Marriage Counseling Tips That Can Improve Your Relationship
By: Samantha Dewitt
Updated July 14, 2020
Improving your relationship is always a benefit, even if you feel like you already have a strong relationship. That's because even the strongest relationship can benefit from learning what other people are doing to help live exceptional lives together. Marriage counseling tips can help you to build up your relationship even more, and if you have troubles in your relationship, you can use them to resolve some of the difficulties you're having. Looking at any of these marriage tips can help you get the most out of your marriage counseling, and it can help you to see those improvements more quickly as well.
Marriage Counseling Tips
When it comes down to it, several different problems married couples might have, but there are also plenty of ways that you can work on them. We're going to focus on some of the most important tips and the most important areas that you and your partner should be paying attention to have a healthy and happy relationship and long-lasting marriage. If you're actively striving to be better each day, you're going to be off to a good start.
The first thing that you need to know about marriage counseling is that you and your partner have to be honest. If you aren't honest with each other and with your therapist, then you won't be able to find out what the problems are. If you don't know what the problems are, then you can't fix them. So you end up with even more problems that you just aren't fixing. By being completely honest, you can let your partner know what you like and don't like in your relationship and that allows them to make changes (and you as well).
You need to communicate with your partner and your therapist. When you speak up and talk about what's bothering you, it's going to improve your relationship. Communicating effectively means that when the therapist or your partner asks you a question or have a problem, you discuss it. Only by being willing and able to discuss everything you experience or feel will you be able to overcome it. When you talk about the things that you aren't happy about when they first happen so that you and your partner can discuss them effectively and resolve the issue.
Every relationship is going to have times where you and your partner disagree with one another. There are going to be times when you just can't figure out what to do next, or you just aren't sure how to agree on an issue. Sometimes you can agree to disagree, but other times you may need to make a single decision as a couple. When this happens, it's important that you know how to disagree healthily and how to resolve that disagreement healthily also, without attacking one another.
Be Willing To Change
If you're not willing to make changes in your life, you'll never be able to improve your relationship itself. If you're willing to make those changes after talking with your therapist and your partner, you can get started on what you want for your future and your married life. The willingness that you have for change is what's going to mean positive or negative results. If you refuse to make any changes, it's likely that your relationship won't be capable of improvement and you may want to end things right now.
Keep Your Meetings
When you schedule meetings for your partner and you with your therapist, you want to make sure you keep each of them. If you don't have the appointments, you can't overcome the problems that you're facing. That means making sure that you attend your scheduled meetings to provide all of the things that we've talked about already.
Spend Time Together
Spending time together is extremely important, and it's something that a lot of couples don't even think about. You assume that you're spending enough time together because you live together, but are you paying attention to your partner during those times? It's easy to fall into a habit of simply living together more as roommates than anything. Schedule some time to spend together, actively doing something together. Whether that's talking at the kitchen table or going out on a date doesn't matter. What matters is that you're paying attention to one another.
Listen To Your Partner
Sitting down and talking to each other once in a while is going to be important. This is how you learn about each other's day and about the things that are important to each other. You're going to get to know each other better and better every single day if you actually sit down and talk and then listen to what each other has to say. You might be surprised at the things you learn and just how much closer you feel to your partner when you're starting this process.
Your partner is going to go through things in their life that are important to them and difficult for them. They are going to have times when they feel like they're all alone or trying to struggle through something without help. That's when you need to be their support system. Whether they're struggling with something positively or negatively, it's important that you be there and that you help them through it. Show them that you believe in them and that you're going to be right there by their side no matter what might happen in their life.
Being supportive is also going to require you to be positive. It means talking to your partner about what's great about them and praising them for the good things that they do. Whether it's something they did around the house, with the kids, for you, at work or anywhere else, praise their accomplishments and let them know that you noticed the things that they did. Recognize their contributions and be grateful for them. Don't take them for granted or ignore the things that they're doing to support you and the rest of the household or family as well.
Keep Each Other In The Loop
There are going to be times when you're doing things without one another. There are going to be times when you want to do something on your own or when something doesn't concern the other person. That doesn't mean you should just go on with your life entirely on your own. It's very easy to suddenly find yourself doing everything alone because you started with just a few things. Find a way to talk to your partner about everything that's going on in your life and be open about it. Letting your partner know what you're doing is a way to keep them in the loop about your life.
