If you are married or thinking of getting married, going to a marriage counselor just makes good sense.
You don’t need to wait until you can barely stand to be in the same room together. When you go to a marriage counselor, you will learn skills that will keep your marriage healthy and strong. You will start dealing with any problems when they arise, instead of after they have wreaked havoc on your lives for a few years. Most people wait until they have had a problem for six years before they ever make an appointment with a marriage counselor. That’s six years the problem has had time to fester and grow. That appointment is going to be very different than the appointment you make before problems arise, or when the problem is new and hasn’t had time to cause serious trouble. When you notice a leak, you call the plumber as soon as possible. If you wait six years, you may have to completely redo the basement!
What should you expect when you go to a marriage counselor?
I think most people are a little afraid of being scolded, or being blamed, or of being forced to do something they just don’t want to do. The marriage counselor will not do any of those things! (S)he will help you to develop relationship skills that will help you in your marriage (and probably in your other relationships as well). (S)he will not take sides, because the person (s)he is there to support is neither one of you. In fact, it’s not even a person – it’s your marriage. Your marriage is like your house. It needs special attention. If it doesn’t get attention, it’s going to start becoming a little rough around the edges. Like your house, it will be harder to live there.
Going to a marriage counselor does not mean anything is wrong!
It means you are taking care of your marriage and of yourself. It’s like going to your doctor for a checkup. When you go to counseling, you should also know that it’s not like a “makeover” that can be completely finished in a short time. When people ask me how long it will take, sometimes I say “It will take as long as it takes.” A marriage is an organic entity – like the human body. Every marriage is unique and special, and every marriage needs a little TLC and attention. So, the next time you make an appointment with your massage therapist or your personal trainer, think about scheduling an appointment for your marriage as well.