9 Signs You May Need Marriage Counseling
If you were to watch a video re-run of the past twelve months of your marriage, what might it reveal? If you see any of these nine signs, it may reveal you could benefit from a few good sessions of marriage counseling.
When a marriage gets into trouble, it’s sometimes hard for us to admit that we’re in need of marriage counseling. Reaching out for help with any life challenge- especially marriage help, is not something many of us would typically find easy to do.
Yet, successful couples tell us that they periodically reach out for marriage counseling for help through tough marital times. Marriage counseling can provide the objectivity needed to see our marital issues from a different perspective, consider options and find solutions to problems we’re facing that may be seemingly unsolvable. One study reports that even the most distressed marriages can see significant improvements with marriage counseling.
If your relationship is not as happy as it once used to be, your marriage may benefit from Christian marriage counseling.
9 signs that reveal you could benefit from marriage counseling:
1) You Don’t Really Connect
A healthy marriage requires healthy communication. Mis-understanding each other can be extremely frustrating and discouraging and lead to a plethora of other unproductive behaviors that can accentuate other marital problems- one of the most prevalent being communication. It’s not an understatement, communication in marriage is everything.
It’s common for couples who are having various other kinds of problems in their marriage to say things like, ”We just don’t communicate.” The truth is however- every couple communicates. However, it’s not just how much you talk to each other, but rather how well the two of you really connect with and understand each other when you talk to each other.
If you find yourself or your spouse frequently complaining that you’re often misunderstood or not being heard, this may be a sign that your marriage is getting into troubled waters and marriage counseling may well be what will help the two of you better navigate through these turbulent times. Sometimes, a few sessions of marriage counseling is all a couple needs to get their communication- and their relationship back in sync again.
2) Keeping Secrets
It’s no secret that relationships are built on trust and honesty. So when one partner (or both) is keeping secrets, you can bet the marriage is headed for serious trouble.
When it comes to your marriage, secrets are like arsenic; tiny amounts may not be deadly, but if ingested repeatedly or in larger amounts, secrets, like arsenic can be lethal. Although telling the truth can be difficult and humbling, you’ll find that your marriage will thrive in an environment of honesty and openness. On the other hand, a marriage characterized by secrecy on the part of one or both spouses can spell disaster.
If you feel you cannot trust your spouse enough to tell them something, or you suspect they’re keeping secrets from you – it’s time to seek help before things get out of hand.
Open and honest communication is vital to a healthy, happy marriage.
3) Constant Conflict
One obvious sign of trouble in paradise is when you’re always disagreeing over small things, or arguing constantly.
A woman told me this week — ” My husband and I argue constantly.” “Is that normal?“ she asked. Yes and no I told her.
But, some couples disagree a whole lot more than others. Even when disagreements turn into arguments it doesn’t have to escalate into something bad. It’s when disagreements escalate and turn into harsh words frequently, or when there are frequent, bitter fights that it becomes a problem. And it really is a big problem if you say, “I’m fighting with my spouse constantly.”
Arguing occasionally is healthy, but when it’s gotten to the point that it’s happening more than it’s not, that’s definitely a sign you’re in need of marriage counseling.
4) Thinking About Having an Affair
If your mind is lingering to adultery or if you’ve already entered into an inappropriate relationship outside of your marriage, your marriage is in a state of crisis and you need marriage counseling immediately.
Although it will take some work, you can repair your marriage after an affair.
It won’t be easy, but when you take those marriage vows you promised to remain faithful, ”for better or for worse”. You owe it to each other to do everything humanly possible to restore your marriage before considering a separation or divorce.
With the help of counseling and some hard work, your marriage can be restored, trust can be rebuilt and your marriage can become healthier and happier than it ever was before the affair ever happened.
5) Financial Dishonesty
This is an area ties in with so many other marital challenges because it comes down to trust and communication, and can greatly harm a marriage.
Financial dishonesty can take many forms:
- Hiding money from your partner
- Lying or hiding your spending habits
- Attempting to control the family finances
All of which are unhealthy behaviors and signal a deeper problem. It’s essential to seek help if you find yourself with financial dishonesty in your marriage.
6) Does “Two Ships Passing In The Night” Ring a Bell?
If one or both of you you feels that the two of you have become more like roommates than husband and wife, you probably need a marriage counseling. When you stop enjoying spending time together and start acting more like roommates, merely co-habitating under the same roof together, it’s a sign- intimacy is waning. Intimacy and a healthy sex life are crucial to a healthy, happy marriage.
Difficulties with sexual intimacy in marriage are not uncommon. Fortunately, intimacy issues can usually be worked through and with the right help, and you can likely find your way back to fulfilling sex life with each other again.
7) Blaming Each Other
If you find yourself saying ”If only he/she would change or stop doing this we would be fine”, you’re placing the blame for your relationship issues solely on your partner.
Marital issues are often complex and the cause is typically due to two parties. Putting the blame on your partner without looking within serves to only make problems worse. We can only change our own behavior. We often need some honest feedback about each of us is doing to contribute. When you can accept that you have a part in your marriage issues, you’re already halfway to restoring your marriage.
8) Unavoidable Issues Dominate Conversations
Every couple goes through rough patches. And generally, in the duration of a marriage, unavoidable issues will come up.
Examples of these are:
- Infertility issues
- Financial issues
- A death in the family
The strength of a marriage will be tested during stressful times such as these. But when they continue to dominate our conversation, its a sign you need an intervention. Don’t let it be the ruin of your marriage. But if you find these issues keep cropping up and it is affecting your relationship – marriage counseling can help you put the issue to rest so that you can more enjoyable things can color your conversation.
9) You Don’t Spend Any Time Together Anymore
As couples, you’re expected to attend most functions or social events together. And as a couple, you do spend an awfully lot of time together. But what happens when you find that you’re not spending any time together anymore?
This is a serious sign of trouble.
When you’re married you don’t have to spend every waking hour together. In fact, it’s been said that space is vital in a healthy marriage and some believe it’s even more important than a healthy sex life.
So if you find there’s a major decrease in the amount of time you spend together, or you’re not spending any time together at all, think about reaching out for help for your marriage’s sake.
Many people have a hard time admitting it when they encounter difficult marital challenges, and they view the need for marriage counseling as weakness or defeat.
But that’s just it – seeking marriage counseling is quite the opposite. It’s showing that you have a strong desire to repair your relationship and that you’re a person who doesn’t give up.
It shows love and devotion – even if you are struggling with a rocky marriage.
If you’re not speaking, spending time together, are fighting constantly, acting like roommates, keeping secrets, or have any other obvious signs of marital issues – it’s time to seek marriage counseling and start restoring your relationship.
If you’ve found yourself reading this article and have checked off any of these signs, contact us to discuss options to start rebuilding your marriage.
Get Marriage-Saving Tips and Updates
The American Association of Christian Counselors
The Marriage and Family Counselors Network
Christian Counselors of Texas
The Association of Marriage and Family Ministries