Marriage vows require a lifetime commitment of fidelity and mutual support. It is easy to make such a promise at the peak of your romance with someone else. It can be a lot harder to fulfill those obligations week after week, year after year.
People sometimes find themselves struggling to maintain their marriages despite having entered into the union with the best of intentions. They may feel emotionally disconnected from their spouse or violated by something their partner recently did.
Many of these couples turn to marriage counseling or couples therapy to work on their issues. However, couples therapy has a somewhat negative reputation. There are those who say that it is better to file for divorce than to try to work through an issue in couples counseling.
Does couples therapy ever help those struggling to keep their marriages alive?
Research shows couples counseling often has a positive impact
According to a recent review of marriage counseling, almost half of all marriages in the United States will eventually require the help of a professional counselor. Despite the stigma attached to couples counseling and the common assumption that couples who need professional support are better off divorcing, statistics paint a different picture.
As many as 70% of couples who commits to marital counseling reap positive benefits from that process. Even if the therapy does not help a couple preserve their marriage, it can help them prepare for a less acrimonious divorce.
Couples counseling can be a place to negotiate a marital agreement that could make divorce less messy for the family. Couples can also learn how to better communicate for co-parenting if they separate and can learn conflict resolution tools that will help them both within the marriage and in future disputes.
There is no shame in admitting you might need help
Some people would rather not talk about the struggles within their marriage with someone outside of the family. However, for a significant portion of struggling marriages, a conversation with an unbiased professional could actually help resolve the matter or give the couple the tools they need to honestly evaluate their current situation.