What Are The Benefits Of Marriage Therapy?
Updated November 19, 2019
Reviewer Aaron Horn
One of the most important decisions you can make as a couple is whether or not to seek marriage therapy. While many people might say they chose to go to counseling together to save their marriage, the benefits of couples' therapy cover a much wider range of issues. When you deal with the problems that come up in your marriage, you can grow closer as a couple even as you grow as individuals.
Benefits Of Marriage Therapy For The Couple
About three-fourths of people who go through marriage therapy believe that they've benefitted from the experience. That's an impressive statistic, considering that not everyone puts forth the effort to make it work well for them. Couples who appreciate their time in therapy find some positive results that often last for years afterward.
Develop A Closer Marriage
Often when couples enter marriage therapy, the reason is that they've drifted apart. They don't feel that closeness they shared when they first got married. In fact, going to couples' therapy may be the first thing they've done together for a long time.
As they listen and learn from each other, they begin to feel like a team again. If their therapist suggests they spend more time enjoying each other's company, they may even begin to feel romantic again.
Work Toward Healing Old Wounds
Many couples come to a point that they can't move forward with their marriage until the old heal wounds they've caused each other. Perhaps one of them has been unfaithful,and the other still feels hurt. The one who cheated may feel that they'll pay for their mistake for the rest of their life. Rather than healing over time, the wounds are still as painful as ever.
By healing these old hurts, the couple has a chance to become closer and renew their commitment to the relationship. It won't be easy, but with a skilled therapist, they can move past their resentment and feel trustful of each other again.
Feel Heard By Your Spouse
One of the most frustrating things that happen in a marriage is that you may feel like your spouse just isn't listening to you. They may stonewall you or show no signs that they understand what you're saying. They may seem to ignore your needs. Through therapy, you can learn how to listen to each other,so you both feel heard and understood.
Deal With Your And Your Partner's Unpleasant Emotions
Life is full of emotional challenges. It's easy to hide your feelings out in the world, but when you get home, you want to be able to be yourself. Constantly unloading on your spouse can eventually drive you apart.
Your spouse may not have any more idea of how to deal with your intense emotions than you do, and you may not know how to deal with theirs. When you're in marriage counseling, you can develop strategies for dealing with each other's painful emotions and helping each other accept and move past them.
Learn To Resolve Conflicts As They Happen
Conflict resolution is both science and art. Fortunately, marriage therapists are typically very skilled at helping you learn to resolve conflicts in your marriage. Waiting until differences become insurmountable obstacles to your happiness as a couple can end your marriage. When you learn conflict resolution techniques and practice them in the safe environment of marriage therapy, you can take care of problems as they happen.
Create More Beneficial Patterns Of Interaction
When people are together for very long, they develop patterns of interaction, often without even realizing it. Our spouse comments, and we have a standard reply. We have a problem, and our spouse offers the same suggestion they always make.
In marriage therapy, you can identify patterns,and for those times when you need a shortcut, you can develop new patterns that are more beneficial to the marriage.
Set Priorities As A Couple
What are you putting first in your life? What is your spouse putting first? When you examine your priorities, you both may be surprised. Having vastly different priorities can drive a wedge between you and cause an excessive amount of conflict.
Marriage therapy gives you a chance to identify what you've prioritized and decided if you want to make different choices for that top slot. If your marriage is very low on your list, you may decide that you both should give it more time and energy.
Set Goals As A Couple
Many marriages roll along without much thought or planning. One or both spouses often wish for something they never get. Setting goals as a couple can inject new energy into the relationship and bring you closer. You might decide to work towards buying a home or saving money for extended travel. When you accomplish your mutual goals, you can experience enormous joy and pleasure at something you've created together.
Become More Supportive Of Each Other
It's very common for people to have a hard time knowing how to be supportive of their spouse. Often, we feel like we're on their side and there for them whenever they need us. Sometimes, though, we need someone who reaches out to us when we're struggling.
We may not be sure our spouse wants to be there for us. We may not want to lay our troubles on them. We might fear our spouse will reject us or point out our faults. Whatever the reason that keeps us from asking for support, we can overcome it. In marriage therapy, you can learn how to give helpful and loving support to your spouse and request support from them without fear.
