How A Marriage Counselor Can Help Your Relationship

Updated March 28, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Many married couples struggle to maintain their bond with their partner at some point in their relationship. Most married couples try to handle these problems on their own, and many succeed. However, the cause of an issue in the relationship may not be obvious to either partner, which can make it difficult for people to get to the roots of their relationship problems on their own. A marriage counselor can help partners see each other’s points of view and resolve issues while strengthening their bond and improving the health of their relationship. You can find a marriage counselor locally or through an online therapy platform.

It can be easy to connect with a marriage therapist online

Who should seek counseling?

Couples often seek the help of a marriage counselor when they feel they are growing apart from their partner or are experiencing disagreements in the relationship. 

Many things can cause these problems, including having children, experiencing a traumatic event, or being very busy with other things, including work. In fact, some people start to feel this way even without any obvious relationship changes because the people within the relationship are changing and growing. This can be a natural and healthy part of long-term relationships, but it can also seem scary. Instead of feeling scary, it can feel exciting, and a marriage counselor can help you and your partner navigate this space and the emotions that can come with it.

No matter why you want to seek marriage counseling, it can be important to seek counseling before either person in the relationship feels the marriage cannot be saved. 

Going to a counselor before it feels like it is too late often plays another important role. It can keep you and your partner from being afraid of the marriage counselor. If you see the marriage counselor as the last step of a marriage falling apart, having a healthy relationship with your marriage counselor and productively approaching marriage counseling can become increasingly difficult. You should generally be able to consider your marriage counselor as an active part in maintaining the health of a relationship, not just someone who swoops in to announce the cause of death.

A marriage counselor can help healthy couples

As discussed above, marriage counseling is not necessarily just for couples who are experiencing issues. Some couples choose to seek counseling to maintain a healthy relationship.

Further, it can be difficult for some couples to speak about serious issues without an unbiased third person involved. Some couples may also seek counseling to be proactive about a forthcoming stressor, such as adopting a child. Getting in the habit of speaking with a marriage counselor can prepare couples when issues arise. It may also give them tools that they can use when these issues arise.

What happens in marriage counseling?

When couples decide to seek counseling, they may be unprepared for what is required both in and outside of sessions.

Counselors will likely give each partner tips and tasks to complete outside of the sessions. It can be counterproductive for couples to resort to old habits and forget the lessons learned within sessions as soon as they get home. These exercises can help the couples learn the tools that the marriage counselor is using, rather than trying to rely on the marriage counselor to fix all of their problems for them. Sometimes, just doing these exercises can also make couples feel better because they make them feel like the problem is being worked on and that both partners are putting in effort.

While a counselor is generally there to help and guide couples, it is not typically their job to repair the marriage or even decide if you and your partner should remain together. 

The uninterested observer

One of the main roles of the marriage counselor can be that of the disinterested observer. Going to someone who does not have a personal stake in the relationship can be helpful in several ways.

For one thing, your marriage counselor will likely have little idea of how your relationship works. This may sound like a disadvantage, but it can also give the marriage counselor a set of fresh eyes. This can be especially true in the case of older relationships. When we’ve been doing things a certain way for a long time, we can fall into a pattern of doing things that way simply because it is familiar to us. This kind of behavior can prevent us from seeing better options, even when they are right in front of us. Working with an outside person can help partners in a relationship discover new ways of looking at things.

Another benefit of the marriage counselor as an uninterested third person can be that they meet with couples all the time, and it’s typically their job to know and recognize what works and what doesn’t. Have you and your partner ever seen an aspect of another couple’s relationship in person or on television and thought, “That’s a cool idea. We should try to do that in our relationship”? Well, marriage counselors have often just about seen it all. The idea that they teach out of books is often just a defense or complaint by people who don’t want to be in marriage counseling. The fact is that marriage counselors usually have loads of experience inside and outside of the office, and they can help bring that experience into your relationship.

Finally, the marriage counselor doesn’t normally have a personal stake in the relationship. This can help them to point out things that we don’t want to see, even when they are right in front of us. Sometimes, we may know that we are the cause of a problem, but refuse to admit it because we are defensive. When we don’t want to be wrong or don’t want to admit that we are wrong, it can pose an obstacle to solving the problems that are keeping us from being happy. A marriage counselor can help us understand when we are the cause of the problems that we are trying to solve. This can be difficult, but if it saves the relationship, it may be worth it. 

Have you and your partner thought about online marriage counseling?

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It can be easy to connect with a marriage therapist online

Did you know that many couples now attend marriage counseling over the Internet? It may sound foreign and strange, but it may not be that odd for the times that we live in. After all, you’ve probably been on a video call at work or even met remotely with a healthcare provider who works out of the area. Online marriage counseling is generally no different from these technologies.

In online marriage counseling, you and your partner can be at home while speaking to a certified counselor and continue the conversation once you have logged off. Online counseling may also allow scheduling flexibility and the option to choose from many certified marriage counselors to find the best fit for you and your partner. That is opposed to marriage counseling in person, where your geographic location may limit the options that you have available. This can be especially true in rural areas, where couples may have to travel to the nearest population center to see a marriage counselor.

As this study explains, online marriage counseling or couples therapy generally has no difference in efficacy from face-to-face couples therapy. If you believe working with a licensed professional would benefit your marriage, please don’t hesitate to reach out for the help you deserve!


Whether your relationship is going well or has encountered a few issues, marriage counseling can be beneficial. A marriage counselor generally takes on the role of the uninterested observer to provide objective insights about your relationship. They may also encourage you to complete various exercises individually and together outside of sessions to help you gain the skills you may need to have a healthy relationship. You can find a marriage counselor who meets your needs online or in your local area.

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