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Old 07-11-2008, 01:56 PM
 
Location: NoVa
1,146 posts, read 1,485,708 times
Reputation: 1180
Default Does marriage counseling really work?

Hello,

I would like some input from those of you who've gone to marriage counseling please.

Some background information: we've been having some marital problems for the past few years and, as a last ditch attempt, we've decided to go to a marriage counselor. Our appointment is next week. I personally have no high hopes but I would like to give this 10-year old marriage one last try. My husband says he's willing to do whatever it takes to keep us together (he still loves me very much and I still care deeply for him). The problem is, although I can name 2 major issues that have always been sore points in our relationship (in-laws and mismatch libido), the rest is very vague (things like, we've grown apart from each other, I feel unfullfilled in our marriage, etc.. vagues things like that). So I'm not sure if marriage counseling will help identify and solve the problems.

Can you please share your experience with me? What should I expect? What should we prepare ourselves to do? And the most important part, does it work?

Thanks.
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Old 07-11-2008, 02:30 PM
 
3,674 posts, read 6,832,432 times
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While I personally haven't ever been to counseling, I have plenty of friends who have. I'd say about 90% found it a waste of time. Primarily because the counseling does not address the true issues, only generic counseling about tips to a better relationship.

On the other hand, I suppose one gets out of counseling what one puts in to counseling.
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Old 07-11-2008, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Tucson
42,846 posts, read 52,681,702 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLAZER PROPHET View Post
While I personally haven't ever been to counseling, I have plenty of friends who have. I'd say about 90% found it a waste of time. Primarily because the counseling does not address the true issues, only generic counseling about tips to a better relationship.

On the other hand, I suppose one gets out of counseling what one puts in to counseling.
I wasn't gonna respond, but I have too much time on my hands. I've no personal experience with it, either, but therapists seem to think most couples consider it when it's way too late, aka the marriage is already DOA. IMO, premarital counseling can be a lot more effective, but who wants to do THAT when you're so much in love... Since we have two types of marriages now in AZ, premarital counseling is a requirement for the covenant version.

The truth is you have to show some skills to get most licenses. Only marriage and parenthood seem to be available to every nutcase on the loose...
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Old 07-11-2008, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Happiness is found inside your smile :)
3,177 posts, read 9,896,046 times
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I haven't been to marriage counseling - but I too have heard that it doesn't usually work

But the counselors also usualy ask you to do individual counseling too, for your personal issues that influence your relationship (do you feel unfulfilled in your marriage or in your own life's accomplishments?)

Plus have you read the "5 languages of Love"? It's a GREAT resource book and will help you.

Plus I just got "48 hours to reaquitantance for marriage" and I really love it.

PLUS (again) I've been in numerous relationships - and I just hate it when libidos are not matched - in essence they just usually aren't 90% of the time anyhow. I did not remarry this time around until I found a guy who either understood that I'm not a humping machine or moved on.
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:43 PM
 
5,108 posts, read 7,469,250 times
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initially i was very resistant to marriage counseling because i was afraid i would be "forced" into doing something i did not want to do

what helped change my mind about going to marriage counseling, which i did do, is that someone told me no matter what happened in counseling i was still free to choose what i wanted to do; and that by going to marriage counseling it would be an opportunity for me to gather more information and learn more about myself, the marriage, which would bound to be beneficial to me, regardless of what i chose

also i am glad i did marriage counseling because i felt then like i had done everything possible to give the marriage a chance (before making my decision to leave the marriage, which is what i wanted to do in the first place, but after going i felt more sure of that then ever, and i did). Also by seeing how my then-husband was during counseling it made me more than ever want a divorce, and helped me gain stronger belief in myself in living my own life.

in general i think counseling is a positive step to take. we can always learn more about ourselves and each other. And it shows a willingness for improvement and development. And i found the tips on improving communication very valuable, and continue to use them to this day, in all my relationships.

it helps to go in with an open mind and see how it goes for you. You are still free to make your own choices and do whatever you want to anyway. But it shows a willingness on both your parts to take the relationship and/or its break up seriously.
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Wild, Wonderful WV
306 posts, read 604,147 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DimSumRaja View Post
initially i was very resistant to marriage counseling because i was afraid i would be "forced" into doing something i did not want to do

what helped change my mind about going to marriage counseling, which i did do, is that someone told me no matter what happened in counseling i was still free to choose what i wanted to do; and that by going to marriage counseling it would be an opportunity for me to gather more information and learn more about myself, the marriage, which would bound to be beneficial to me, regardless of what i chose

also i am glad i did marriage counseling because i felt then like i had done everything possible to give the marriage a chance (before making my decision to leave the marriage, which is what i wanted to do in the first place, but after going i felt more sure of that then ever, and i did). Also by seeing how my then-husband was during counseling it made me more than ever want a divorce, and helped me gain stronger belief in myself in living my own life.

in general i think counseling is a positive step to take. we can always learn more about ourselves and each other. And it shows a willingness for improvement and development. And i found the tips on improving communication very valuable, and continue to use them to this day, in all my relationships.

it helps to go in with an open mind and see how it goes for you. You are still free to make your own choices and do whatever you want to anyway. But it shows a willingness on both your parts to take the relationship and/or its break up seriously.
The sentence in bold is the best thing I got from marriage counseling. It did not work for us - married 6 yrs, been divorced 3 1/2.
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Old 07-11-2008, 06:10 PM
 
Location: NM
313 posts, read 632,230 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graceC View Post
Hello,

I would like some input from those of you who've gone to marriage counseling please.