Develop Better Parenting Strategies
Once a married couple has a child, the family dynamics change forever. You now have to learn how to pass along your wisdom and show the parental love that you may never have experienced. What's more, you have to develop individual parenting strategies that work together with each other to give the child a stable home and a comprehensible framework for their development.
Parenting is usually addressed in family therapy. However, in marriage therapy, you may spend some time working out how to mesh your parenting styles positively. When you do, you create a more peaceful home life that's beneficial to your child as well as to your marriage.
Manage A Life Transition More Effectively
The occasion for seeking marriage therapy is often some life transition. You might find yourself at a crossroads where you need to think about what path to start down as a couple.
This can happen as you first start settling into marriage, when you have your first child, when you have a change in employment or move to a new home, when you enter the empty-nest phase of marriage, when you're dealing with a life-threatening medical issue, or whenever you're dealing with something new together.
When you're making a transition, a therapist's help can be very beneficial. They can help you assess your options as a couple. They can teach you new skills you'll need in this new phase of your life. Perhaps most important, they can facilitate the conversation between you and your partner so that you can approach the transition as a team.
Benefits Of Marriage Therapy For The Individuals
Marriage therapy is designed to help couples, of course, but you can also benefit from it as an individual. Many of the skills you'll learn in couples' counseling can carry over to your life outside the marriage. So, even if you end up deciding not to stay together, you will have still accomplished much that will impact the rest of your life.
Understand Yourself Better
During the process of therapy, you'll learn to understand who your spouse is. You'll also come to understand yourself better. You'll identify what's most important to you as an individual. You'll discover what makes you happy and where your greatest personal challenges lie.
Learn Assertiveness Skills
Unless your parents have taught you well, either directly or by example, being assertive may be an unfamiliar concept to you.
As you learn assertiveness skills, you can move away from aggression and toward a more cooperative way of getting what you want. You can stop being passive and start standing up for what you believe. You can uncover your passive aggressive behaviors as well and learn to face problems directly.
When you learn these lessons well and practice them in your marriage, you become more mentally healthy. And, you can accomplish more of what you want to do.
Change Behaviors That Hold You Back
In marriage therapy, you'll face your feelings. But, couples' counseling isn't all about emotion. You'll also learn techniques for changing behavior. In the context of the therapy situation, you'll change behaviors that are a detriment to the relationship. Outside of marriage therapy, you'll still have these skills, and you can use them to change the behaviors that hold you back from success, health, and happiness.
Develop A More Positive And Realistic Mindset
Marriage therapy can bring up unpleasant memories and emotions. As you work through your issues together, you are both likely to become more positive. When you see that problems can indeed be resolved, you can begin to approach your life more effectively.
You won't turn into Little Mary Sunshine in the process, though. By facing your problems directly, you can learn to acknowledge the painful realities of life and the difficulties of the challenges you face. Then, you can move toward better solutions to life's difficulties.In this way, you can become more positive and realistic at the same time.
Learn Communication Skills You Can Use To Anyone
Probably one of the most important skills you'll gain in marriage counseling is how to communicate. Some of these skills might be best suited to the intimate relationship you're trying to develop with your spouse.
However, most of what you learn about communication will serve you well wherever you go and whoever you interact with. Active listening, showing empathy, expressing your thoughts clearly, and avoiding personal attacks can not only make you more likable. These skills can also help you accomplish more at work and build life-long friendships outside the marriage.
Learn Individual Decision-Making Skills
When you don't know what to do next to save your marriage, your therapist won't tell you what choice to make. They'll probably teach you how to improve your decision-making skills instead. Then, you can decide what's right for you.
During marriage counseling, you may decide to do anything reasonable you can do to make your relationship last. Or, you might decide to put the marriage behind you and move on. Either way, you've accomplished a great deal just by facing your problems in the therapeutic environment. Either option may be a success for you.
Marriage therapy may present you with difficult challenges, but the truth is that those challenges were already there, disrupting your relationship and causing you pain. Although the process may take some time and effort, it's very easy to get started. You can talk to a licensed therapist at Regain.Us right away and begin this amazing journey that may take you to a happier marriage and certainly has the power to take you into a more fulfilling life!