Taking the leap to see a marriage therapist with your partner for the first time can be scary. After all, 91% of American adults say that a happy marriage is one of their most important life objectives—so isn’t going to therapy admitting failure? 

Definitely not. For one thing, couples who undergo counseling together prior to getting married have a 30 percent higher marital success rate than those who do not. Secondly, learning how to healthily navigate obstacles and challenges is probably the best way to improve your relationship.  

Reasons to Seek Marriage Counseling

Whether you’ve been with your partner for ten months or ten years, here are a few common reasons couples tend to need marriage counseling. 

      1. As a Preventative Measure

You don’t need to be in the throes of conflict to visit a couples counselor. It’s becoming a common practice for couples to attend counseling prior to getting married as a sort of safety check: premarital counseling helps the pair learn effective communication, talk about future desires such as having children, work through issues from the past, understand each other’s values and beliefs, and essentially learn how to function as a long-term couple. 

      2. Poor Communication 

How we communicate is how we understand and perceive each other. Ineffective communication, or hardly any communication at all, can be very uncomfortable to navigate even with your partner. In couples therapy, a counselor may work with each partner individually before bringing them together to discuss particularly sensitive issues. The goal is to reach a safe, non judgmental environment where spouses listen to one another’s needs and offer support. In many cases, partners will need to work on their own cognitive behavioral patterns to recognize when they are engaging in negative communication behaviors, such as deflecting, getting defensive, or gaslighting. 

      3. Talking About Money

Money is often a sensitive subject. Irresponsible spending, a large income difference, secretly hoarding money, and financial infidelity can create serious problems in a marriage. A marriage therapist can help facilitate honest conversations about financial problems. 

      4. Sexual or Emotional Infidelity 

Infidelity within a relationship can be one of the most painful things a couple will ever go through, but it doesn’t have to mean the relationship’s end. Couples therapy provides a safe, healing environment to discuss unfaithfulness and all of the ugly emotions that may accompany it. Repairing broken trust is a long road, but given the right path, couples can navigate these treacherous waters.  

It takes work to build a strong relationship, and a marriage therapist can promote mutually beneficial change for years to come.

Start the Conversation Today

Brett Beaver is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 25 years of experience. Using a comprehensive range of practices for individual therapy, couples therapy, and group facilitation, Brett works with clients to jointly develop interventions to work through challenges. Contact Brett Beaver by calling (925) 464-3916 or visit the contact us page.