On this page we look at the importance of having and maintaining a good marriage, and some information about marriage counselling including online marriage counselling and points to consider if you are thinking of this sort of support.
The importance of maintaining a good marriage
It is so easy to think that you will never be in a position of divorce, perhaps believing your marriage is immune to heartache, infidelity and fights. The truth however is that no relationship comes with a lifetime guarantee.
A good perspective and understanding in a marriage is also fundamental. It was never intended for marriage to be a relationship of perfect happiness, to have conflict-free living and achieving constant idolatrous obsession with each other. We first have to be realistic and understand that everyone has bad days, can get angry, and at times be challenged by selfishness. Despite these imperfections, marriage of a husband and wife was initially intended to provide partnership, spiritual intimacy and the ability to walk life together.
It is not easy living a selfless life in a self-focused world, with human nature often pulling towards a desire of selfishness. The marriage relationship does not shield us from these desires and sometimes due to the closer nature of the relationship can enhance the pull of these desires.
It is important to remember in the strain of a relationship when bills start to pile up, communication breaks down, children drain your energy or when you just get irritated with the small things and each other that following promises made at marriage are fundamental.
In these times try to not be pulled into selfishness and instead try to serve your spouse. The below may help in these testing times:
- Focusing on your spouse’s strengths rather than their weaknesses.
- Encourage rather than criticise.
- Speak highly of your spouse instead of gossiping about them.
When is marriage counselling needed?
Due to the continued problems confronting marriage, a growing number of married couples are seeking divorce and separation, showing more of a need for good based marriage counselling, which can help couples realise and work through issues or disagreements, before it gets to a point of separation.
It is advisable to look at marriage counselling as soon as struggles are encountered which you are not able to resolve yourselves through discussion. It is often found that those in the relationship are unable to see eye to eye on certain issues, due to hurts or frustrations. A councillor trained in couples counselling should be able to help identify issues and open up discussions around these issues in a safe environment. It is important in the marriage to show grace to one another and not let any issues fester or boil over time as this normally only increases the struggles.
The sad truth is that too often unresolved issues become mountains that are hard to be moved later on, which can often cause a spiralling effect sometimes leading to divorce and separation. In these cases children can sometimes also become depressed and morally unstable, due to the result of ongoing arguments, stress and friction in the marriage relationship experienced at home. So it is best trying everything you can to try and resolve any issues sooner than later, even if remote or online marriage counselling needs to be considered.
When remote or online marriage counselling is useful
We always feel that meeting with a local trained counsellor face to face is the best option! However not all couples feel able to attend face to face meetings, or some may have physical or practical reasons for not being able to travel to, or meet with a local counsellor. If you find yourself in this position we would still encourage you to contact a local based marriage counselling service or counsellor and ask if they offer remote or online marriage counselling.
Some may offer this service through Skype, online chat or other video conferencing software, others may also be happy to undertake counselling sessions over the phone. The important thing is not to let fear or circumstances be a reason for not looking into the marriage counselling services on offer.
Selecting a marriage counsellor
When selecting a counsellor for based marriage counselling, it is important to consider the counsellors credentials (qualifications and training).
Whilst most people can be a support to talk to a trained counsellor will have learned different strategies to open conversations and carefully guide and help married couples work through certain areas of discussion.
Our advice would be to find a counsellor who had the below credentials:
- Check that the counsellor has a diploma in counselling through a college or counselling training organisation. (most counselling services would have checked this already and would advertise that all there counsellors have this)
- Ideally check if they are accredited with a governing body such as BACP or UKCP. If not then defiantly check they are a member of a governing body (look for the MBACP after their name)
- Check that the counsellor is trained in “Couples Counselling” or “Relationship Counselling” which are the terms used for the area covering marriage counselling.
Our Recommendation (finding counsellors)
So if you are looking for a couples counsellor our recommendation be to log onto the association of counsellors and search for our counsellor in your area https://www.acc-uk.org/find-a-counsellor/search-for-a-counsellor.html. Remembering to check that they are trained in the area of “Couples Counselling” or “Relationship Counselling” as this may not always be detailed.
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