Rather than becoming defensive and hurtful, they pepper their disputes with flashes of affection, intense interest, and mutual respect. I love my husband and want us to work but I feel like he could careless about my needs and feelings. It's common for couples to reach an impasse and lose the ability to be vulnerable and trusting of one another. They hold the belief that not all couples are meant to be together which is why they are so quick to give up on your marriage. As a result, they prefer to work with each person individually, instead of as a couple. I hope so. Your email address will not be published. What kind of “horror stories” you ask? So find a good counselor in your area and set up an appointment. Yourself. Most experts agree that couples counseling is a relationship between three individuals and it's not the therapist's responsibility to "fix' the marriage. This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. • Couples can decide to rebuild their marriage and make a renewed commitment, or clarify the reasons why they need to separate or end the marriage. Renowned marriage researcher John M. Gottman claims that the average couple that enters marriage counseling has experienced marital difficulties for over six years. These couples attended marriage counseling because they wanted to save their marriage, not hear from an “expert” that their marriage is hopeless! Why do some studies show limited success when evaluating the merits of couples counseling? Did you know that most marriage counselors do not believe your marriage IS valuable? I love my husband and I want our relationship to work and I don’t know that he does. A healthy and happy marriage takes two healthy and happy people who are focused on making it work. Part of HuffPost News. No matter what circumstances led to the current condition of your marriage, all that doesn’t matter anymore. Please help! In fact, there have been statistics recently that stated 80% of marriages that end up in divorce could have been saved if the couple had only received the proper help they needed. Now I know I’m making a generalization about ALL marriage counselors and I do realize that there are some “renegade” marriage counselors who do not follow these beliefs. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. Couples that fail to talk through this find themselves inviting future calamity into their relationship... Members gain access to our entire library of webcasts,downloadable resources, our Marriage Checkup Quiz and exclusive courses. Our 2-day intensives have a 95% success rate, Take a look at our upcoming speaking events, retreats, and getaways. Gain access to all of our resources to become a happier and healthier you! Written by Anna CollinsAnna Collins lives in sunny Southern California with her husband and two children. In sum, for marriage counseling to be effective, both partners need to be willing to take responsibility for their part in the problems, to accept each other's faults, and to be motivated to repair the relationship. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. Both you and your marriage will be better for it. And very often these alternatives are less expensive, less invasive and not at all emotionally draining – much unlike what you might find in traditional marriage counseling. Get a marriage book to read and discuss together or get a marriage podcast you can listen to together in the car. Not only will your spouse eventually notice that you are happy and healthier, but they will see that you are no longer choosing to engage in fighting or negative behaviors. So, if your spouse isn’t at that place yet, take the first step to work on yourself… even if it means taking it alone. Last night while having another talk about it I asked him if he had been taking care of him self sexually and he said yes, which makes me even more confused. I have tried talking to him, crying, getting mad, writing him all and still nothing. He makes a wonderful point that we just don’t hear enough. Most people don’t know this, but marriage counseling as taught in universities isn’t marriage counseling at all. While marriage counseling can be a fruitful way to assist Alicia and Jared in navigating through these changes, both partners need to buy into the process for it to be effective. If the two of you don’t believe your marriage IS valuable, and worth doing every positive thing you can to make it healthy again (marriage counseling not in the list), then what hope can you have for your marriage? All that matters now is that you need to find a solution to your marriage problems. Now the REAL question you must ask yourself is this…. • Addiction or mental illness is having a major impact on the marital relationship because it has not been treated prior to attending sessions. They believe marriage is simply expendable and that the kids will be ok. It’s therapy for individuals. ", Further, Gottman coins the phrase "turning toward "one another to describe how couples can learn to react in a positive way to another's bids for attention rather than "turning away" - which generally involves ignoring a partner's bid, or acting preoccupied. 10) The pain of Divorce Needs to Outweigh the Pain of Marriage … Marriages suffer for all kinds of reasons: lack of regular maintenance, an affair, an addiction, unhealthy behaviors (i.e. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, A weekly guide to improving all of the relationships in your life, Subscribe to HuffPost’s relationships email. It's that when they disagree, they're able to stay connected and engaged with each other. What you’ll find is a variety of solutions that don’t involve marriage counseling. Here’s what he said: “If your view of marriage is flawed, all the energy and strategy you are using (such as our marriage will be better if we just do this or change that) will end in failure…you must work on your marriage BECAUSE you believe it IS valuable, not because you are trying to make it valuable.”. In his book The Relationship Cure, he writes: "It's not that these couples don't get mad or disagree. In his summary of a consumer reports study, E.P. For others, they haven't taken the time to choose a therapist who is a good fit for them. Well it has now been over a month and nothing, he will not even kiss me more than a peck. Equip yourself with tools to revive your marriage in as little as four weeks! In his best-selling book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, John M. Gottman, Ph.D., describes "marital masters" as "folks who are so good at handling conflict that they make marital squabbles look like fun." It's important for couples to have realistic expectations because it takes more than a few sessions to shed light on the dynamics and to begin the process of change. • One or both partners have already decided to end the marriage and he/she uses the counseling as a way to announce this to their partner. Alicia, a forty year old accountant and mother of two sons, explains: "Jared doesn't talk during the sessions and complains that he can't leave work early to go. Now I can see why it was never going to work… Your email address will not be published. Good question. You never thought it would happen to you. Pastor and international marriage expert, Mark Gungor’s has one of the best answers I’ve seen. Marriage Counselors need to take a good look at their massive failure rate and realize that they’re doing more harm than good. Use the resources we have here at Marriage365. This is something we have struggled with off and on in our new marriage. Read our blogs, work … ©2020 Verizon Media. Gottman has published groundbreaking studies showing measurable differences between couples whose marriages were happy and those headed for misery and/or divorce court. Seligman Ph.D. reports that marriage counseling is not as effective as other treatment modalities. Required fields are marked *. So be diligent in being loving, gracious, respectful, and grace-giving while you wait. For some couples, marriage counseling is really divorce counseling because they've already thrown in the towel. She is passionate about her marriage, staying at home with her kids, writing, coffee, good conversation, and game night. Author Linda Bloom writes, "Your counselor is a consultant, not a fixer." While I appreciate this author's candor, the premise of the article - that marriage counseling doesn't work simply because it didn't help the author - seems simplistic and it's not based on research. • A motivated couple can begin to explore their problems from a new perspective. Lastly, if your spouse still is not comfortable with the idea of counseling, try a smaller baby step first. I thought I was the only one who had so diligently tried counseling and failed. Read our blogs, work through one of our online courses and maybe schedule a coaching session for just yourself. Although some of these changes seem positive - such as a new home and job - they also represent major stressors due to increased time and financial expenditures. Keep in mind that change doesn’t happen overnight, and even once you have begun to make a healthy change in yourself and in your marriage, your spouse might need some time to work through his or her own issues in order to be ready to join you in fighting for your marriage.