Post # 1
My SO & I are going to start counseling. I sent an email with a request for an appointment at one place & am going to call another this week. We’ve been having some severe communication problems lately resulting in crying & raised voices & crazy frustration. I’ve had enough of it, I can’t continue going through this and especially not for the rest of our lives. It’s like we speak & get no where. I try to explain how I’m feeling or why I do something (like asking her to text me when she gets to work safely because she works nights & we’re in a college town with drunk kids on the roads & I worry) and she still says it makes her feel like I’m treating her like a child.
I want to say everything else is good, but communication problems are so huge that I can’t really even say everything else is good. I’ve questioned if this is right a few times because of it. We’re not even at 3 years yet and I don’t know if this is too soon to be having such problems? The night shift thing has exacerbated the problems big time too.
Anyway, I’m kinda nervous. I need tools to help us get somewhere when we’re having a serious discussion, or how to acknowledge and change behaviors that are harmful and I’m just really hoping we get what we need. We’re limited on resources because there are only a few LGBT counselors around here.
Anyone have a successful counseling story? I could really use some positivity.
Post # 3
My degrees are in psychology so I’m all about promoting counseling! At any rate, it can really help! My FI and I went to counseling together though we didn’t have any major problems. We just wanted to prepare for marriage and strengthen our conneciton. It helped, but wasn’t a major change. However, we didn’t go in with any major problems either so I didn’t expect a major change. I always recommend counseling and I think it’s nerve wracking going in, but you’ll eventually relax. Good luck!
Post # 4
We haven’t done any counseling together so I don’t have a story, but I just wanted to say that we went through a rough patch where we fought so much that I questioned our relationship…it was really bad. There was a lot of crying on my part. We managed to work through it without counseling and things are much better now. We rarely bicker these days. So…I think counseling is a great idea and I think your relationship will be ok!
Post # 5
I voted Other as I have been to counseling for when I seperated from my SO after drastic events. It did help to put prespective ideas on what was going around me at the time. It depends if others are really open to an idea to get things off their chest.
Post # 6
I voted other because I have not been with my husband, but I have been on my own and with my ExH. I’m a very big fan of counseling. It’s a great place to be able to be honest and open about difficult feelings and receive expert, ojective help. I suffer from depression, and I have learned so much about coping mechanisms and changing destructive behaviors and thinking patterns from my therapists.
My previous marriage was too far gone by the time ExH finally agreed to counseling, but even at that stage we both took away some really positive lessons and communication techniques.
Post # 7
I’ve only been to counseling once in my live for a non-relationship related issue when I was young and didn’t find it helpful.
I do find it disturbing that so many (from my limited scope of this website that is) couples start counseling right out of the gate.
To each their own, but I don’t think counseling would ever work for us. We don’t need it, and if we ever did I think we’d prefer to butt heads and hash it out together than invite a stranger into our relationship.
Post # 8
My now FI and I went to two sessions a few years ago. It wasn’t supposed to be about our relationship, more dealing with a rather unexpected and unpleasant medical diagnosis, but it turned into a discussion of our relationship.
It was helpful to hear things reiterated through a third, impartial, person… I was hearing it directly from my FI, but I wasn’t actually hearing the message as I was too busy looking for the hidden meanings.
I think you should go- nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Post # 9
@soontobemrsm11: it worked miracles for us and we went after two years of dating, after we got engaged… It literally saved our relationship and now we’re ready and so excited about getting married! No fights in months due to increased communication. I can’t believe people would question couples getting into counseling “this early in their relationship,” when really couples need it before problems become huge ones!
Post # 10
@Hyperventilate: It’s not for everyone, I have a friend who is similar to you in that she doesn’t see ever actually going to counseling. If I thought we’d be able to just hash it out, I’d be doing that though. We have totally different ways of communicating, I’m direct she isn’t, I’m open she isn’t, I’m emotional she isn’t, etc… Nothing we’ve tried at home is having that much of an impact.
