Therapy is for weak people who can’t handle their own problems. What they really need is to “just get over it,” because life isn’t that hard…
WHOA, WHOA… WHAT?!
That may get a giggle, but the truth is that the stigma around therapy is REAL. If you’ve been married for almost any length of time, then I’m willing to bet that you have heard of marriage counseling before. I’ll even place a second bet that you think of it as a last ditch effort to save a failing marriage, or at least, that’s how society wants you to see it.
Well, I’m glad you’re reading this, because I’m here to tell you why therapy absolutely rocks, and why I truly believe that EVERYONE can benefit from this incredible tool.
Why Every Couple Can Benefit from Marriage Counseling
The reality is that every couple has disagreements, and if you haven’t had one yet, then you probably just met last week. Seriously though, if you have been in a relationship for a while, then I’m betting that you have experienced a conversation quickly escalating from, “What do you want to eat?” to “It’s like you don’t even know me!”
In those tense moments, wouldn’t it be amazing if you had a tool belt that you could run to and pull out the exact tool you needed to fix this problem? THAT is what counseling is all about. Counseling is not about fixing what’s broken, it’s about giving you the tools you need to repair as you go, rather than after it breaks into pieces.
Maybe you’re reading this and saying, “It’s already broken!” Take a deep breath because I’ve got good news for you… counseling can STILL help you!
So, let’s assume that the quick little tool belt comparison has you convinced already! If it did then, SWEET! My job here is done, and I’ll see you next time! If not, let’s talk about what an appointment looks like, because for many of you, the wanting to go is easy… it’s the actual GOING is what’s hard.
What Marriage Counseling is Really Like
Let’s set the stage… You walk into your first session, both of you lay down on a couch, and the therapist says, “Tell me about your childhood.” Glad we got that out of the way. That’s not at all what happens.
Your journey with marriage counseling starts long before you walk into the office. The first and hardest step is actually calling a therapist. My best advice is to take a deep breath, count to five, and just do it.
Once you’ve done that, don’t be afraid to ask if the therapist specializes in your specific needs. If you’re looking for someone to specifically help with blended family struggles, newlyweds, pre-martial counseling, or whatever the case may be, let him/her know. All counselors are trained in each area, but you will find that many counselors have a specific niche they predominantly work with.
Don’t be afraid to “interview” to find someone who matches your needs. When you find that someone, set the appointment! Don’t think twice.
When the day of your appointment arrives, you may feel some jitters. That’s completely natural, and I felt the same way my first time. My mind was thinking, “So, if this doesn’t go well, then I’ll be trapped in a car with him the whole drive home… great,” but my head and heart knew that this was going to be GOOD for us, so on we went.
Marriage Counseling Benefits
Your first appointment you may feel timid, and that’s okay! Trust me when I say that by the third appointment, you’ll be going in depth about the argument you had at the grocery store the day prior about the kind of creamer you wanted, and how it’s as if your husband doesn’t even know you anymore.
Using that as an example actually makes me giggle, because that sounds like something that would happen in real life… and it definitely sounds like the kind of randomness that I would decide to spill out in therapy.
Seriously, mama, don’t be afraid to be YOU and talk about the things that are on your mind.
You’re going to leave each session with amazing tools to help with whatever you discussed that week, so leave it all out on the table. Your therapist is there to HELP, and they can best help you when you keep it real with them about your issues.
The more honest and open you are, the quicker they can help you to sort out the issues, learn more effective communication, and become stronger as a couple each day.
Make it a Date!
So, about that awkward post-therapy drive home… let me offer you a fun way to ease the tension. MAKE IT A DATE NIGHT!
Yes, I said have a post-marriage counseling date night, and yes, I absolutely meant it. There’s no need to dive deeply into whatever just transpired in counseling… focus on the future and do it with a date night.
If you work a job with regular hours, then you’re likely in an evening counseling session, meaning dinner after would be PERFECT. If it’s a weekend counseling, go bowling, go grab coffee and roam around the downtown area of your town, or maybe go have some lighthearted fun with Laser Tag!
At the end of the day, counseling is there to HELP! It’s simply a tool in your marriage tool belt to help make you BETTER, and the sooner you add that tool to the belt, the better off you will be.
Your marriage isn’t failing because of your decision to go to counseling. Your marriage is AMAZING because you are arming yourself to fight anything that comes your way!
Even better, soon your marriage will be THRIVING, because you’ve put these tools into action and watched your marriage transform into the kind of marriage you only dreamed of.
Time to start making calls and set that appointment… and don’t forget to pencil in your date right after!
P.S. Are you looking for new ways to make sure your husband knows how much you care? Try implementing this marriage technique into your routine.