The failure rate for marriage counseling is unbelievably high. Sounds depressing doesn’t it?
There are some reasons why it doesn’t work so you can be forewarned:
Couples often wait until one or both have turned AGAINST their marriage. They believe no matter what happens, it is too little too late, but go to counseling to see if the professional can say something miraculous that will fix years of hurt and pain. Couples can work through just about anything, if they desire to go through the mess together and change bad interactive patterns that damaged their relationship. It is never easy and rarely miraculous. Sometimes it is just doing the hard work.
When one or both of the individuals are using a substance (drugs, alcohol) or activity (sex, gambling, shopping) to numb personal pain, couples therapy doesn’t work. Individual counseling is recommended in these situations. However, if individuals are in recovery, couples counseling can be tremendously effective in rebuilding trust in the relationship and helping to fight against addiction.
When couples come to counseling, hoping the counselor will change their spouse to better meet their needs, it is doomed to failure. No one can make anyone do anything… even the most insightful counselor cannot make your husband be more engaged with his family or your wife want to have sex with you. A healthy marriage takes two individuals who are willing to serve the needs of the other and make personal changes to make a life together.
Physical, mental, emotional or sexual abuse necessitates separation until healing occurs. Please seek immediate help if you are in an abusive relationship.
Sara has the education and the experience to help individuals and families. She is an ordained pastor, marriage and family therapist, wife and mom to 7 kids. She has the tools that work to prevent and/or repair family issues.