Who here has experience with marriage counseling? Did it help?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by soli528, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. soli528

    soli528 Silver Supporting Member

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    I think the concept of a "rough patch" is pretty common in marriage as a whole, but of course the causes may vary widely. I would guess that in most cases, it has something to do with money one way or another; it's equally likely in my mind that problems stem from an inability to communicate.
    So when faced with a slump, you can try to fix it, or bail. I know there are a lot of opinions here on TGP about marriage, and what to do if you're not happy in a marriage. In my case, I'm looking to fix it. My daughter is the same age as I was when my parents divorced (~5 yrs old), and I would never consciously allow for the effects my parents' split had on me for my daughter. That said, if there's a rift or dissatisfaction or whatever in the marriage, that doesn't provide an acceptable environment for her to grow up in either. So I'm looking at marriage counseling, wondering what it's like and what the success rates are. Can anyone with experience here shed light on the issue? Thanks for reading.
     
  2. A-Bone

    A-Bone Montonero, MOY, Multitudes Gold Supporting Member

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    I don't have personal experience with marriage therapy as a patient, but my mother was a licensed therapist for many years, and I also have experience with psychotherapy.

    It can absolutely help to strengthen and save relationships, but it is not a panacea. The main thing is that both parties need to be committed to working on the relationship, and this means both parties have to attend therapy and do the work inside and outside of the therapist's office. One partner in therapy is not likely to salvage the relationship, as that relationship is more than the two parties to it. The relationship is its own system that needs to be evaluated and understood.
     
  3. pickaguitar

    pickaguitar 2011 TGP Silver Medalist Silver Supporting Member

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    Both parties have to be honest
     
  4. coltonius

    coltonius SeƱor Member Silver Supporting Member

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    :wave

    I have, many times. And not necessarily because there was something wrong with our marriage, either; sometimes we just go for a relationship tune up. In short, it's a safe environment to be cavalier and lay concerns on the table. It was a great way for my wife and I to learn effective and safe communication, regardless of the issue.

    Success-wise: I'd say that any couple where both parties are committed to work through their issues can. It's not always a quick fix, though. And sometimes there are issues beneath the issues, so bring a shovel and some Kleenex!
     
  5. goodhonk

    goodhonk Member

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    sounds messy
     
  6. soli528

    soli528 Silver Supporting Member

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    Can you please elaborate? I'm assuming you mean honest with regard to what each other wants out of life and the partnership- I don't feel like either of is hiding infidelity or anything like that. My read on our situation (which is very possibly missing something) is that I'm fairly content with our life in general, but wish she would return to her sweet loving self, she feels like we're stagnant in life and is generally unimpressed, which turns into scorn, etc... This much we have been honest with each other about.
     
  7. pickaguitar

    pickaguitar 2011 TGP Silver Medalist Silver Supporting Member

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    As in my ex lied through the entire counseling. And upon getting caught she immediately flew/left me. (she was cheating but tried to play innocent angel in counseling)

    She wasn't there to work on anything...she was there to pretend and continue her ways



    All the red flags were up...she didn't want to be a cheater. But she was and couldn't stick around to talk about it when busted
     
  8. Rex Anderson

    Rex Anderson Member

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    My wife and I had fought for many years. We had tried counseling once many years earlier and it was not very successful. I couldn't take it any more and said we had to try counseling again or get divorced. It was tough, but I convinced her to try again.

    We found a wonderful woman who helped us both and saved our marriage.

    It really depends on the counselor and how good they are at getting to the root of the problems and helping you understand how to fix them. If you don't feel like the counselor you are with is good for you, find another one.

    Our counselor said she had only had a few cases where she told the folks they should get divorced, that there was just no hope for them to be happy together.
     
  9. soli528

    soli528 Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm sorry to hear that. I hope things are better for you in the end. My wife really doesn't seem like the type, of course, maybe yours didn't either.

    Now THAT'S honest!
     
  10. sausagefingers

    sausagefingers Supporting Member

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    It did not work for Frank. Just being silly, I hope you can find someone to really help OP.

     
  11. FenderBigot

    FenderBigot Supporting Member

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    We did 5 sessions and things got worse. I stopped them after realizing it wasn't me.
     
  12. Tonekat

    Tonekat Member

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    Yet in both cases, it seems that the counseling helped you realize what was going on.
     
  13. soli528

    soli528 Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks, silly can be good. I do admittedly find myself wondering if there's something really cool out there that I don't know about. :)
     
  14. Kluch

    Kluch Member

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    My wife and I have both been through many sessions of individual counseling and couples counseling as well. We are HUGE advocates of counseling but counseling really only tends to work well when the individual in counseling wants to change. Not saying that your perspective or mindset or motivation can't change or grow through counseling but it's like going to rehab in a way, you can go through the motions and have no interest whatsoever in changing. That said though, a good counselor will be able to judge where an individual is in that process and help them work through wanting to grow, understand and change. Having a good counselor is key. I know a lot of guys that have gone through counseling too and many of them have agree'd that if you're working with a counselor but don't feel like it's going anywhere it's worth looking for a different counselor.

    All that to say. I'm still a huge advocate of counseling and I really do believe it can help people grow and not only understand the people around them better but primarily understand themselves better as well. My wife and I have both benefited greatly from our counselors and will both continue to get counseling in the future, when needed. What I've taken away is that counseling has really opened a door to understanding myself, my wife and others much better, but it still takes work to change. Knowledge is power, but only when it's being put into action (which can be very tough at times, believe me I know). Hope I'm not blabbing too much! ;)
     
  15. Fred Farkus

    Fred Farkus Gold Supporting Member

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  16. Oldman

    Oldman Member

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    counseling works until someone gets told they're in the wrong..
     
  17. Fred Farkus

    Fred Farkus Gold Supporting Member

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    This
     
  18. fjblair

    fjblair Silver Supporting Member

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    It can help if both parties are sincere and the effort is started soon enough. By the time most couples enter therapy it is too late to salvage the relationship. That is my experience and what I have been told by two different marriage counselors.
     
  19. soli528

    soli528 Silver Supporting Member

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    My impression is that there's no place for validation in counseling; you're not there to be told whether one of you is right or wrong.
     
  20. Multicellular

    Multicellular Supporting Member

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    I went to couples counseling with a girlfriend of 7 years.

    It did help us think through things and communicate about what was really important to us.

    I might say it helped me more than her. I was in those sessions - 'I want a long term commitment from ___' and she was there 'I want to quit waking up screaming and I want him to wake up and talk to me about it for two hours'

    So didn't ultimately keep us together. She had a lot of other baggage, had been abandoned as a kid, foster care, all that. I eventually decided I couldn't take it (I'm mean a LOT of baggage - she was hospitalized for suicide attempts etc.). Plus, I think we were in different places in our lives, she was 8 years younger.

    That is all to say, I think it can help keep you together if you are capable of being on the same page, with some nudges this way or that way.
     

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