Make Decisions Together
When it comes to anything that is going to have an impact on both of you and your relationship, it's important that you make those decisions together. Don't just make a decision and assume your partner is going to go along with it. Instead, take the time to think about what this decision is going to mean for your relationship and the two of you and then talk it over. Let your partner know your thoughts and also let them express their thoughts so you can work something out that works for both of you.
Sometimes it pays to just be spontaneous once in a while. There's nothing about gender roles that matter with this because either person can be spontaneous and do something special for the other. Showing your partner you care is something that you should be doing as often as possible, and sometimes that means doing something sweet and nice for them that comes completely out of the blue. It doesn't need to be anything big, but something little can make their day and help them see how much they mean to you.
Finding The Help You Need
The first thing you need to do is make sure that you find someone who can help you with the process. You want to find a therapist that you and your partner trust, which will help you with the different skills and techniques it takes to improve your marriage. There are several different therapists out there, but one of the best things that you can do is go online to find yourself a therapist that will help with your relationship needs. Regain is one way that you can get the help that you need and make sure that your relationship continues to grow and flourish. Regain is an online service that provides you with a therapist right in the comfort of your home, so you don't have to go to an office or anywhere else to get the help you're looking for.
You and your partner will be able to carry out each session right from the comfort of your own home. You'll be able to relax and get cozy where you spend most of your days, and your therapist will still be able to talk with you and help you through each session. Working through each of these steps and more is going to be a whole lot easier when you know that you don't have to leave home to do it. Especially after a long day at work or school or taking care of the children when you're way too exhausted to bother getting back in the car again.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
How do I succeed in marriage counseling?
To succeed in couples therapy or marriage counseling, you and your partner must be invested in the process. You must be committed to putting effort into counseling. This will mean a variety of things. First, it means putting effort into showing up. Then, it means being vulnerable enough to open up to a therapist or counselor, both individually and as a couple. You and your spouse will have to talk to one another and might have to have some hard conversations in counseling, depending on what you're there for. You must be honest. If something is on your mind that relates to your partnership and it weighs on you, you need to talk about it. It will hold you back both in therapy and in the success of your relationship if you don't talk about what's going on internally. For example, if you have a fear of being "needy" and it makes you afraid to talk about your needs in counseling, that something to move toward. We all have needs, and there's nothing to be ashamed of in couples therapy. A marriage counselor or marriage therapist is there to be an objective third-party that helps you and your partner navigate things productively and work through any issues you might have. Counseling is an excellent place to talk about things that you've been nervous to verbalize. It is a safe space where you are there to strengthen the bond you have with your partner and work through anything you have going on that affects your relationship.
What is the success rate of couples counseling?
Research shows that over 90% of couples who received couples therapy are happy with the care that they got. EFT or emotionally focused therapy, a common modality used in couples counseling, boasts a 70-75% success rate. 90% of those surveyed said that it helped at least to some extent, whereas the aforementioned 70-75% considered their relationship to be in recovery after therapy. You can get couples counseling in person or online through a therapy web site. Whether you see someone face to face or remotely depends on a number of factors, including your preferences and requirements. Online therapy is often cheaper than traditional face to face therapy, but it allows you to see a licensed mental health provider such as a licensed marriage and family therapist from the privacy of your own home. To find more information about online therapy at ReGain, check the FAQ section of our website or go to the start page.
What to say in couples counseling?
Again, it's vital to be honest in couples counseling or couples therapy. Most couples see couples therapists or marriage therapists with some sort of idea as to what they want to talk about in therapy. It could be that you want to see a couples therapist to work through a disagreement that you have on a regular basis, especially one that feels like a dealbreaker, parenting issues, concerns related to trust or cheating, intimacy issues, or something else.
In some cases, you might go to a counseling session after a particular issue arises. When this happens, it can provide you with a lot of insight. For example, if it's valentine's day and your spouse forgets or acts like they don't care and hurts your feelings, you can take the initiative to talk about it. You can say, "when this happened on valentine's day, I felt like I wasn't receiving love." There are times when your partner may hurt you without realizing it, either due to personal differences or just missing something. Personal differences don't mean that you can't work things through. It just means that you could benefit from learning about how each other clicks. It's important not to be heavily critical of your spouse. When you don't understand something, work to gain perspective on it. Of course, you always get to decide what your deal breakers are and what your boundaries are. However, with more trivial things, it's often a matter of needing communication or development in understanding one another.
What can I get out of marriage counseling?
