Tips to Help Marriage Counseling
Marriage counseling is work. It is important work, and when done right it can lift the clouds surrounding your daily life. You can start couples counseling well before you encounter any relationship-threatening issues. Whether you are working to repair a relationship on the outs or you are simply performing regular maintenance on a functioning marriage, there are steps you can take to make the process even more effective and helpful. Read on for tips for making marriage counseling more effective. Call an experienced and understanding Englewood family lawyer for help with a New Jersey family law matter.
Be Open, Be Honest
Counseling only works if the participants are committed to being open and truthful. Your counselor’s office is meant to be a safe space to bring up any and all feelings–the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you have a concern but are reluctant to bring it up for fear of starting a fight, the time to bring it up is during couple’s therapy. Likewise, if you are feeling guilty about something, counseling is the time to come clean.
If you and your spouse are not open and honest, you will be unable to identify the underlying causes for any marital troubles, and you will be unable to solve them. When both spouses are honest, they can learn what changes they need to make in order to strengthen the marriage. Remember: Your spouse can’t read your mind. They need to hear about your concerns in order to start addressing them.
Disagree Healthily and Be Willing to Compromise
No one “wins” marriage counseling, just like no one “wins” a marriage. It is important to be honest about where you and your spouse disagree but remember that you are there with a shared purpose: To strengthen the relationship together. Sometimes you may have to agree to disagree, other times you may need to concede a point, and there are times when you must make a decision together, as a couple. Your counselor will help you learn how to have healthy disagreements and productive problem-solving techniques.
Be Willing to Change
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to resolving the problems in a relationship. Rarely is every problem the fault of one spouse. You and your partner must both be willing to acknowledge the issues in your marriage and be willing to make adjustments in your lives in order to resolve them. Being open to change is one of the strongest factors in making marriage counseling successful. Sticking to the same old habits and behaviors will stall growth in the relationship and is more likely to lead to its end.
Focus on Shared Goals
Marriage counseling should be more about looking toward the future than simply dredging up every unpleasant thing from the past. Generate a set of shared goals–whether they relate to finances, children, sex, loyalty, family, etc.–that you and your partner can work toward together. Your goals can include daily habits as well as longer-term plans, and they can relate to improving your relationship as well as living your lives more broadly. By looking to the future, rather than the past, you will stay more optimistic, active, and effective.
Be Mindful of Your Friendships – Who Supports Your Marriage and Who Does Not
It is important to have a life outside of marriage. But, especially when your marriage is struggling, it is important to be wary of your friends and their impact on your life. Try to spend more time with people who support your marriage and who have your best interests at heart. Be wary of any friends who encourage you to lie to or hide things from your spouse, or who may have some hidden agenda. Your friends should be encouraging your efforts to work on your marriage, not trying to stir up more problems.
Call for Help With a New Jersey Family Law Matter
If you’re considering divorce in New Jersey or dealing with child support, child custody, property division, or other family law issues, contact the Englewood family law attorneys Herbert & Weiss at 201-440-6300.