Many couples struggle with communication, trust, and commitment issues in today’s world. Getting married is one of the most exciting times in your life. But can be challenging when figuring out how to navigate a new relationship dynamic together as partners. Unfortunately, many marriages fail because of various reasons such as unrealistic expectations about marriage, fear of commitment, or trust issues from past relationships. Counseling for couples helps these partnerships grow stronger by identifying and fixing any areas that need work.
If you are thinking about going to couple’s counseling or have been advised to do so by a friend or family member and aren’t sure what to expect, this blog post will give you some useful information and answers to FAQs.
Probable Expectations and Outcomes of Couple’s Counseling
Couples counseling is not a one-size-fits-all sort of solution. Couples should know what they want to get out of counseling before they start.
Couples can expect benefits from counseling, including:
Greater communication is arguably the most important factor in any relationship: Couples’ counseling offers a safe space to share feelings and thoughts that may have been bottled up for a long time. It also gives both partners a chance to listen without defensiveness so they can learn more about each other and how they relate.
Better understanding of one another: Counseling gives couples a safe and trusted environment where they can ask questions about each other’s past, family, and reasons for making certain life choices.
Greater trust and intimacy: These are often the result of greater understanding and better communication, two cornerstones of any successful couple’s relationship.
When do I go to counseling for couples?
There is no specific time in a relationship when a couple must go counseling. The best time to go for marriage counseling is when both partners feel that the relationship is strained, but there is hope that it can be salvaged. Couples who go to counseling early in their relationship are less likely to end up in divorce. It is also important to note that couples who go to counseling after a serious incident in the relationship are less likely to improve than those who go beforehand.
3 Things to Talk About In Couple’s Counseling
Discussing expectations and goals for the relationship: This includes finances, plans for kids, and work-life balance. You should know what you want to get out of this relationship and how you see your partner fit into your life.
Relationship history includes past relationships and any baggage from them, such as trust issues, emotional wounds, or unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Sexual history – What is each partner’s sexual history? For example, how many partners have they had, and what were their experiences like? What are each partner’s desires and expectations regarding sex and intimacy? (1)
3 Things to Discuss Before Going to Couple’s Counseling
- What are each partner’s strongest and weakest areas? For example, one partner might be great at communication but terrible at managing finances, and the other might be great at managing finances but terrible at communicating.
- What are each partner’s past relationships and life experiences?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- What are each partner’s hopes, dreams, and fears?
- What are their long-term goals and short-term goals?
Couples counseling is not always easy, but it is often worth it. Having a safe and neutral place to discuss your relationship with your partner without fear of judgment or defensiveness is extremely valuable. Couples can learn much about themselves and their partner through counseling, which can greatly improve their relationship. (2)