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Knowing when to see a marriage counselor

Sure, every couple has problems. But when do you bite the bullet and decide it’s time to see a marriage counselor? Here, we uncover the answer to this common question plus provide you with the benefits of seeing a marriage counselor even if your marriage isn’t in trouble.

Couple in therapy

We all know that the divorce rate in the U.S. sits right around a whopping 50 percent. Each year, hundreds of thousands of couples seek marital counseling in hopes of not being another divorce statistic. On average, couples are unhappy for years before seeking help, which could be one of the reasons the divorce rate is so high. If these couples would have sought counseling sooner, would their marriages have been saved? Let’s look at four reasons you may want to consider seeing a marriage counselor — even if you don’t feel your marriage is in trouble.


You no longer communicate

It’s normal for couples to fight — and in fact it’s healthier to fight than to not say anything at all. If you’re fighting, you’re communicating (learn how to fight fair here). Trouble begins when communication ends. When was the last time you and your spouse sat down and really talked? If you can’t remember, schedule a date night with your spouse pronto and reconnect. A marriage counselor is great at getting the communication going again, so even if you’re not being mean or negative towards each other, counseling may be necessary.


You need to forgive your spouse

Has your spouse hurt you in some way that’s made you re-think your marriage? This can be anything from your spouse having an affair or struggling with an addiction to feeling neglected by your spouse or feeling that you’re no longer a priority. Since your spouse has the ability to love you more than anyone else, they also have the ability to hurt you more than anyone else. When this happens, forgiveness is a must. It can be extremely difficult to forgive someone — and this is where seeking the professional help of a marriage counselor comes into play.


You’re no longer intimate

Challenge: Go out of your way to be intimate with your spouse tonight. Ideas include going for a walk hand-in-hand, giving an extra-long goodnight kiss or giving your spouse a backrub. As you’ll see, it’s the little things that make a big difference.

When was the last time you held your spouse’s hand, cuddled with them on the couch or had sex? Your spouse is the one person you can develop an intimate relationship with — and this intimacy is what differentiates a marriage from a friendship. It’s normal for couples to go through phases without intimacy, especially when kids are small and jobs are demanding, but if lack of intimacy has become the norm for the two of you, it’s time to seek a counselor. Marriage counselors can help you put the spark back in your marriage and make you fall in love all over again.


You want to form a deeper connection with your spouse

Challenge: Ask your spouse what you can do to help them feel closer to you. Ask them what makes a strong marriage. Listen to your spouse and work at meeting their needs.

Your marriage may be ideal — meaning you communicate regularly, rarely fight and have an active sex life, but you still want more. Your relationship with your spouse is the most sacred relationship you’ll ever have, so it’s natural to feel like you need a deeper connection with them. Marriage counselors can help get you there. They can challenge you and your spouse in ways you may not be able to think of and bring about conversations you may never have thought to have. Continually forming a close bond with your spouse and growing deeper in love is a surefire way to make sure you don’t end up as just another divorce statistic.

More on marriages

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5 Conversations that will strengthen your relationship
20 Ways to improve your love life

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