Many people believe marriage counselling doesn’t work. And I agree.
It won’t matter if it’s a 50-minute marriage counselling session or a full day intensive. If you can see yourself in more than one statement below, then stop…don’t go to marriage or relationship counselling!
I can guarantee that marriage or relationship counselling will not work for you.
Here are 10 scenarios where marriage counselling will not work for you:
#1: You show up when you want and only intermittently.
Often you don’t feel like showing up to counselling. You’re obsessed with the thought of cancelling. You can’t manage to squeeze it in. And you believe everything in your life is more important than that marriage counselling appointment…so you cancel.
Are you serious about marriage counselling?
Ever tried to get fit by standing at the door of a gym? It won’t work unless you participate and show commitment.
Is your relationship a priority?
If you answered yes, then you’ll need to show commitment by putting your marriage first on your schedule.
What people don’t know is that marriage and relationship counselling needs intensity upfront.
That means weekly sessions or an intensive to give the marriage or relationship counselling a go, or to kick start the process. That’s how you get significant gains and then relationship and marriage counselling sessions can peter out.
Without the initial intensity, it will feel like you’re starting fresh each session when you show up once every couple of months.
#2. You want your marriage or relationship counsellor to fix things.
Your therapist is a change agent and not a miracle worker. They can point and show you what’s wrong and provide methods and tools for you to follow to get out of the mess you’re in.
But you’ll have to fix things by doing the work.
#3. You’re too busy to do homework and the thought of out of session work is anathema.
Try growing a plant without water.
If you want to improve your bond and build a better marriage, you’ll need to water and nourish your relationship. Lots of change happens between the relationship/ marriage counselling sessions and not just in the counselling session.
It’s not the act of attending sessions that weaves the magic, you actually have to do some practice so you can fix whatever is wrong with your marriage or relationship.
#4. You have a tit for tat mentality.
They get angry so you get angry.
They withhold, so you withhold.
They struggle, so you do.
They behave badly so do you.
If you’re competing with your partner and trying to win a war. Think again.
Do you want your marriage or relationship to be a competitive battlefield or a loving team?
If you want to compete and give as good as you get in the war zone, you’ll need to re-evaluate your stance before attending marriage or relationship counselling.
#5. You want partner to change because you believe they’re broken.
You make a decision not to change anything or do things differently… until your partner does first.
And when each person is waiting for the other to change, therapy can take a mighty long time.
In fact, for marriage or relationship counselling to work, the change starts with you.
The magic happens when you take responsibility. It all starts with you.
#6. You constantly lie and evade the truth.
The foundation of a good marriage is trust and that means the whole truth.
That affair you’re withholding, it needs to come out. All of it. So you can have a good honest base and give your marriage a go.
#7. You’ve never heard of teamwork.
You believe it’s your way or the highway.
Marriage is given and take and sometimes you won’t get things your way. Teamwork involves discussion, perspective taking and negotiation.
Be prepared to meet in the middle or accept a solitary life.
#8. You quit when the therapist asks you to change.
As you uncover your part of the marriage problem, you become uncomfortable so you bail. As the tension increases and just before the turning point that could save your marriage… you sing out “ marriage counselling doesn’t work!”…
You’ll naturally feel some tension as you learn you have a part to change too.
Marriage counselling is about highlighting what you do as well as your partner.
Can you withstand this?
If you only want to hear about your partners’ failings, it won’t work.
#9. You’re pretending to be motivated but a big part of you wants out.
You think if you show up and do nothing at least you can say ..but I tried. If that’s you, and you’re in limbo- one day you decide to go the next day you’re staying.
This confused limbo place is hell.
Pretending you’re fully In when you’re actually unsure, won’t help.
What will help is stay or go divorce ambivalence counselling.
Your confusion needs to be addressed between the two of you in an open manner using the a set process to work with divorce ambivalence.
#10. You find it hard to face the truth.
There’s no going around the tough stuff.
In marriage or relationship counselling, there’s only going through the tough place that blocks your growth and evolution.
If any of the points above sound like you, then you need me because I have devised strategies that help people like you. You may benefit from a confidential, non-judgemental chat where you can get unstuck. Individual relationship counselling may help.