A marriage is a sacred thing, a promise between two people dedicated to nurturing and growing the love and respect that exists between them. The bond of matrimony strengthens over time, matures and enriches both partners in their journey through life.
It may be smooth sailing all the way through life, full of romance and good times, but even the most loving couples find obstacles. But not all people feel that way about marriage and seeing a marriage counselor.
Both parties of the marriage are aware of the promises made at the altar but people change, the growth can alter the path that has so tightly united the couple, spiraling one or both of them down a new avenue. Marriage counseling becomes a necessary consideration, a process to reconcile and remind the couple of why they came together in the first place and to bring clarity to the situation.
Hopefully, all of the love and hard work placed in the marriage can find new life, new reasons to continue, or reminders of the original reasons they were so much in love. The specter of divorce may raise its head but the marriage counselor will explore many other paths before suggesting this.
Marriage counseling is often seen as a prelude to the end of a relationship, the last step before the dissolution of the marriage, but this isn’t the case at all. Counseling is simply another channel of communication, an intermediary in helping a relationship that is floundering. Both the husband and wife attend counseling sessions to determine what has gone wrong and to dedicate energy into finding a solution.
One positive indication of the health of the marriage already exists at this point, and that’s the desire of both individuals to work hard, to seek out an outside, expert third party who can bring new perspective to the situation. A marriage that was truly over would likely never even get as far as marriage counseling, sensing the love was gone and it was time to move on to a divorce.
Hopefully, the sense of the end of the marriage would be mutual, and both wife and husband could end the relationship amicably, even remaining friends.
There is another reason to work hard in keeping a marriage alive, the loving product of that marriage, and that’s children. A serious breakdown in the marriage means intense stress in the family structure. Kids hear yelling every night as the once loving couple lay blame at each other’s feet. The children are forced to make impossible choice, deciding between their beloved mother and father.
If the arguments move on to divorce, lawyers become involved, custody decisions will have to be decided, one of the parents will end up moving out, and nothing can ever be the same again. The closest analogy would be the jumping off of a high cliff, for once someone jumps they can’t change their minds. Divorce has a certain feeling of gravity to it. The law starts to grind its wheels as papers are signed and marriage bonds are dissolved.
If there’s no love, no affection left between the parents, then this is a tragic but unavoidable move, but if there’s any other possible resolution then the couple has to fight for the marriage, remind themselves that they once adored each other.
A marriage counselor exists for just this purpose. Sometimes the couple may simply have grown apart and need advice on where they should go next, where they stand in relation to each other. The sessions may be no more than the rekindling of old feelings, the realization that everyone changes over time and they can adapt to move with the change, growing closer together than ever before with new understanding.
Divorce, in this situation, need never be a word that is raised, and the gap between both husband and wife is a very bridgeable distance to close. Distance and alienation have many reasons for developing and a counselor illuminates the reasons why these feelings exist. Often, the feelings have no connection to the relationship but are born out of other insecurities. Poor communication is another common reason, one of the couple perhaps suffering a trauma and turning inward instead of sharing the crisis with their life partner.
A marriage counselor will use all of the training and resources they possess to save the relationship. They’ll reason and remind the husband and wife of their past, of times of intimacy. The counselor takes both parties of the marriage through therapy sessions designed to change perspective, perhaps switching places and acting out each other’s opinions and concerns, but, in the end, it’s all down to the strength of the marriage, of how much the couple still cares for each other.
Divorce may after all be the only option but only after the counselor has exhausted every other therapy option in their training.