No problem! Come yourself for the first session. In the first Marriage Counseling session, we will talk about your marriage problems and discuss options for counseling with your partner. We will discuss with you the benefits of marriage counseling so that you are armed with more information for your spouse. Often we see that if one partner takes the first step, then the other will join sessions at a later time. Sometimes you taking the first step is exactly what your partner needs to see to show that you are serious about fixing your marriage problems.
If your partner still refuses to come to marriage counseling, you can still change the dynamics of your relationship by simply making changes in the way you respond and react to your partner. In the end, you can bring about changes in your relationship by addressing your own issues in the marriage. While we would certainly prefer to work with both partners, we can still address many issues that may be damaging your relationship if you choose to attend sessions alone.
It’s never too early for marriage counseling. In fact, most often people come to counseling later than they should. Marriage is work. It needs constant attention in order to remain healthy. We love working with couples to help strengthen their marriages. Perhaps you need better communication skills or help working through some unresolved issues. Financial stress is another common contributor to relationship problems that we can help you and your partner overcome. We love working with couples who are “ok” and helping them become “great!”
More frequently people come to marriage counseling just prior to divorce. We can help you work through your problems if both parties are willing to put in the hard work to make changes. Marriage counseling for those on the brink of a divorce takes more time. It likely took you months or even years to get to this point in your marriage. Often there are deep-rooted problems that need to be resolved. We can help you work through those problems and teach you skills to make sure those problems don’t become the monsters in your relationship that they are now.
No. Marriage counseling is not about taking sides. Who is right or wrong rarely matters in the big picture of your marriage. Our focus will be on helping you build better communication skills and better conflict-resolution skills so that the two of you can navigate future problems in a more healthy way.
My spouse thinks I’m the one with the problem, but I see it the other way around. Is it even worth us coming?
Yes, it is worth it. A marriage counselor can bring an outside, objective perspective to your relationship. Very frequently each partner has their own view of the relationship problems and the truth may lie somewhere in between. Marriage Counseling will focus on repairing the relationship and helping you and your partner strengthen communication skills. Marriage Counselors will not blame or point fingers at either partner. Blaming one partner or the other only deepens the damage that’s already occurred in the relationship.
Our Marriage Counselors take a directive role in marriage counseling sessions. We’re not here just to listen or referee your arguments. We will listen first. Then we will provide direction and teach the two of you practical skills to improve your communication and conflict-resolution skills. Our goal is that you will leave marriage counseling with the skills you need to face your future together and have the deep, rewarding relationship with your partner that you both deserve.
In the first session, our goal is to understand what brings you to marriage counseling, to get an understanding of your family history, and to help you decide what goals you want to set for our counseling sessions. Sometimes the work of goal setting will spill over to the second session so that both you and your partner will have some extra time to decide what you both want to get out of marriage counseling. During the first session, if you have any questions or concerns about sessions, please bring them to our attention so that we can address them right away. Sometimes it may be beneficial for one or both partners to also seek individual counseling as a supplement to marriage counseling. If we feel that this may be the case, we will discuss individual counseling options with you as well.
My spouse is controlling and can be dominating in conversation; I’m concerned that you won’t get to hear my side of things. How can I be sure you’ll hear my side?
It’s not uncommon for one spouse to be more verbal or “dominating” in a session. Our counselors understand the importance of getting both of your perspectives. Our experienced Marriage Counselors will manage the counseling sessions in such a way that you both will have time to speak and share your thoughts and feelings about the relationship.
Please check out our general Counseling FAQ page for information regarding the costs of Counseling services.
For other general Frequently Asked Questions about Counseling, please visit our Counseling FAQ page.