Marriage should be sacred. It is not for those who think that if it fails to work, they can just divorce later, on a whim. Everything possible should be done to improve it, before deciding to divorce. At an acute crisis, spouses are faced with the life-changing choice of using a marriage counselor or getting a divorce attorney. Of course, if you want to work on the marriage and if your spouse has been abusing you, the need for marital counseling is self-evident. After all, in such situations, it may not be safe to stay in the relationship and professional counseling becomes imperative. It is also very risky for children to be kept in such dysfunctional situations without the corrective interventions of a professional family counselor. Marriage counselors are viewed by many as professionals who eliminate any abuse in a marriage which could, without intervention, be very harmful.
They are considered relationship physicians and safety nets for those who have been victims of abuse or are hopelessly depressed. They also help those dealing with infidelity. Marital therapists want to help spouses move from feelings of danger and sadness to a sense of happiness and freedom at the thought of actually making their marriage normal again. Some view divorce attorneys, on the other hand, as always looking to get a couple to split. Some view the legal system as offering a husband and wife an easy out if they decide they are not happy, instead of making spouses do everything possible to save the marriage. We need to have the utmost respect for the institution of marriage. Husband and wife must be ready to do whatever is necessary to fix the problems. Marriage counselors help both spouses to communicate better and eliminate misunderstanding by openly discussing what they think and feel in a safe environment.
A marital counselor is hired to stop vicious and abusive arguing and to help both partners compromise and problem solve. We like to succeed as human beings and sometimes succeeding in our marriages is difficult. We face many obstacles. It may be that we had an unplanned baby, or our spouse always has to be right or drinks too much or is having an affair-the list can go on and on. We constantly try to solve our problems ourselves, only to see no end. A last resort for many is professional marriage counseling. When you have made the decision to consult a counselor, there are several things you need to know. You both will need to cooperate with your therapist to help you resolve your problems and your counselor will answer any questions you may have about the process.
He or she may also provide you with one or more assessment inventories to reveal your values about marriage, areas of compatibility and emotional strengths and weaknesses. Your therapist will help you build on your strengths as a couple while improving on your weaknesses. When looking for a marriage counselor, as with anything else, research your options. Just picking up a phone book and dialing a number may not be your best choice. You may ask your physician, a friend or minister to suggest someone qualified in marriage counseling.
You may look on the Internet for a few phone numbers and then interview each therapist, either personally or on the phone. The American Psychological Association, American Counseling Association and The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists can also help you find a professional marriage therapist. It is important to screen your choices by asking about the cases he or she has treated in the past; however, do not ask them to reveal any personal information about the couples involved. Discuss your own situation and ask what each counselor may recommend. You might want to check with a few people before making the ultimate decision. Referrals are often the best way to find a great marriage counselor. You have a lot at stake because you do not want the counseling to fail because the counselor misses some important details. Your counselor will help you see things from different perspectives, demonstrate solutions to resistant problems and help you really communicate, problem-solve and NOT argue endlessly. He or she will suggest ways of empathizing with your spouse rather than criticizing him or her.
Marriage counseling takes time. You may find 3 months after starting you are just starting to be less skeptical of your partners motivations and perhaps, in another three months or so you will be able to discuss things patiently with each other and start letting down your walls. Ask your therapist how to handle some of your partners more troubling behaviors. If you are worried about how your kids are handling things, your counselor can help them cope in a healthier way. You do not want your problems to become your kids problems!
Your marriage counselor is there to help you and your entire family work through even the most unsolvable issues. He or she will also help relieve your agonizing stress which is caused by the seemingly never-ending tension and arguing that plagues your family life. With some work, dedication and a little luck you can get the new start you crave. When choosing a counselor, do your research, analyze professional experience and educational credentials and find out if there is any record of disciplinary proceedings against him or her which has been conducted by your state Board. Do not forget! You want the best when dealing with the future of your marriage and kids.