- Lauren Dungy
- Shaunti Feldhahn
- Tim and Darcy Kimmel
- Betsy Landers
- Dr. Walt Larimore
- Mark Merrill
- Joanne Miller
- Dr. Gary J. Oliver
- Kathy Peel
- Dr. Greg Smalley
- Dr. Scott Turansky
- Jill Savage
Articles by Mark Merrill
- Top 10 Automatic Robo-Mom Replies to Avoid
- The Secret to Loving an Unlovable Spouse
- The Secret to Getting Your Kids to Obey You: Motive
- The Secret to Getting Your Kids to Obey You: Method
- The Secret to Getting Your Kids to Obey You: Be this Kind of Model
- The Meaning of True Love
- The Blessing FAQ's
- How to Create Boundaries for your Children
- A Sample Blessing for Your Child
- 8 Mistakes I've Made in Marriage
- 7 Ways to Have a Dream Marriage
- 7 Foundational Principles of Tried-and-True Discipline
- 5 Ways to Show Your Kids You Love and Validate Them
- 5 Reasons Your Child Should Work
- 5 Reasons Why Your Teen is Rebelling
- 4 Ways to Know if You Will Benefit from Marriage Counseling
- 4 Ways to Give your Spouse your Freshest and Best
- 4 Truths for Your Marriage
- 4 Steps to Marriage CPR
- 4 Steps to Choosing a Good Marriage Counselor
- 4 Reasons Moms Need to be “Controlling” Parents
- 4 Foundational Principles of Discipline
- 4 C's That Can Spell Catastrophe in Your Marriage
- 3 Ways to Rebuild Trust in Your Marriage
- 3 Ways to Have a Team Mindset in Marriage
- 3 Things Your Children Need from You
- 3 Secrets for Beating Loneliness in Your Marriage
- 23 Things I've Learned in 23 Years of Marriage
- 10 Things Husbands Want to Hear from their Wives
Mark MerrillMark Merrill is the founder and president of Family First, a widely respected national non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the family. read bio
4 Ways to Know if You Will Benefit from Marriage Counseling
Dr. Matthew Turvey, a friend of mine, has some words of wisdom to share with us about marriage counseling. I hope this information will be helpful the next time you and your spouse hit a bump in the road.
Thanks for letting me share a few ideas with your readers, Mark. Hopefully these simple ideas can help a few couples.
You know you could use marriage counseling if a) you’re married, and b) you’re breathing.
Let’s debunk a few myths about marriage counseling. Nobody bites your head off. You don’t lose any body parts. Despite all claims to the contrary, it can be extremely painless. And guys, you won’t lose your man card.
There are numerous types of marriage counseling out there, and all sorts of marriage counselors. Marriage counseling is not an admission of weakness, failure, or wimpyhood. It can be – actually, it probably should be – exactly the opposite.
Realizing you should begin marriage counseling takes guts, a can-do attitude, and it means you take your responsibilities seriously.
Fish don’t know they’re wet. They’re in that little fishbowl and can’t get an outside perspective. If you’re married, you can’t see what your relationship looks like from the outside. You need a different perspective. This is what a good marriage counselor can provide. With this in mind, here are four ways to know if you can benefit from marriage counseling.
1. If you’ve never been to a counselor.
I can 99.99% guarantee you’ll benefit from marriage counseling. Try it out at least once. Get that outside perspective on how you’re doing. Marriage counselors can give you the equivalent of your annual physical to make sure your relationship is on track and running smooth. They may even give you some ideas that help you take a good relationship and make it great. Like most things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
2. If you’re facing major transitions.
Are you expecting your first child? Looking at a major relocation? Is one of you going back to school or starting a new job? Relationships tend to find equilibrium when nothing is acting on them from the outside. When things change, however, stress can increase. When stress increases, how do you deal with that? A good marriage counselor can help you navigate these waters and help you find your new normal.
3. If you’re spinning your wheels.
Feel like you’re dealing with the same problem(s) over and over again, but not really getting anywhere? This is where marriage counseling excels and helps you learn new ways of communicating, of framing the issues, and of recognizing what’s most essential in your marriage. Get to a counselor now; do not pass “Go.” You and your spouse need to take care of these issues so your marriage can be what it used to be – something you loved coming home to, where you felt respected, safe, appreciated, and loved.
4. If your spouse suggests it.
You may not think you need, or would even benefit from, marriage counseling. That’s fine. But the first time your spouse says it’s time to go in for a little visit, then it’s time to go. They’re not saying they want counseling to put you down, make you feel like a failure, or to emasculate you. They want the marriage to work and to thrive. Work with them on this. I’ll bet deep down you want the same thing.
If you’re not sure, take a moment and ask your spouse to evaluate your relationship. I did that with my wife Susan, and it was very helpful. She holds me accountable to practice what I preach. And our marriage is stronger as a result. I hope you and your spouse will consider doing the same.
© 2012 Mark Merrill. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.markmerrill.com.
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