communication skills are less than awesome, really coming head to head with the fact you hate conflict and will avoid it at all costs, or that maybe your sex life isn’t as stellar as you thought it was. However, having these discussions now can open communication lines that will benefit you both for the duration of your marriage or relationship. Counseling can help you understand where your beliefs align, where they diverge, and how to compromise when you have different ideas. These skills will serve you well both personally and professionally.
Lehigh Valley Counselors Counseling is here to help you in this time of transition, whether from engagement to marriage or from “just a relationship” to something long-term and more permanent. We know you have a lot going on; our counselors can work with your schedule to make counseling as convenient as possible. Just give us a call at 610-596-4222.