- Greg Cheney, PhD, LMFT
5 Ways to Make Marriage Counseling Work for You
Marriage counseling is an important part of any marriage relationship. It helps couples learn how to communicate better, resolve conflicts, and improve their overall happiness. Marriage counseling can act like a tune up for your car. It can help keep your marriage running smoothly. It can even prevent bigger problems down the road. Marriage counseling can also help if your marriage is in the ditch. A talented marriage counselor can help you get your marriage back on the road. Whether your marriage needs a tune up, or if it's in the ditch, here are 5 ways to make marriage counseling work for you.
Be Honest About Your Needs.
If you’re having trouble with your marriage, talk to your spouse about it. A marriage counselor can guide you through this process. Don’t wait until things get bad before you bring up issues. This will help you avoid getting stuck in a cycle of arguing and fighting. Issues cannot be fixed or managed when they are not discussed. It is important to be honest about tough areas in your marriage that may need work. Being honest about your needs and issues can be a first step toward a better marriage.
Don't Expect Perfection.
Marriages aren’t perfect. Mine isn't perfect, and either is yours. They never are. That’s why it helps to keep talking about your marriage with your spouse and how you feel about each other. Talking about your feelings helps you understand where your spouse is coming from. It also gives you an opportunity to express yourself. If you tend to struggle in your marriage, you are in good company! A perfect marriage does not exist, but one that is fulfilling is a good possibility. A marriage counselor will help you to manage unrealistic expectations. Marriage counseling will also help you work toward a concrete goal for your marriage.
Describe Your Experience.
If you’re having trouble communicating with your spouse, try describing your experience. Marriage counseling will help you describe how your feelings. It will also help you describe how you are experiencing your marriage. Try expressing your softer emotions like sadness, disappointment, and discouragement. Softer emotions seem to draw others closer to us so they can understand. Harder emotions like anger and defensiveness tend to push others away. A marriage counselor will help you describe your experience and help you figure out what’s going on. It will help give you some ideas on how to manage conflict and misunderstanding in your marriage.
Save Out of Control Topics for Counseling.
Some topics are too hot and volatile to navigate alone. Save those topics for marriage counseling that send your arguments out of control. It’s important to save these topics to discuss with your spouse when you see your marriage counselor. This will help prevent hurtful arguments. It will also allow you to focus on more manageable issues. Marriage counseling will help you find a solution for these difficult conversations.
Take Care of Yourself.
A healthy relationship requires both partners to take care of themselves. When both partners are taking care of themselves marriage counseling works better. If one partner isn’t taking good care of themselves, then they may struggle to take part in marriage counseling. They may also struggle to support their partner during the counseling process as well. Taking care of yourself can really help. Try getting a good night’s sleep, eating a well-balanced meal, and getting a little exercise. Small efforts toward taking care of yourself can produce big results. They benefit both you, your spouse, and your marriage counseling experience.
Counseling Services at Valiant Couples Therapy and Marriage Counseling
Marriage counseling isn’t the only service we offer in our Fuquay Varina counseling clinic. Other mental health services we provide include Emotionally Focused Therapy, couples intensives, Christian marriage counseling, online therapy, and couples workshops.