Reasons Marriage Counseling will not help you | counselorssoapbox
Experts offer advice to couples before they decide on a temporary split. 'Taking a break' in a relationship usually just delays the inevitable. A therapist I know once suggested that staying married is a choice you make mortgage, there's always some excuse to delay the inevitable. Many experts advise that taking a break only delays the inevitable. counseling sessions -- focusing on working on your relationship patterns.
When a relationship no longer meets one or both partner's needs, they might agree to take a break with the idea that they'll work on their problems. If a couple is in a long-term marriage, they might believe their investment of time and energy into the relationship is a good reason to try to work things out.
One thing is almost certain: If one or both partners don't change, then the relationship will not improve. For some couples, a separation may be a reasonable alternative to divorce if both partners are willing to work on themselves. A planned marital separation can sometimes save a marriage. According to author Tinatin Japaeridzewhat some refer to as one's "need for space from a partner" is a legitimate cry for just that -- space.
She posits that both men and women sometimes need quiet time to find what's vital to their relationship. Based on my clinical experience, marital separation can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can allow a couple time to deal with the issues that are pulling them apart without the emotional intensity that comes with living together. If planned in a thoughtful way, they can agree to meet regularly to work on their issues and air their grievances. Implied in this approach is hope that the relationship might repair and continue if both partners are on the same page.
Some refer to this break time as pressing the pause rather than the stop button. On the other hand, time apart can cause some people to further detach from one another and be disappointed when they reunite and find the same patterns of annoying behaviors exist. This is especially true if one or both partners don't take responsibility for their part in the breakdown of the relationship. Many experts advise that taking a break only delays the inevitable.
The Decision To Delay Divorce: 3 Ways Couples Delay The Inevitable
For example, Erica, age 36 and the mother of Joshua and Lucy says: We were screaming at each other every day and our kids were suffering. The phrase "absence makes the heart grow fonder" characterizes couples who don't have extremely high conflict or abuse and are receptive to counseling to work on their communication and connection patterns. Set boundaries and expectations. This includes ground rules and expectations such as talking about the duration of the break.
Discuss whether you can date others. Can you text or call each other daily? Is it okay to have sexual intimacy with each other? Is it okay to stop by each other's residence unannounced?
Making an agreement to have regular counseling sessions -- focusing on working on your relationship patterns will greatly enhance your chances for success.
Your counselor can help you decide how often you should see each other, if sexual activity is acceptable, etc. Be clear, honest, and vulnerable about your concerns and what the break will look like. If you want a right and wrong decision, see a judge for the divorce.
Does Taking a Break From Your Relationship Postpone the Inevitable?
Couplehood is a partnership. To be effective the counselor needs to stay neutral and rather than solving problems for you, they need to help you learn ways to resolve these disagreements in a more positive way. You want the counselor to change your partner. Change is an inside job. Changing a relationship requires the people involved to each work on changing themselves.
You have already decided to divorce and you want to prove that you did all you can to save the marriage. A significant number of clients come to the first therapy session already having decided that they want a divorce. They want to be able to say to their friends and family that they did all they could. If you already have your stuff packed and plan to move on no matter what happens in therapy, going for marriage counseling is just one more trial that you will need to get over to start your new life.
Counseling can be helpful when both parties know that this is coming and they are trying to work out some end of relationship issues, like co-parenting.
Counselors can and do work in the area of divorce counseling. But before you turn your marriage counseling session into negotiating a divorce talk to the lawyer types first. You are making your partner go so you can punish them for their misdeeds.
The couple shows up for counseling often at the insistence of one partner who has demanded that they attend counseling as a condition of staying together. This can work if both parties are committed to changing themselves and things in their relationship. If there was an affair you can work on the reasons it happened in the first place or how to rebuild the relationship and trust.
What is not helpful is just to use counseling as a way to flog the affair partner for their misdeeds. An ordeal in the therapy room results in more resentments in the relationship and addition problems in the future. You can also learn some new ideal relationship skills. What you are likely to hear in the couples counseling session is that relationships take work. You need to make repair efforts when things go wrong and there is work to do to maintain a relationship.
Expect that your convalescent period for an ailing relationship will include homework and skills practice you need to do outside the counseling session.
A good marriage counselor will make suggestions and may well suggest some homework assignments outside of session.
Do not expect your therapist to do all the work. You need to practice good relationship skills between sessions. There are topics that are off-limits and you are unwilling to talk about. The next part of this conversation is that there are topics they do not want to talk about.
Some topics probably should be off the table. You like coffee and your partner is a tea drinker. You can share and each try the others beverage or you can fight forever over who is right. Some disagreements have no resolution and it is a waste of time to continue to fight over things for which there is no solution. The off the table topics that cause relationship counseling to be unproductive are the big issues that stand in the way of having a good relationship.
Additions, drugs, alcohol, shopping, gambling, pornography, those things undermine any relationship. Is this situation likely to get better?
Not unless the unresolved issues get handled. That resolution could be he stops drinking or tries to anyway.Couples Counseling - Top 6 Reasons Why It Doesn't Work
It could also be that she just has to accept she married an alcoholic and accept that if she wants to stay married.