Post # 1
DH and I are scheduled to start marriage counseling soon. Can anyone share their experience, or what to expect? I’m extremely nervous and uncomfortable with airing our problems with a stranger. Does anyone have any information they’re willing to share? Thanks!
Post # 3
@sofialovesmikey: I loved counseling. You only have to share what you feel comfortable with. Our marriage counselor gave us worksheets to work on for the next session, I thought that was really fun. You should defintely be on the same page going into counseling, like you both agree to be honest and open and not judgmental, talk about the sessions afterwards, just be open minded about the experience. You might leave feeling like you two didn’t really learn anything new, but that only means yout two are more ready for marriage and you can feel good about that.
Post # 4
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@sofialovesmikey: Instead of worrying about them being a head shrinker, think of them as a neutral third party serving as your mediator. Their job is really to get you and your husband to communicate better with each other. They are really there to encourage discussions and ask some probing questions to get you and your husband to figure out where your issues are and how to solve them without attacking each other (and hopefully without hurting each other’s feelings too much.)
If after a few sessions you don’t feel like you’re building rapport with your counselor (i.e. you aren’t building up a comfort level) then it’s a good idea to switch counselors.
Post # 6
It can be helpful, as long as the marriage counselor doesn’t pick a side, so to speak. That can make a person feel really ganged up on.
Post # 7
I loved our marriage counseling. Yeah, it’s a little awkward at times but it wasn’t bad. Honestly a stranger would make it easier. We got our counseling from one of the pastors that did our wedding who I’ve known since I was 8! So yeah, a little awkward talking about our sex life. But it was fine. And super helpful.
Our pastor gave us both personality tests and a relationship test that we both filled out and then we went through all the results together. It’s not like a pass/fail kind of test. Just shows strengths and weaknesses and where you’re in line and where you might differ. It’s not like a bad score means you can’t get married! It’s just meant to get you talking about how your relationship works, how you can make it better, and how you can make it sustainable for the long haul. We kept all the materials and I think we’ll probably go back over them on a regular basis.
My biggest advice is to be honest. You don’t have to tell your fiance every little thing he does that drives you crazy, but be honest! That’s the only way these things work. Not talking about a problem doesn’t make it not exist – in fact, it usually leaves it to grow. So be willing to be open.
And trust me, this guy has probably heard it all. He’s not going to be judgemental or shocked. He’s a professional. So don’t worry about him. Just focus on you and your fiance!
Post # 8
Any other takers on this!
Post # 9
Don’t think of the person as a stranger. They are an unbiased third party that is there to listen to both of you, and help you both get some insight on the other person and how to deal with various topics in your marriage. And whatever your problem, trust me, they have heard crazier or weirder things in their office before. They are not there to place blame on one of you or judge you in any way and a good counselor won’t.
Go in with an open mind. But, if the person rubs either of you the wrong way from the get go or makes you uncomfortable, do not be afraid to not see that person again, and to try someone else. Not every counselor is a good match for every person or every couple.
Try not to leave the session and discuss the details or what you are upset about on the way home in the car. Give yourselves time to mull it over, and decide what you want to further discuss on your own after you have a chance to think about it. Some sessinos will be hard and upset you, some will bring you a sense of comfort in your husband, they vary but they are all valuable.
Good luck! Counseling is absolutely worth the time and emotional effort, even more so if both parties are open minded and willing to learn.
ETA: We started marriage counseling last April and went for about 9 months together. maybe a bit less. It has definitely opened our eyes and improved our relationship. Most importantly, it helped us get past a pretty big issue that we were NOT getting past on our own. And I think my DH learned a lot about himself that he didn’t really know.
Post # 10
- Wedding: April 2014 - Rebar
@sofialovesmikey: I am about to complete mine with FI! We had 7 sessions and ill be very honest i was very hisitant at first bc i also felt like i did not want to share my problem to total strangers BUT it has honestly been eye opening and really helpful. FI and i during that past 7 sesions always discuss the class and really get into deep conversations which have been said in the past but our communications has become better. One more session will be next week and i am for some reason a bit sad it will be over soon. IT really was an opportutnity to share things and have someone neutral. Anyways as you can i highly recommended. You absolutely dont have to share anything that makes you feel uncomfortable…we didnt and it still worked out great. Anyways good luck! and keep us updated!