Marriage Counseling enables you to have a better insight into where the problem lies and how to solve it. Marital counseling really helps when you clearly open up about your views, opinions, problems, thoughts, beliefs, issues, etc. everything regarding your marital life. Share every aspect with your counselor to have a better solution.
Most importantly, counseling helps only when you are ready to work on it, with conscious effort. Marriage Counsellors show you the way on how to deal with your marital issues.
Is marriage counseling really effective?
This makes me think of Vern and his wife May. He originally came in alone “for advice.” Vern was a big guy, forty five, loud. He filled up the room. Vern claimed his wife “just doesn’t understand how men are, Doc.”
I said “Well, why don’t you bring her along so we can straighten her out?” He asked me if I was serious. I said “Yeah, invite her, why not. We can explain how men are.”
Vern knew I was messing with him a little but he brought May next time. I took another chance and wrote up new papers and consent forms for couples counseling.
Just ten minutes into the session, May’s tears were falling when she said in a strong even voice, “Vern, Dr. McPhee, I want you both to know that unless things change, I don’t think I can stay in the house any more.”
Vern’s eyes opened wide. I saw fear and confusion there, not anger, even though he looked away quickly. Then he turned to me and said, “Doc, she doesn’t mean it, she’s just a little upset.” (I did the marriage counselor thing and said, “Don’t talk about her, talk to her.”)
Vern: “You don’t mean it, May, we’ve been married twenty years and we have two kids!”
May: “I do mean it, Vern. I’ve tried so hard, so hard. The twins are seniors now and soon they’ll be gone. I don’t see staying after that. You’ll be OK.”
Vern: “I don’t know what you want! What do you want? I’ll do whatever you want!”
May: “I want you to stop yelling in the house. It scares me and the twins. I want you to talk to me like a person. I want to know what you’re thinking, what you’re feeling. I want you to listen to me, really listen. And the twins too.”
I summarized what May was saying until Vern understood and could repeat it back, more or less. Then I took guesses at what Vern was feeling and tried that out. When they both started nodding, I made them an offer: I’d do my very best marriage counseling for them, and they’d both have to try out some new ways of talking to each other, and it would be really hard sometimes and there’d be plenty of homework.
They signed on.
We started with strategies to stop Vern from yelling in the house — that was basic and not difficult given the stakes.
The rest consisted in teaching old-fashioned empathic listening skills. It was hard for Vern at first, but fairly soon they were almost competitive about whose empathy was the most accurate. I still smile when I remember those middle sessions when they were showing off about their new skills.
I think the whole counseling wasn’t more than 10 or 12 weeks. At the last session May hugged me, and to my surprise and delight, so did Vern.