The ‘Yes’ and “No’ as a Pre-requisite for a Marriage Counseling Success
Almost every relationship encounters rough waters. Some will need professional involvement. If you decide to start professional Marriage Counseling with a marriage counselor, psychologist, or life coach, please know that a pre-requisite is not only the fee but the beneficial process of all parties.
Here are five questions you should ask yourself prior to this process; be sure you put your 4 ‘yes’ answers and the 1‘no’ at the right places.
Question # 1: Is there a problem or you only agree to the process because your spouse wants to? ‘Yes’ is required; your definition of the problem must be well defined. Do not begin if you deny there’s a problem. The practitioner’s office is not where one should learn about the marriage conflict. It is most beneficial that both parties consent to the counseling process.
Question # 2: Do you contribute to the problem? Unless you view a marriage as a system – where there are certain homeostasis or balance occurring between the two elements of the system (the partners), there is no point seeking marriage counseling. You will find no real practitioner who will not relate to you both as two parts of one system. This means that you both can’t help but to impact and interrelate with each other. Your behavior will cause a reaction by your mate, and vice versa. It is highly unlikely that one person is solely responsible for the entire problem in a marriage. “It takes two to tango.”
Question # 3: Are you having positive expectations? A self fulfilling prophecy is a powerful force that motivates and creates reality, and this is a pre-requisite most crucial in the marriage counseling. If not, one partner would most likely be passive or expect the therapist to perform miracles to make positive things happen. The “You fix me” or “You fix my spouse” message or expecting problem solving style from the marriage counselor is absolutely unacceptable. Each partner must engage and participate. My role as a marriage counseling professional is to explore, analyze and understand behaviors or chain of behaviors. Then I help to re-engineer the relationship. So you better expect to see powerful changes occurring between you and your spouse.
Question # 4: Are you ready to accept and adopt changes in behavior? Before considering your answer, be aware that most people declare that they would expect to see their partner change, or at least change first… Without a willingness to make your own adjustments in the marriage, there is no point in beginning the marriage counseling process. The ‘yes’ attitude in essence gives a strong message that you are going to be an active partner in the ‘renewed’ marriage.
Question # 5: Is it O.K to dedicate an entire week-end (only) to the marriage counseling process? Your busy agenda… The amount of time marriage counseling takes is dependent on a number of factors; the amount of resentment, period length of unhappiness and willingness to change are just a few. It’s definitely an investment of time, effort and money which can be stressful for some people. You must accept the ‘NO’ answer, since there is no “quick fix”.
Dr. Joseph Abraham, Director, Center for Human Growth and Business Insights, Mechanicsburg, PA Tel 717-943.0959 A Psychologist, Online Life Coach, Marriage Counselor and Relationship Advice provider. Psychologist and Relationship Advice and Life Coach and Marriage Counseling and Small Business Advice