Monday, August 3, 2009
Can Marriage Counseling Be Harmful?
A couple struggling for years in their marriage finally agree to enter marriage counseling. They go for a couple of sessions. The counseling helps them to express their displeasure with the relationship, but also brings them together to work on their relationship as they had not done in several years.
Because they were working together and the tension was reduced, they decided to quit counseling - after all, it was expensive and inconvenient. They really believed they had turned a corner on their relationship problems and would be able to continue improving on their own effort.
A year later, they find they have failed to improve their relationship. They discuss seeking marriage counseling, but agree that marriage counseling didn't work in the past. Perhaps their problems are hopeless. Perhaps divorce is the only answer.
Marriage counseling requires a commitment to working over a period of time on improving your relationship. The process does not just alter your feelings toward each other. If the process is successful you will have negotiated a more intimate relationship , but this takes time.
Remember when you were given a bottle of antibiotics and the instructions included the warning to take the whole bottle even if you are feeling better. I suspect that marriage counseling should come with a similar warning: Do not begin this process lightly; be prepared to see it through to the end.