Most Couples Wonder If It’s Too Late for Counseling
Before making the decision to get help, most couples wonder if it’s too late for counseling. They’ve reached rock bottom, and they may be thinking about throwing in the towel. If you’re in the same boat, it’s important for you and your partner to understand that the majority of relationships can be saved. It’s never too late to go to couples counseling.
Even if you cannot salvage your marriage, you can at least come to a healthy understanding that it’s time to move on, and a counselor can guide you through the process.
When Marriage Counseling Can Be Effective
Marriage counseling can be most effective when:
- Both partners are unhappy about one or more aspects of the marriage but want the relationship to continue.
- Couples feel “stuck.” They’ve tried to resolve issues on their own, but continue to run around in circles, leading to resentment and frustration.
- The marriage has reached a tipping point. Perhaps an affair has been discovered. Maybe one partner is ready to leave, or both partners have fallen out of love.
- One partner feels unhappy, but is afraid or doesn’t know how to tell their partner.
- Couples are ready and committed to the therapy process. Counseling cannot be effective if both partners are not on board with the idea and committing to making changes.
In many cases, couples face challenges because of a lack of communication. Negative communication, which occurs when one partner feels judged or ashamed, can also be an issue. Both of these issues can be resolved with the help of a counselor who can provide a couple with the tools they need to overcome challenges and move forward in the same direction.
Ultimately, counseling is most effective when both partners are committed to making changes and saving the relationship. We’ve seen couples come through even the most traumatic and difficult places with a stronger, happier relationship than before their crisis point.
When Counseling May Not Help
While counseling can save most relationships, there are circumstances in which therapy may not be appropriate.
One such scenario is when both partners cannot agree on a way to move forward. If one or both partners have completely given up on the relationship, nothing in the world can save it. Individual counseling may be appropriate in this case and can help both partners manage the loss and move on with their lives.
In cases of ongoing domestic violence, counseling will not be appropriate. Help is available for male and female victims of domestic violence, both physical and emotional. Individual counseling for both partners can also be effective.
Except for these extreme cases, most couples can salvage their relationship and facilitate a healthier, more fulfilling relationship moving forward.