If you were going to open a gym and you only had exercise equipment for couples to use together, I predict that your business would fail and fail quickly. Why is this? The problem would be that it would only take one of the partners to keep them from coming to the gym. After the initial romantic notion of working together to reach your fitness goals wore off, one of you would begin to balk at going to the gym. Eventually, motivation would be lost and you would be back to being couch potatoes.
A marriage counseling practice is built under this same premise. Couples typically make a decision to enter couples counseling without much consideration for the commitment required. Instead they are simply taking a small step to have a better relationship (or put out a fire). When asked what they hope to achieve by coming for therapy, most couples are vague because they have not discussed this.
If you go to the gym without clear goals, you will soon find that the effort it takes to work out regularly has evaporated. Couples must work together to improve their relationship and it only takes one partner to undermine that effort. That's why it's so important to begin couple's therapy with a mutual commitment.
Anticipate that couples counseling will require effort expended over months, not days or weeks. Count on the work triggering anger, pain and tension before it leads to cooperation and an improved relationship.
If you anticipate the potential stumbling blocks to remaining committed to the process, you will be much more prepared to summon the motivation to stay on track toward a better connection that will benefit you for years to come.