Marriage Counselors

Written by Rachel Arieff
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Marriage counselors need not be looked as merely a last-ditch attempt at saving a troubled marriage. All too often, however, they become just that. This is truly unfortunate, for marriage counselors can be a lot more effective earlier in the game. It's often the case that by the time the married couple decides to seek professional help, resentment has built to such a high level that issues are much more difficult to resolve.

Often times, married couples balk at the idea of marriage counseling because they feel that it's an admission of failure. This is a deeply ingrained cultural value that is most unfortunate. To admit that a marriage has problems becomes tantamount to declaring the marriage a failure. This is not only sad but foolish, for many marriages that end in divorce may have been saved by basic marital counseling. Since these couples never tried, however, they will never know the answer for sure. It will always be a question in their minds.

Advice about Marriage Counselors

In my opinion, the most helpful (and healthy) way to look at marriage counseling is to consider it routine maintenance. Just as the wise car owner takes the car in for regular inspections and oil changes, so smart couples make marriage counseling part of their routine. Consider it a forum to share ideas and opinions in a safe and neutral setting, moderated by a professional: the marriage counselor. In situations like this, minor problems can be dealt with early on and defused before they become bigger and perhaps insurmountable.

I have friends who worked with marriage counselors with varying degrees of success. One rule of thumb that I've learned from their stories is agreement on the counselor. In other words, if one of the partners in the marriage feels like the counselor is always on the other person's side, then that's obviously not a good arrangement. Always choose a counselor who is neutral and able to see both sides objectively.

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