Marriage counseling should give you and your partner skills and tools that you can use throughout the course of your marriage moving forward. You're not going to be in couples therapy forever. It's typically rather short term. What marriage counseling or couples therapy is meant to do is to give you sustainable methods and modalities to use yourself outside of therapy. Of course, you can always go back to therapy to learn more. Sometimes, individuals or couples go to counseling, stop going to counseling, and then come back. The ball is in your court in marriage counseling. You can talk about any issues you and your partner are going through and anything that affects your relationship either as a couple or on an individual level. If you would like to talk about your sex life specifically, you might consider going to a sex therapist with your partner. The type of therapy you decide on will depend heavily on you and your partner, as will what you get out of the experience.
What should I expect from my first marriage counseling session?
Your first marriage counseling session will generally consist of your therapist or counselor asking you a series of questions. You will tell your new counselor or therapist about who you are and why you're there. Likely, during the first session, things won't get too heavy. You will just provide an overview of your relationship, what brings you to therapy, and perhaps some of your goals for therapy or counseling. You'll reevaluate goals throughout the counseling process to make sure you're getting the most out of the experience. To find more information about what you can get from a specific mental health provider, it's best to ask them. Some marriage therapists specialize in particular therapy modalities that they use to work with couples. Additionally, every therapist will have a different demeanor and personality, which can make a difference.
Does counseling really help marriages?
Many couples find marriage counseling effective and beneficial. Statistics indicate that just over 97% of couples who seek marriage counseling got the assistance they were looking for. Counselors and therapists who work with couples are well-versed in relationships sex marriage family and other issues. When looking for a marriage therapist, Take note of if there is anything specific that would make you feel comfortable in therapy. For example, if you're religious, it might make you feel comfortable to have a therapist who aligns with your beliefs. You might also look for someone who utilizes a specific therapeutic modality.
In some cases, individual counseling might be a better fit for your needs. For example, if you find yourself struggling with symptoms of anxiety depression, or eating disorders and want counseling one-on-one to focus on concerns related to the condition, you may look for someone who works with individuals rather than couples. Eating disorders can be tricky to spot; if you find yourself preoccupied with health fitness or weight loss to the point that it's detrimental to your wellbeing, it's important to seek help from a licensed provider. The same is true for if you notice symptoms of another mental health condition in yourself, or if you are struggling in general and have a hard time coping with it on your own. People don't just go to counseling for relationship issues or mental health conditions. You can also go to therapy to address stress, work, school, familial issues, identity, or anything else. Counseling is your safe space to talk about whatever's on your mind. In some cases, people might go to both marriage counseling and individual therapy. You can also decide to attend group therapy or a support group.
When should you consider couples counseling?
If you want to save your marriage or current relationship, couples counseling is a great way to go. However, wanting to save your marriage isn't the only reason that you might go to couples counseling. People go to couples counseling or therapy for a wide range of reasons. Here are some scenarios in which you may consider couples counseling:
- Frequent arguments
- Communication issues
- Trust problems
- Trouble understanding each other
- Wanting to support your spouse with a personal matter (or vice versa)
- Family planning
- Preparing for marriage
- Wondering how to put the spark back into your relationship or wanting to save your marriage
Ultimately, there are infinite reasons you might go to counseling, and there's no wrong reason to go to couples counseling. Whether you have a happy marriage or one that's on the rocks, there are ways to benefit from the therapeutic process. You might go to couples counseling to learn about conflict resolution skills, communication, or to improve your relationship overall. With social distancing due to the coronavirus, a lot of people are deciding to go to couples therapy or marriage therapy remotely. You can go through an online therapy service or work with a provider in your local area who offers remote sessions if you're interested in remote therapy.
What is the difference between marriage counseling and couples therapy?
There are multiple kinds of couples therapy, and marriage counseling or marriage therapy is one of them. The term couples therapy could encompass a number of things. For example, An unmarried couple might seek couples counseling in the form of premarital counseling, or a married couple may seek couples counseling together. When people refer to marriage therapy or marriage therapists, they are typically referring to forms of therapy or marriage therapists that work with married couples. However, a licensed marriage and family therapist can work with anyone, whether it's in individual counseling, couples therapy marriage counseling, or family therapy. It all depends on what their specialty is and what populations they work with as a unique provider. If the first marriage counselor or a couples therapist you see doesn't work for you, it is okay to switch. Sometimes, the first counselor or therapist you see, whether they're a marriage counselor or an individual counselor, won't be the right fit, and that's okay. Whether you work with someone in person or online, you can find a provider that makes a difference in your life. You deserve a happy marriage, and counseling can help.