Once the honeymoon phase of your marriage is over, you start to notice little things about your spouse that you may not have noticed. These things can begin to drive you a little crazy, especially if you did not live together before the wedding. These types of situations are normal and very rarely need outside intervention as long as you and your spouse discuss your issues openly and are willing to work on the problems.
There are situations that may need outside intervention; knowing when marriage counseling is needed is the first step in getting your marriage back on track. Here are some questions you and your spouse can ask yourselves to determine if you should seek marriage counseling.
1. Has the issue been ongoing?
Now, this does not mean that your husband keeps forgetting to pick the towels up off the floor, or your wife stole your razor to shave for the hundredth time. What it does mean is, is there a personality conflict that has gone on for months? Has your spouse been angry for a long period and you aren't sure why?
On the other hand, are their financial, religious, or parenting issues that you just cannot get beyond? Then speaking to an impartial party might help these issues get resolved. The counselor can teach you conflict resolution and help you with different exercises to help you and your spouse get beyond the issues that are breaking down your communication.
2. Was there an infidelity?
When a spouse is unfaithful, it is not the first thing you want to discuss with somebody, especially somebody you do not even know. However, if you choose to work on the marriage and move past the issue, speaking to a marriage counselor is necessary. Pent up anger, resentment, and sometimes even depression brought on by the situation can break the marriage down even more. Speaking to somebody who can work with you and your spouse one on one and as a couple can help you move beyond the infidelity.
3. Is one of you talking about divorce, but the other is unsure?
Divorce is not an easy topic to discuss. When you get married, your plan is to be with that person for the rest of your lives, but there is a time when that just does not seem possible anymore. Breakdowns in communication are often the biggest issue in marriages. People begin to feel as though their partner is not taking their relationship seriously, and distance begins to take place.
There are some circumstances where salvaging the marriage just is not possible, but you will never know if you do not speak to an outside party. Having an open and honest discussion with a trained professional can often help you and your spouse see things differently. It can also help you decide if divorce is really something you both want.
4. Is there a major change in the relationship?
If you married young, you may find that the personality of your partner has changed a lot of over the years. This can even happen in couples that married later in life. People go through different seasons, and as they age they become different people due to the circumstances they have dealt with throughout their lives. This isn't a big deal and it can often change people for the better, but change at all is a shock to the relationship. Speaking with a therapist can help you and your spouse learn to grow with one another and embrace the new people you have become over time.
Marriage counseling is not as taboo as it once was. It can be very refreshing for couples to attend therapy from time to time so that they can learn to navigate through the different issues that arise throughout their marriage. Marriage is not easy, and many go into marriage thinking if they love one another, it should be simple. However, when you love one another there is more passion, which leads to feelings being hurt much easier, and arguments taking place. Having somebody you can both vent to that isn't close to the relationship will help you and your spouse grow closer together, rather than further apart when stressful situations occur.