Some background information: we've been having some marital problems for the past few years and, as a last ditch attempt, we've decided to go to a marriage counselor. Our appointment is next week. I personally have no high hopes but I would like to give this 10-year old marriage one last try. My husband says he's willing to do whatever it takes to keep us together (he still loves me very much and I still care deeply for him). The problem is, although I can name 2 major issues that have always been sore points in our relationship (in-laws and mismatch libido), the rest is very vague (things like, we've grown apart from each other, I feel unfullfilled in our marriage, etc.. vagues things like that). So I'm not sure if marriage counseling will help identify and solve the problems.

Can you please share your experience with me? What should I expect? What should we prepare ourselves to do? And the most important part, does it work?

Thanks.

We are pushing 8 years of marriage.

We have very odd and normal things that have caused us to look for ... something to help us.

So we went to our 1st session. Things went fine for most of the appointment, then the lady started breaking stuff down. Real feelings came out and there we were... On the sofa, in a full on fight in front of the lady.

Needless to say, we made another appointment for the next week.

The days, and the drive home was just pure hell. All we did was fight and break each other down... not about the issues (That I might add she gave us some advice on how to deal with those hot buttons, and we started to actually use them) We were fighting about the session. About what was said and who did what blahblahblah.

So we canceled the next appointment and haven't been back.

We are doing SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much better now. I think we needed to see that we were both willing to take that leap into counseling and that we needed those words of advice from an outside source.

I cannot stress how close we were to divorce. We have two wonderful kids and everyone tells us that we are the perfect couple (Yet another stress point but w/e)

I haven't told my husband that I love him in almost 2 years.. why? It is just words.. and the man has hurt me in the past.. HOWEVER he knows I do, I put my wedding band back on and we are doing pretty good. However I think I will tell him I love him the next time we have a tender moment, I know it will mean a lot to him.

Our sex drives are totally different. He is ready to go all of the time (he is 31 btw) and I take some time to get going... I am always thinking about what is next, tomorrow, how much sleep do I need, I get sore from sex with him (I am sure if he ever read this his chest would pop out with pride LOL).. Stupid stuff like that. So sex is a hot HOT topic for him.

Before we went to the 1st appointment we hadnt had sex for about 5 months. He can quote the day, I can quote the fight that turned me off.

Every marriage has issues, big, small etc.. It just depends on if you want it to work.

What worked best for me is .. picture yourself without him, then picture him with another woman. Jealous? want to punch that woman???


****BTW when I say we have had some problems, we were in the middle of a divorce for almost 2 years, totally separated by many many many miles. Cheating happened, horrible words horrible horrible words, sneaky acts, huge money woes etc****


I hope you find what you are looking for here, it is a good thing to get a view point that isnt emotional involved in your life.
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Old 07-11-2008, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Earth
3,797 posts, read 4,161,387 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fickle View Post
I haven't told my husband that I love him in almost 2 years..
picture yourself without him, then picture him with another woman. Jealous? want to punch that woman???
I'm so sorry but this just seems so far off base of a healthy relationship. You withhold the words I love you because you have been hurt, you have withheld sex for 5 months! because of a fight (both are controlling, punishing and manipulative) Then you become jealous and possesive with the thought of him with another woman. Doesn't that seem a bit unbalanced?
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Old 07-11-2008, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Earth
3,797 posts, read 4,161,387 times
Reputation: 2481
Quote:
Originally Posted by graceC View Post
Hello,

I would like some input from those of you who've gone to marriage counseling please.

Some background information: we've been having some marital problems for the past few years and, as a last ditch attempt, we've decided to go to a marriage counselor. Our appointment is next week. I personally have no high hopes but I would like to give this 10-year old marriage one last try. My husband says he's willing to do whatever it takes to keep us together (he still loves me very much and I still care deeply for him). The problem is, although I can name 2 major issues that have always been sore points in our relationship (in-laws and mismatch libido), the rest is very vague (things like, we've grown apart from each other, I feel unfullfilled in our marriage, etc.. vagues things like that). So I'm not sure if marriage counseling will help identify and solve the problems.

Can you please share your experience with me? What should I expect? What should we prepare ourselves to do? And the most important part, does it work?

Thanks.
Best of luck to you and your husband. It did not work for us but it certainly has it's good points.
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Old 07-11-2008, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Lansing, MI
2,682 posts, read 3,273,381 times
Reputation: 2636
I sympathize with you ...

My marriage in a similar situation; we've been married 2yrs, together 4. We had a lot of 'unaddressed' issues before getting married that I chose to ignore, and we both have a couple ghosts in the closet from our past. Push came to shove and our relationship got stressed.. and its been a downward spirial. And, our libidos are also very, very different, very mismatched. Seems like everything is against "us."

I am starting to see a counselor for just myself as of this week. I need to figure "me" out before I can even start with "us." I also want him to see a counselor for his issues (controlling, manipulating, excessive neediness), but that is up to him on whether or not he even wants to confront his ghosts. As of today, he does not - just wants to go on pretending they don't exist, and he has every excuse in the book as to why he can't. This will be a sticking point for me on whether or not our marriage will last. He can't resolve his own issues that are directly affecting our relationship, how can our relationship improve?

Good luck with your efforts!
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