@FutureM: that’s awesome! I don’t love that we’re at this point right now but neither of us has ever been in a serious relationship before and I think we both have different ideas of what it means and what should be happening sometimes. I really think just having a set of tools and some help handling typical situations that turn into fights (since it’s usually the same shit every time) would help so much
@HisMoon: I also suffer from depression, plus anxiety. I’d love to go work on my own issues separately but that’s going to have to wait lol I’ve been several times personally before when I was dealing with my parents ‘ divorce (I didn’t want to be there) and my sexuality (stopped going but did have one pretty great counselor) so I know finding the right counselor is so important and am a bit nervous with the limited options I know we have
@boogiewoogies: thanks for the positivity! I always wonder if what we’re going through is “normal”, I don’t have any couples in my life that I can compare too and both our sets of parents are divorced so we can’t turn to them for advice lol
Post # 11
My husband and I are currently in marriage counseling. We really like it. We look forward to our appointments each week. It is getting a little costly (even with insurance), so we may be going down to every other week.
Communication and quality time were/are our top issues and counseling has lifted a tremendous burden off of our shoulders. We were both 110% on board with going. I can tell the eagerness to fix problems has also been a big help. I can’t explain how or why it has been as effective as it has been. All I know is that our unmanageable problems have become no big deal because we have better tools and a desire to try.
Huge congratulations to you, because taking that first step is often the hardest part.
Post # 12
@missfroggy: that’s so great! I just can’t help but think it’s not like we have horrible issues… I’m not abused or cheated on lol it has to be fixable. I can understand the quality time issue, that was something we had to fix ourselves when I started working. I hope we have similar results to you!
Post # 13
I am a therapist with a degree in b.a psychology and m.ed in professional counseling. It’s a big step and if that’s what’s best for you go for it! I only have good thinga I say but be aware everything therapist has a different back grounds (a social worker, counselor and psychologist can all so marriage counseling but the treatment will be night and day) and will tell you very different things to make changes towards the same problem so it may take some time to find one that “fits”. But good luck!
Post # 14
I won’t go into huge detail because this wasn’t my issue but that of my DH and his ex-wife who went for counselling after their (long overdue) separation. She had initiated the end of their marriage but due to certain expectations going pearshaped, had a rethink and wanted them to get back together. He agreed to counselling and found it very insightful. He also said it was very helpful to be able to have discussions in the presence of the counsellor that moved beyond their somewhat learned responses. In other words, most serious discussions had the makings of a train wreck very quickly with accusations, counter-accusations and ultimately harsh and loud words. The counsellor was very good at encouraging them to look at different ways to communicate and having a third party in the room was a positive presence.
Ultimately, DH’s experience of counselling did not produce what his ex-wife wanted – a reconciliation – but he found it enormously helpful as a means of accepting that the marriage was over and reinforcing his gut-feelings that it was not possible to save it. So he could move on rather than be trapped in a cycle of guilt and pointless, destructive arguments.
We now have free counselling available to us because of DH’s illness. We haven’t felt the need to take it up but if we ever thought we were in danger of not coping then we wouldn’t rule it out. Sometimes the presence of someone who is professionally capable but personally uninvolved is the right way to take things forwards.
If you find a good counsellor then I hope your experience will be positive too, OP. In my view it is well worth considering.
Post # 15
@soontobemrsm11: I think counseling could be helpful for you guys, but only if you’re both open to listening and willing to put in the work. Wish you both the best of luck and I hope things get better soon!
Post # 16
I’ve been to counseling on my own, and I have found it incredibly helpful. The only reason I’m not still seeing my therapist is that she gently suggested that I no longer have enough problems to discuss with her, lol. So I am a huge proponent of counseling.
It disturbs me that so many people view counseling as a last resort. If you found out you had cancerous or precancerous cell development, you wouldn’t wait until it grew into stage 4 cancer before “resorting” to treatment. You would get it treated right away before it had a chance to get worse. Why would you view your mental/emotional health differently?
In my experience, a good counselor is like a really good, wise, friend who only wants to talk about you. Who wouldn’t want that? As with friends though, it can take a couple tries to find a therapist who you click with – so don’t get discouraged if the first person you see doesn’t work out.
In the meantime, try reading Gary Chapman’s “The Five Love Languages.” Many couples find it very helpful for improving their communication and ensuring that they are showing each other love in a way that the other person understands. Good luck!