When you're certain you have a marriage worth saving, you want to do everything in your power to keep the relationship together. With so much at stake, you and your partner must commit to the counseling process and make every effort outside of the counselor's office to heal, find common ground and face the future together.
1. Start A Journal
Writing is a healthy way to get through tough times, and the notes you keep will help you learn more about what you're feeling and going through. If you and your spouse both keep journals, you have an outlet through which to vent negative emotions, as opposed to taking things out on each other in a painful and counterproductive way. Ask your counselor about the right format of writing for you as a couple; sometimes, the writing should be exchanged so that each partner has that special insight into how the other is feeling, while other times, the journal should be kept private, allowing for the uninhibited flow of feelings and words.
2. Don't Drive To The Marriage Counselor Together
There's likely a lot of nervous apprehensions and intimate tension as you and your partner head off to the counseling sessions, so avoid going there together. You might stop for a coffee or tea along the way, taking time to collect your emotions and clear your mind. Going together, such as in the same vehicle, might give rise to questions, accusations and the inevitable anxiety of having to lay bare your emotional selves in front of someone who is going to analyze each of you and your actions. Consider the counselor's office neutral ground and prepare to meet there with neutral attitudes.
3. Take Weekends Apart
Sometimes, ordinary life can create an unbearable strain on a marriage. The pressure at work, taking care of children, and life, in general, gets to everyone, but when you're living as a couple in close quarters, you might tend to take the stress of life out on each other. Ask your marriage counselor about separating on the weekends, to alleviate some of the pressure and give each of you time to think about how it is without the other. When absence makes the heart grow fonder, people tend to put more effort into the relationship.
4. Seek Financial Counseling, Too, If Needed
Many marriages fall apart over money and if you and your spouse are facing any type of financial hardship, especially mounting debt, address that issue directly and as soon as possible. Ask yourselves, too, "If there were no money issues, would we still be arguing or in marriage counseling?". Since money can be such an overbearing issue, finding help in that area could provide the building blocks you need to repair the marriage.
5. Ask The Counselor To Recommend At-Home Exercises
Your relationship needs to grow stronger every day, not just immediately following a visit to the marriage counselor. Ask them how you and your spouse should work together on a daily basis and what exercises they recommend to help your relationship come together with respect and understanding. You might benefit from playing games where you face each other as opponents or by engaging in projects where you work together as a team.
6. Follow The Plan Created By Your Counselor
You should be advised of how to proceed in your daily living, both as individuals and as a couple. Even if you don't understand the point of the recommendations or you have to rearrange your schedules to accommodate the plan, make every effort to follow it. Marriage counselors have extensive training in the dynamics of relationships and know how to put them back together, even if it's hard for you and your partner to see how that's going to work in the long-run. Give your marriage the fighting chance it deserves by submitting to the expertise and opening yourselves up to possible solutions.
When a couple chooses not to walk away from the tough problems they're facing, a lot of effort is required to make the marriage work, but with so much at stake, you're both going to give this all you have. Together and with the help of a counselor, you should be able to find common ground to stand on and connect in the same ways that brought you together in the first place.
Contact a company like The Center for Family Counseling, Inc. for more information and assistance.
A few years ago, I had a terrible disagreement with my mother-in-law. For several months, I didn’t speak to my husband’s mom. The bitterness I felt toward this woman was overwhelming. Thankfully, I decided to forgive her for the things she said and did to me. After I made this choice, I felt relieved and happier. Are you struggling to forgive someone? Consider making an appointment with a reputable counselor near you. This professional can help you sort through your feelings of resentment towards the other person. On this blog, I hope you will discover the numerous emotional issues counselors help clients successfully deal with.