Couples in the midst of a rocky patch often wonder if seeking professional counseling is worth the time and effort. “Can my marriage be salvaged?” they wonder.
According to the American Psychological Association, if counseling is carried in the right manner, it is 70 percent effective at storing the relationship. The counseling should be done by one who is certified and trained in couples therapy. After an initial assessment meeting, the therapist will develop a treatment plan. Both partners must be committed to the process. Oftentimes, the therapist will recommend the partners attend a couples retreat in Hawaii, Colorado or other destination state.
The divorce rate in the United States has been falling. About 39 percent of marriages end in divorce in 2016, which is a steady decline since the 1980s when the divorce rate was 50 percent, according to a Time article in 2018. While there are various reasons for the decline divorce rate, experts in the marriage counseling field say one factor is that more couples are seeking professional help.
Nearly 50 percent of marriage couples have gone to marriage counseling and, furthermore, marriage counseling has gotten more effective over the last 20 years, according to OpenCounseling.com.
Marriage counseling can save a crumbling relationship in the following ways:
- Improves Communication Skills
The relationship therapist can improve communication between couples by uncovering their underlying needs. The counselor guides them to understand and overcome differences. After a few sessions, you will learn effective ways to interact with your partner, especially during those hard conversations or distressing situations.
- Modifies Dysfunctional Behavior
Therapists can help couples identify and resolve minor issues before they become major problems that cause dysfunctionality in the relationship. In dysfunctional marriages, there is a breakdown of normal and beneficial relationships. Some signs of dysfunction include partners not sharing their feelings, not spending time together, and showing contempt for each other. There exists a betrayal whether it be emotional or sexual.
Most therapists start the treatment by identifying the root cause of problems and assist couples in finding solutions. A therapist can act as an objective third-party to help you engage with each other and to expand your emotional responses.
- Helps Couples Recover From Infidelity
Experts say couples who experience infidelity can restore their relationship if they put in the work. Counseling sessions provide a safe space for couples to communicate their feelings and repair the broken trust.
What is the rate of couples staying together after an affair? Clear data is not available, but marriage therapists say that from their counseling experience, more couples stay together than not. A relationship can emerge stronger from having gone through the couples counseling sessions, in which therapists teach couples important relationship-building skills.
- Helps To Deal With Parenting Challenges
Having a baby increases the risk of divorce. Dr. John Gottman, a psychotherapist and marriage researcher, discovered that 67 percent of couples in his study reported a decline in relationship satisfaction after the arrival of their first baby.
New parents discover new areas of conflict: family schedule, views on money and careers, and parenting style. Couples therapists can help resolve many of these issues.
- Strengthens Your Bond
The couples therapy involves a thorough assessment of the couple’s relationship and development of a roadmap to strengthen the attachment between the partners. This roadmap includes effort to deepen the friendship. Date nights, conversations about sexual intimacy and couples retreats in Hawaii are often part of that roadmap. These activities increase both emotional and physical intimacy between you and your partner.
Much is at stake when a marriage is dissolving. With hard work and the guidance of a trained couples counselor, a broken marriage can be repaired. The early you seek help, the better.
Sunny Skousen’s aim as a Professional Content Curator is to engage and influence her audience with thoughtful and research-based blogs. She specializes in writing about Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Faith-Based Counseling, Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders, Grief/Loss and Trauma, and more!