If you ask marriage therapists about their most challenging cases, you will often hear that these couples sought help long after their first serious problems.
Marriage trouble is intensely personal. Few of us have seen our parents model the use of couples counseling. And, it’s hard to invest in a process where we become vulnerable, can’t predict how it will unfold, and do not have guaranteed outcomes.
What is predictable is that all marriages will have difficult times. Asking for help early is a predictor of success in couples counseling. Marriage is an incubator for grown-ups. Lovers and newlyweds never begin life together fully mature. Making effective use of that incubator is much easier with help from a compassionate, competent professional.
One study of 1000 engaged, married, and divorced people indicates that couples counseling is very common among certain age groups. Check it out here.
Couples therapy is increasingly important and relevant with the rates of divorce and separation climbing. For those who are struggling with relational problems or considering ending their relationship, couples therapy is a tool for managing conflict and making healthy choices. For those who are married, partnered, considering making a long-term and hopefully, final commitment couples therapy can be a great resource to building intimacy and resiliency for the challenges every couple and family face. Finding a therapist who respects the strengths of your connection and who will take a strengths-based approach is important.
In many years of clinical practice, I’ve learned creating a strong, intimate connection in your marriage is the most important, most meaningful, and most challenging work that you can do. It matters to your relationship, to your kids, and your legacy as a human. Despite the challenges facing all couples these days, marriage is the primary tool available to you for personal development and maturity. (I use the word marriage in the most inclusive sense, honoring those who are not permitted to legally marry and their relationships.) Continue reading “Couple’s Therapy”