From The Confessional: How I REALLY Feel About Marriage Counseling
If you’re willing to seek marriage counseling, sometimes it works and sometimes…it doesn’t
Making the decision to attend therapy is absolutely a choice that deserves applause. It means you’re able to set aside your own ego and doubts to explore solutions and roll your sleeves up for some hard work. Getting two married people on board for counseling is no easy feat, and though there is much to celebrate about it — well, these confessions show it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.
Firstly, finding the time to dedicate to marriage counseling is overwhelming in itself. Most therapists have limited evening hours (if they offer any at all) and coordinating schedules and childcare is stressful. Ask if your therapist has a daycare or a play area for small children, if that option would work for your family.
“I know we need marriage counseling, but I don’t want to risk being told it’s my fault, and I’M the reason our marriage sucks. I also know SO would love to say ‘SEE – I told you so!’”
“I won’t go to marriage counseling with H because I worried that the therapist might see all the secrets I’ve kept hidden.”
Fearing that the problems in your relationship will be blamed solely on you is a very common fear and deterrent for many people considering counseling. Just know that the therapist is there to help you both in the ways you need and deserve it — and you’re never locked into one therapist if your current one isn’t working out.
If one person isn’t on board at all, that’s not a good sign. Some people try individual therapy first (especially if they’re brand-new to the world of therapy) and find it easier to start there.
Therapists even took to our confessional to spill what they really think during some sessions.
“I think pre-marriage counseling should be mandatory – chores, credit score, sex drive, children, pets, SAH or work. Of course circumstances change but it would weed out complete incompatibility & set realistic expectations that “love” makes us blind to.”
Patriarchy, right? Gender norms, gendered behavior expectations, and just the overall sexism of society can wreak havoc on a marriage. Remember — even if you don’t think your partner means to be a certain way doesn’t change the impact of his/her actions.
One important thing to keep in mind about counseling is that sometimes, after all other options have been exhausted, the best move for everyone is to move on.
“While I definitely feel guilty, after 3 months of marriage counseling (every week) I am 100% certain I want to divorce my husband. Years of strip clubs and drugs…can’t get over it.”
“Marriage counseling didn’t work for us, because DH was so fake the entire time. That’s how I realized how manipulative he really is.”
Being honest with your therapist is tantamount to the overall success of your work in there. And, spoiler alert, most therapists know when you’re lying — maybe not right away, but if things don’t add up it doesn’t usually take long for the expert to figure out the truth.
“My H lies in marriage counseling and says he is changing and doing things differently. He isn’t at all. Same fights. Scorekeeping and no effort. I’m so over it. But of course, I’m the bad guy.”
But the most important thing to remember about going to marriage counseling is that you never know how it’ll go if you don’t give it a try.
“6 years of marriage and 2 kids later. An inter-racial, cross-cultural, inter-religion marriage. Today we are going to marriage counseling for the first time. Relieved and scared and sad.”
“My wife and I started marriage counseling. It’s hard talking about our problems to a stranger but after each appointment, I love her a little bit more than I thought I could. And now I believe we might actually make it.”
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