Turmoil and trouble are a part of life and as such affect all marriages. For some, the crises can be severe, such as major illnesses, family deaths, cheating, and “acts of God,” to name a few. Some marriages can stand and grow through this type of buffeting but many cannot withstand the crises and crumble under the onslaught. However, in the case of a marriage in crisis, there is help at hand and marital counseling can make a difference.
Even though each marriage is unique and the way each couple faces and resolves issues is unique, there are common signs that indicate a marriage is in crisis. Being able to identify these signs earlier rather than later means that a couple can get help through marriage counseling before the issues become insurmountable. The sooner a couple can get help, the better chance they have of saving a marriage.
Here are some early warning signs to be alert for –
• Lots of bickering, nagging or frustration toward each other.
• Dirty fighting using name calling and blaming, not fighting fair.
• Don’t do things together, but prefer to do things separately.
• Do not communicate about or resolve any of the family issues together.
• Do not have any couple or family goals, or have abandoned previous goals.
• Little physical intimacy or none.
• Do not talk much or share about anything happening in their lives.
In any or all of the cases showing these signs, marriage counseling can be very effective in repairing and saving a marriage in crisis. Counseling can also help couples struggling due to other reasons as well. Unhappy marriages are not the ideal and there is no reason that a couple needs to settle for their relationship in that state, but too often couples finding themselves in this situation head straight for the divorce courts. They may think, mistakenly, that there are no other options and do not see any hope of salvaging their marriage relationship, but using marital counseling can give them another chance at making their marriage work.
The advantages of getting counseling is that marriage counselors are professionals who usually have extensive experience working with people and couples in all sorts of situations and facing any crises. They can help a couple deal with any number of issues such as cheating, impulsive spending, family or children issues, lifestyle differences, limited communication skills, life skills to name a few.
Some of the benefits for a couple attending marriage counseling are:
• How to practice effective listening and its use in resolving conflict.
• How to clearly state needs without provoking a negative emotional response.
• How to explain individual needs and get them met without being demanding.
• How to resolve issues within the marriage effectively.
• How to identify and understand each partners needs and learn how to meet them.
Marriage counseling is very effective when both parties are committed to making their marriage work and agree to work with the professional till they have resolution on their issues. The longer they leave it to seek help, the less their chances are of saving a marriage and the more entrenched they become, to the point of no return. If your marriage is worth fighting for, then getting help sooner rather than later may make all the difference, and could even get you both on track to a much stronger, more intimate relationship than you had before, and in many cases, better than you ever thought possible.