My husband and I have been together for 22 years. We knew each other for 7 years before marriage. We have 2 beautiful children and I thought we were happy. 1 month earlier he confessed he has been in a relationship with his colleague for the past 7 months.

Where do couples go wrong?

According to research by Gottman Institute, a couple waits for an average of 6 years of being unhappy before seeking help to resolve their issues.Imagine, waiting for things to get worse before you seek marriage counseling. Marriage Counselling helps a couple understand each other in a better light, with different perspectives than what existed earlier.

A marriage counsellor works as an unbiased mediator, who rationally understands your personal traits, background, personality, expectations and how both of you function together with your inherent differences. According to The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists - 98% of couple cases have positive outcomes and hence marriage counselling is recommended when there is visible or unsaid struggle with your partner. The success of couples counseling and other factors contribute to decreasing divorce rates over time.

Marriage counselling can help you with the below aspects:

  • Explore the marital bond
  • Identify the root cause of the emotional and physical disconnect
  • Rectifying mismatched expectations
  • Work on communication style
  • Correct power imbalances
  • Conflict resolution

Most Common Reason People Seek Marriage Counselling For:

  • Abuse:

    Physical or emotional abuse can be corrosive to a marriage as it snatches away a partner’s sense of physical and emotional safety. It can infuse fear and resentment in the relationship and lead to a breakdown if it occurs on multiple occasions. Marriage Counseling might help in bringing that safety net back in place.

  • Cheating:

    Infidelity in a relationship is a personal affront to the commitment and trust of the partner. Every couple has their own rules about what constitutes cheating. For some, it could be watching porn, sex chats, emotional cheating, or sexual infidelity. A betrayal leads to anger, grudge-holding, and verbal attacks. It's a challenging but possible road to recovery of trust with the help of marriage counseling.

  • In-laws:

    Sometimes the bitterness might not be coming from within the relationship but from external dynamics due to clashes, unjust behaviour, differences in opinions and ideas, and misunderstandings that start impacting the marital bond. People do seek marriage counseling in these circumstances as well because be it an external agent, it is disturbing the marital relationship.

  • Financial troubles:

    Financial struggles can create a cycle of stress and negative interactions, disconnect, and arguments and that strain the bond partners share. Through marriage counseling, couples can try and be more expressive and inclusive in these matters.

  • Conflicts:

    If a couple gets stuck in destructive cycles of criticism, defensiveness, blame games, and contempt then it slowly erodes the fondness, intimacy, and warmth they have for each other. Marriage Counselling attempts to contain the warmth intimacy and fondness by bringing better conflict management systems in place.

Marriage counsellor Approach

  • Your marriage counsellor will spend the initial part of the marriage counseling process building rapport with you and giving you a safe, non-judgmental atmosphere to share your challenges.
  • The counselor will try to understand the current concerns, explore the marriage in-depth, identify the areas of work, set goals for online therapy, assess the requirements of individual and couple sessions and then structure the entire marriage counseling setup.
  • They’ll try to gain an understanding of the patterns of communication, attachment styles , present triggers, unresolved conflicts, factors that have shaped the dynamics of marriage and your expectations from the process of counseling for marriage.
  • The marriage counsellor alongside you will try and help you to chart a course of action and stepwise take up each problem area of the relationship like infidelity, abuse, personality clashes, differences in love languages, et cetera. Marriage Counseling will also equip you with skills to resolve conflicts , improve perspectives, find a middle ground or part amicably if that’s the best possible way ahead.
  • Counseling for marriage is a gradual process and you may find noticeable changes after a few sessions where you would be able to identify triggers, deal with conflict effectively and are able to break the cycle of negative interactions.
  • The aim of the counselor or through counseling for marriage, the aim is to empower you in your journey to build an emotionally healthy marriage. It takes up to 10-15 sessions to reach this stage of therapy.

Online Marriage Counselling Session Structure

In an online marriage counselling setup, the marriage therapist might take individual sessions with the clients to understand their perspective and then proceed with a joint couple session (if required) to integrate that information to help the couple understand how it shapes their couple dynamics and resolves their challenges. If the online marriage counsellor does not feel the need to, marriage counseling might not involve couples and can continue with individual counseling for marriage. Individual sessions are conducted to understand the partners separately and their take on the relationship, their partners, concerns, origin, triggers, maintaining factors, past relationship history, and patterns in relationships are identified and discussed in detail.


Myths About Marriage Counseling

  • A marriage counsellor will give instant solutions: Getting instant solutions is what a therapist hears quite often but, imagine something that has developed over years and gotten so strong that it is hampering the relationship. Can it be resolved instantly? There are no instant solutions to these long-standing issues, it takes time, and quite some effort.

  • Divorce/Separation: It is often believed that only when you have reached a point where you are thinking along the lines of divorce/separation is when you should opt for marriage counseling.

  • Taking sides: Another very common belief is that the marriage counsellor will take sides and blame the other partner. No, that is not the objective of marriage counseling.

  • Past wounds: One of the most common myths about marriage counselling is that past wounds would be brought up which makes no sense. But, the whole idea to bring up the past (if at all the therapist decides to do so) is to help you walk through and heal those wounds to not affect you later in the relationship.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

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