(Closed) Marriage Counseling – Does it work? How it goes?

posted 4 years ago in Married Life
Post # 2
Member
4943 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I went to counseling for a year and a half with my first husband. The counselor really helped me out. While my marriage didn’t last (not because of the counseling, but because of his continued unfaithfulness), I still think it was well worth the time. I learned a lot about myself, about what I do/do not want in a marriage, etc. Definitely try it. You might have to try a few counselors before you find one that gels with you, and that’s ok! I had two, and the second one really made a big difference for me.

Post # 4
Member
4943 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

View original reply
gpiglet:  That’s how my ex was, too, especially since he was the reason for the counseling. I went alone at first because he refused to go. I didn’t know at the time what he had done, but realized there was a strain in the marriage and needed some help. Then a few months later he went, and confessed what he had done, and started coming with me. 

I wish you luck!

Post # 5
Member
1339 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2005 - A Castle

It works if you’re both invested in saving the relationship. My first husband and I went, but I was too wounded and over it by the time we went. It helped me as an individual, but it did not help us stay married. 

Post # 6
Member
257 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

For us, the first time we went in it was just an “inake” session, so she took down information about our history, family and basics of our relationship. We didn’t get into why were there, what was broken or anything – it was just a light, non threatening getting to know you. The next visit, we started to dip our toe into things. We found someone who was very non-threatening, so we both felt comfortable talking to her. Some weeks she would give us “homework” – things to talk about or activities to try at home. Some weeks were easy, just learned communication skills or building blocks. Others were hard and I went through and entire box ok Kleenex. Every therapist is different, but for the most part I would think your first visit with whoever you see would be introductory. I am a very private person and thought I would hate therapy, but it saved me. Not my marriage, that was broken before we walked in the door. But she saved me. Good luck bee!

Post # 8
Member
157 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016 - Villa in Florence, Italy

A few years ago my Fiancé and I were terribly toxic together…but we loved each other very much. After two months of weekly sessions together we basically never fought again. When issues come up they are now calmly talked about and usually resolved within ten minutes. It was the best decision we ever made.

I chose my counsellor based on gender and his description. I thought it would be more comfortable for is talking to a man.

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by  flowercrown16.
Post # 9
Member
87 posts
Worker bee

My fiancé and I have been having a lot of issues that really shouldn’t be but we have trouble communicating. I was considering calling off the wedding. Since we started counseling I feel like I’m even more in love with him than before.. Like, gaga over him lol. I’m so glad we did it. It’s definitely worth a shot!

Post # 10
Member
60 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

To be successful with marriage counseling you have to be open about your own flaws, it’s not so much about your spouse. I found it helped us greatly, she called out both of our bull—-. I used the psychologist I already used individually, but that might not work for your spouse as they may feel their biased. She helped us learn to communicate and taught my husband how to control his anger issues.

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by  samballina.
Post # 11
Member
180 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2015

We just went to our first session. It was just a get to know you thing. FH went at my request, but he went with an open mind. His thing was that he wanted to wait x number of weeks after I initially asked to “see if things got better”. I think his family stigmatizes this sort of thing more, so he felt a little embarrassed to go. I think it is going to be great. Even though the first session was sort of exploratory, it was still so refreshing to be able to mention topics that can be inflammatory for us and to explain to someone how it makes he/I feel without it turning in to an argument. 

I’ve heard the first year of marriage is hard. I hope you guys find a counselor who is a good fit!

Post # 12
Member
9012 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
gpiglet:  Yeah therapy is expensive but it is cheaper than divorce in most cases! Thinking about it as an investment in your relationship rather than x amount of dollars for a service is how I would think of it. Like how you would love that extra cash in your pocket weekly but know it is better put into your retirement account. 

Therapy only works for couples if they are both invested and both open to discussing and working on their own flaws. Often one partner comes into it out of obligation (they owe it to their partner to give it a go) but that usually ends badly because they are not their for the relationship or themselves.

Often one partner agrees to therapy to get affirmation that their partner is in the wrong. They use the session to try and win the therapist over to their side and hopes the therapist will tell their partner that they are in the wrong. A good therapist will see right through this and should recommend counselling ceases because really there is no hope. This is usually the number 1 indicator to a therapist that DV might be present in the relationship.

I have also found that often women who enter therapy are really only wanting an arena to rehash and go over past wrongs in minute detail. This isn’t what couples therapy is about. It is about identifying repetitive behaviours (lying, trust, infidelity, overreaction, anger), talking about how those behaviours make each person feel, working out how feelings should be expressed and received (so communication) and working together to solve/stop/alter behaviours (compromise and understanding). It is not about talking about that specific time that s/he did xyz and then talking about that other specific time s/he did  xyzz. 

You both need to accept that it is not about getting back to how your relationship was 1 year ago (or whatever happy time you choose) because that is never going to happen. That time is over. You both have changed because of what you have been through and never will be those people or that couple again. It is about building a new and better relationship. And that does mean letting go of past hurts.

So only enter into therapy if you both truly are there to work on things. If you are both not interested in laying blame. If you understand you will never have that exact relationship you had. And most of all because you both think you can leave behind past hurts and make a fresh start.

Post # 14
Member
244 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

View original reply
cucumberroll:  I think it stands for domestic violence. 

Post # 15
Member
9012 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
cucumberroll:  DV = domestic violence. Sorry 🙁

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