Although marriage counseling seems common, statistics show that far fewer couples are seeking out this type of therapy. It’s estimated that only about 10% of couples who are going through a rough times in their relationship choose to attend marriage counseling before divorce.
Sometimes, one or both of the spouses might know right away that there is no hope of reconciliation. Regardless of the reason, whether it’s abuse, infidelity, addiction, or something else, there are some things that a spouse will not forgive or get over, and that’s perfectly fine. In those cases, divorce is always going to be the best solution.
Other times, the spouses both understand the problems they are facing and feel that divorce counseling could work in their favor. And then there are those couples that may have only one party that wants to go to counseling because they don’t accept the idea that they are getting divorced.
Marriage Counseling Can Provide Some Benefits
Something you have to remember is that no one can be forced into going to counseling if they don’t want to. The other party can’t try to force them into going. If they don’t want to go, that’s that. What they can do is let their partner know that 97% of couples that attended counseling found that it was helpful. It doesn’t mean that those marriages turn out happily ever after, of course. Just that it could provide more insight.
You Will Know for Sure Whether Divorce Is the Right Option
A lot of couples start to toy with the idea of divorce because they are going through a rough patch. They think that the problems they have are insurmountable, and they aren’t sure whether they should stay together.
Sometimes, those problems are relatively easy to handle with a different perspective and good communication, which can be facilitated through therapy. On the other hand, some couples will find out that the issues they have are much deeper and that being apart is a better option for both of them. Sometimes, divorce really is the best solution.
Going to marriage counseling can help you to get a better idea of where your relationship stands.
Better Understanding and Communication
Considering marriage counseling before divorce will also provide you with the tools you need to communicate better with your spouse. Even though you might feel as though you know how to talk with each other, when it comes to certain types of problems and issues, you falter.
With a good counselor, you will be able to have a better idea of how to talk to and understand your partner. You can also learn to become a better listener for them.
Although not all problems can be solved by learning to communicate better with one another, it can help some marriages. By learning to talk with one another, learning to listen, and being willing to compromise, some marriages can be helped.
It Could Help You Save Money
Marriage counseling isn’t free, but it will still usually be cheaper than going through a divorce, especially if you end up getting back together later. Divorce, after all, tends to cost quite a bit more than counseling.
Getting help early can allow you and your marriage to get back on track sooner rather than later. The sooner you and your spouse get the help the better it will be for your marriage.
If you feel that there is any potential for your marriage to last, and you are willing to work on it, then seek a counselor before opting for divorce. If you later find that counseling just doesn’t fix the problems, then you can follow up with divorce papers.
What to Look for in a Marriage Counselor
If you decide that going to a counselor to conduct marriage counseling before divorce to see if you can work things out is the path you want to take, keep in mind that you can’t choose just any therapist. You need to be sure you are working with the right counselor. Keep all of the following in mind when you are making your choice.
Specialized Training for Couples
Although many therapists can provide you with advice and counseling, it doesn’t mean that they all have specialized training to work with couples. You should take the time to learn more about the therapist to see what type of approaches they take when it comes to couples counseling.
Interview Them First
Once you find a couple of therapists you feel might work well for you, make sure that you interview them first. You can do this over the phone when you first speak with them or through an online session.
You want to get a sense of how they treat you, how well they listen, and whether they seem to understand the problems you and your spouse are facing. If not, it’s time to look for a different therapist.
Don’t Work with a Biased Therapist
A marriage counselor shouldn’t be taking sides. They shouldn’t make one spouse feel as though they were the one who always did something wrong when it’s clearly the fault of both spouses, for example.
However, there are some out there that seem to like to take sides. This is not going to provide you with the results you want. If you have a therapist that seems to do this, even if they are taking your side, it’s time to find someone new.
Be Willing to Give Therapy a Real Try
Therapy isn’t magic. It doesn’t change everything overnight, or even within a week. It takes time and dedication from both spouses before real results are seen. Give it some time to see how it works for you.
It Doesn’t Always Work
Of course, even then, it doesn’t mean that counseling is always the right decision for all couples. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to go through with the divorce. Even though it might not be what you had hoped for, it may be the best way to move forward with your life.