Can marriage counseling hurt a marriage? For the answer to this question we must first look at what marriage counseling is. Marriage counseling is a type of interaction that occurs between two married partners where they try to resolve their relationship problems and achieve a feeling of marital satisfaction. The goal of this type of counseling is not to tear down the bond between the couple but to build on it and create a deeper and more meaningful connection between the two people. Many people make the mistake of believing that marriage counseling can and will damage a marriage.
This simply is not true. There are some situations in which counseling can and does hurt a marriage. If the issues in your marriage are extremely serious and you cannot seem to communicate with each other or reach an understanding of what is causing the problems, then counseling can and will hurt your marriage. When couples go into counseling wanting to solve their differences, they often do not realize that they have deeper issues that prevent them from ever communicating effectively or coming to a point where they can discuss their problems openly. If you have gone through this type of conflict before, it is very likely that you may be experiencing similar feelings again.
Another situation in which counseling can and does hurt a marriage is if both partners are unfit to be married. I know this seems extreme, but there have been many cases in which individuals who are perfectly healthy have been denied the right to get married because of one partner’s health problems. Obviously each case is different and some may be remedied while others will not. If you are considering seeking professional help for your marriage, it is important that you discuss these issues beforehand.
One of the biggest misconceptions of marriage counseling is that it is something that you just have to do by yourself. It is important that both you and your spouse make an effort to be positive when interacting with the counselor. While having a good rapport with your counselor can certainly help, the most effective help comes from the willingness of the couple to work toward resolving their conflicts and to communicate openly with the counselor.
A couple that has marital problems that seem to have no solid solution might benefit from a more intensive approach to marriage counseling. This is often called “intervention”. During this process, the counselor works with both spouses on an individual basis to determine the real cause of the problem so that the couples can find effective ways to resolve it. If you are dealing with issues like financial issues, for example, the counselor can help the spouses explore possible options for addressing the money issue that is both acceptable to them.
If both spouses are willing to work together, then the problems are likely to quickly disappear. Unfortunately, many couples never really try to resolve any problem until their problems become major concerns. If you and your spouse have resolved any other marital problem before, it may be an indication that you are less likely to resolve your own issues.