Marriage counseling is often thought of as a last resort before separation or divorce when in fact it has been proven to strengthen relationships at any stage.
Studies show that couples therapy and marriage counseling deepen emotional connection and intimacy and leads to healthier, happier relationships. Counseling provides a safe space for each individual to speak openly and honestly with their partner and an impartial expert about complex emotional issues they have been unable to resolve on their own.
Under the tutelage of a licensed therapist or counselor, couples can develop better communication and coping skills that result in more equitable marital outcomes with long-lasting positive benefits that carry over into other aspects of the relationship.
Let’s look at the three most important elements to help you and your partner find the middle ground through marriage counseling.
Communication, Cooperation & Compromise
Marriage is a partnership that thrives on compromise. Reaching that compromise requires communication and cooperation. Honesty, patience, and humility help accelerate the rate at which you can reach a peaceful resolution.
Expressing your own feelings and desires is only a small portion of the communication process. Other aspects include:
- Being attentive to your partner’s verbal and non-verbal cues.
- Picking up on body language and tone of voice.
- Fully processing what your partner is expressing.
Perfecting these skills requires you to actively listen with love and understanding.
There are some issues you and your partner may not see eye to eye on. It is critical for both people to work constructively towards solutions that encourage mutual satisfaction and shared benefit. This is when cooperation becomes essential to reaching a middle ground.
Cooperating does not mean going along with something you don’t agree with. It means working towards progress in a productive manner to achieve the breakthrough moment in your discussion that leads to resolution. Marriage counseling can help couples navigate this stage by mediating, keeping conversations civil, and being the voice of reason in emotional disagreements.
Working with a licensed marriage counselor can help each individual recognize how they are contributing to a situation, or how they’re impacted by it. It also helps them realize they have the power to change it.
With effective communication and mutual cooperation, a compromise can be reached. Both parties can be satisfied and empowered by the outcome, instead of stressed and separated from fulfilling their partner’s needs (or their own).
Whether you have disagreements about finances, feelings, physical intimacy or family priorities, a licensed therapist or counselor can help resolve these differences between you and your partner. Contact Dean A. Aman, LPCMH to schedule your first couples therapy or marriage counseling session today.