Anyone who told you that marriage isn’t work is most likely not being entirely truthful to you. Marriage can be a challenge, and like anything that perseveres through the years, relationships can show their own form of “wear and tear.” People get caught up in their independent responsibilities, the daily grind of life, and forget to the maintenance work for their relationship’s continued success. Without emotional replenishment, one or both partners can begin to feel like they are alone in a marriage. They can feel lost and have no idea how to get back to the love they used to have.
Going to marriage counseling can be helpful whether your marriage needs a little refreshing, you have been going through a rough patch, or you have a more serious problem. In couples therapy, there are some basic questions that are typically not being addressed outside therapy and are contributing to relationship stress. Before you go to a couples counseling session, here are a few inventory questions to ask about your relationship.
Are you able to talk about your relationship problems without sinking into a fight? Are you talking at all? Has your marriage digressed to the point where you can only communicate through fighting? Your spouse should be the person with who you can share everything. Being in a marriage or long-term relationship means being a team who support each other through the stresses of everyday life. You are not meant to be frightened or intimidated about bringing up any kinds of issues that are bothering you.
Effective marriage counseling can help couples correct some of the language they are using to get points across and make sure that the true intention is coming through. In a successful marriage, you should both be able to communicate effectively and make yourself understood.
Holding on to the past and bringing it up at every opportunity is not healthy and is not helpful. While every person processes hurtful situations differently, bringing up all of your partner’s former wrongs or transgressions only makes matters worse. Women are more likely to hold on to the past than men are. For women, life is usually about the bigger picture. They view their lives globally, collecting data and compartmentalizing it for use later. Men are more likely to see events individually rather than collectively. They tend to view one situation at a time. These differences are very apparent when it comes to talking about problems. Women often use past examples to further their points while men see those past examples as irrelevant.
In an opposite sex couple arrangement, women can help their partners understand the problem by drawing a conclusion rather than giving examples. In the same arrangement, men would benefit from remembering that, for women, most issues are not about a single isolated incident, but are instead about several things that have built up over time or have yet to be addressed.
Arguments about money are some of the major reasons that couples find their relationships in need of marriage counseling. If your spouse keeps you in the dark or is secretive about the family finances, it is time to speak up. You will want to be aware of where your family stands financially. If you are not, you will not be able to make decisions that are financially sound. If your spouse objects to you knowing the financial outlook and situation, you will want to talk about this in counseling.
Secrets can be big or small. Most couples have some things that they do not share with one another. Despite what others will say, it is not necessary to tell each other every single thing. However, if the secret you are keeping is something that is or will affect your marriage, it may be better to get it out now. Again, your spouse should be the person that you are able to talk to about almost anything. Marriage counseling helps makes this possible.
The best way to heal from this kind of behavior is to get everything out in the open. Waiting for the mythological “right time” to tell your spouse something that you have been keeping to yourself will make matters worse. There are mistakes that you can heal from. Sometimes the secret is so big that it will engulf your marriage. And while your relationship may never be the same, you may be able to build a new foundation and start over. Successful relationships are built on trust and openness.