Marriage rates supposedly are on the decline. According to statistic that 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce, that number has remained unchanged for the past 30 years.
Since, when divorce does happen, it results in difficulties for adults as well as children. For adults, divorce can be one of life’s most stressful life events. The decision to divorce often is met with ambivalence and uncertainty about the future. If children are involved, they may experience negative effects such as denial, feelings of abandonment, anger, blame, guilt, preoccupation with reconciliation, and acting out.
While divorce may be necessary and the healthiest choice for some, others may wish to try to salvage whatever is left of the union. When couples encounter problems or issues, they may wonder when it is appropriate to seek marriage counseling.
Here are a few reasons for marriage counseling:
1. Communication has become negative. Once communication has deteriorated, often it is hard to get it going back in the right direction. Negative communication can include anything that leaves one partner feeling depressed, insecure, disregarded, or wanting to withdraw from the conversation, or the tone of a conversation.
Remember, Negative communication can also include any communication that not only leads to hurt feelings, but emotional or physical abuse, as well as nonverbal communication.
2. When one or both has had an affair. Recovering from an affair is not impossible, but it takes a lot of work. It takes commitment and a willingness to forgive and move forward. There is no magic formula for recovering from such case. But if both individuals are committed to the therapy process and are being honest, the marriage may be salvaged.
3. When the couple is only “pretending” married couple. If there is a lack of communication, conversation and intimacy or any other elements the couple feels are important and they feel they just “co-exist,” this may be an indication that a skilled clinician can help sort out what is missing and how to get it back.
4. When partners have strong differences in something. When a couple begins to experience discord and they are aware of the discord, but they just don’t know how to fix it. A skilled specialist may to help them moving in the right direction.
5. When one partner begins to act out on negative feelings. Negative feelings such as resentment or disappointment can turn into hurtful, sometimes harmful behaviors. This may result in that the partner would purposefully do things the spouse to feel the same pain he felt, which was counterproductive. A skilled clinician can help the couple sort out negative feelings and find ways to express them.
6. When appears decision to stay separately. When a couple argues, a break often is very helpful. However, when a timeout turns into an overnight stay away from home or eventually leads to a temporary separation, this may indicate a need for counseling. Spending time away from home does not usually resolve the situation. Instead, it reinforces the thought that time away is helpful, often leading to more absences.
7. Couple is staying together for the sake of the children. If a couple feels it is wise to stay together for the sake of the children, it may help to involve an objective third party. Often couples believe that they are doing the right thing when staying together actually is detrimental to the children. On the contrary, if the couple is able to resolve issue and move toward a positive, healthy relationship, this may be the best decision for all involved.
All marriages are not salvageable. In the process of marriage counseling, some couples may discover it is healthier for them to be apart. However, for those relationships that can be salvaged, and for those couples willing to commit to the process, marriage counseling may be able to remind them why they fell in love and keep them that way.