Post # 1
The Boyfriend or Best Friend and I are seriously considering counseling to deal with some of the ongoing issues that we can’t seem to resolve. Neither of us have been to counseling before. I am seeing this as sort of a make it or break it as to whether we should continue our relationship because some of the issues would ruin a marriage eventually I think.
I am interested in feedback from any bees who have been to counseling. Why did you go? What were your expectations? Did you find it helpful?
Post # 3
yes you should go to counseling. personally, i think everyone should go if you are anywhere near getting married. but if you have specific issues you want to work on and discuss out in the open with a neutral party, then it definitely sounds like you can benefit from it.
as to what to expect, at the first session, its mainly getting to know one another and get a history of your relationship. your therapist will ask about different areas of your relationship and how they’re going since many areas of conflict people are hesitant to talk about (like sex and money).
we went a few months before our wedding mainly because as i said, i think everyone can benefit (full disclosure: i am a therapist). we didn’t have any real specific issues to address but there were things that we needed to talk more in depth about. having a neutral person there helps the discussion move along. they can also comment on your interactions and how you may be sending different messages with body language than what you are saying out loud that are impacting your relationship dynamics. we are an interfaith/interracial relationship and even though we didn’t have “issues” with it, there were still elements of that that were useful to talk about, like family values, differences in the way we both grew up etc that of course impact our relationship. it was a great experience – hubby had never been in any kind of counseling ever and i think he kind of enjoyed someone else ask about his feelings (instead of just me).
i guess i feel like you need to do everything you can to protect your relationship and build a healthy life together. why would you NOT choose an opportunity to work on your communication skills and get to know one another on a deeper level?
Post # 4
I have to agree, given the opportunity, ie it’s financially feasible & your partner is willing, I can’t see a downside. Provided, of course, the therapist is a comptetent one.
Post # 5
- Wedding: May 2018 - Our home and the two acres it sits on
Waaaay back in my day, I did a post on it – it was very helpful to us. I’d recommend it to anyone.
Post # 6
GO. Do not even think about it. We go because I know that small issues/fights that may ‘seem’ insignificant usually cover up larger issues/insecurities/etc that will fester and grow if they aren’t dealt with. We get to know ourselves and each other on such a deep level that now no fight goes unprocessed. It takes time and work but we are soo much stronger for it.
Post # 7
Thanks, everyone. I’m fortunate that my work offers 6 free sessions then a referral to a therapist my insurance covers. The cost is not a hindrance so it’s pretty much a go.
Post # 8
My FH and I went to counseling before we were engaged. We had a tough transition from long distance college life to living together grown up time. I am actually in Grad School to be a Marriage and Family Therapist and from both personal and professional experience I highly recommend it. It brought my fiancé and I even closer and gave us tools to work out current and future problems.
I think you should go to counseling bc even if things don’t work out you can always say you gave it everything. No regrets 🙂
Post # 9
We were very close to getting engaged and we realized we were going in circles and our fights always revolved around the same thing. An unbiased third party was really helpful to us, since we didn’t really want to share our personal relationship issues with close friends/family. It was also helpful to get some new tips and tools to work through the issues we did have, so we could finally move forward in our relationship and feel 100% great about getting engaged.
We have since gotten engaged and continue to attend sessions 1x every 3 weeks to make sure we are still on track and doing well. Now that we are engaged, we are discussing some new things in more depth than before, and it is really beneficial.
It is definitely an expense we had to work into our budget, but we found a location that offered income-based fees, so we saved some money going there. I didn’t think we would qualify for a discount since our combined income is pretty high, but we did. Neither of our insurances covered behaivoral health unfortunately.
Post # 10
@R.Elliott: Wow, thanks for your reply. That pretty much sounds like us. We want to be together. We are both very serious about marriage and want to do it “right.” But we can’t seem to stop arguing about the same things in circles as you mentioned and that makes me so hesitant to get engaged.