Every couple has some issues. Some are not as significant as some others, but over time, even these smaller issues can build up and cause various problems in a relationship. Some couples manage to solve their problems as they appear, the others fight and end up breaking up, while some attempt marriage counseling or a couple’s therapy and attempt to save their relationships.
You may have heard that the therapy was not effective and it had zero impact on the relationship. But is the therapy itself the problem or the couple just wasn’t willing to work on their marriage? A lot of different cases and each is a story for itself.
But one thing is for sure – marriage counseling can indeed save your marriage. A good psychologist can identify the problems you weren’t even aware of and help you overcome them together. They can rebuild the trust in your partner you have perhaps lost in the meantime and you can start over, with a different perspective. And for some couples, it has worked wonders.
But before you opt for marriage counseling, you should discuss several things first. Here are some of the questions that you both need to answer to proceed to the next phase.
1. Should You Get a Divorce Immediately
Sometimes a husband or a wife doesn’t want to work and improve the relations. They have come to the very edge and the only way out is a divorce. That’s completely fine and it is essential to be honest here. It is much better to go for a friendly divorce, than spend a lot of money on counseling with one side unwilling to put in work. In that case, you will only postpone the failure.
Therefore, if the divorce is the answer, you better do it sooner rather than later. Sure, it can be painful and hard to accept that the end has come, but it is important to be honest at that point in your lives.
2. What Are Our Biggest Problems?
According to Dr. Robert Puff, who’s devoted his life’s work to marriage counseling, clinical psychology and pursue of happiness and the person behind doctorpuff.com, identifying the issue is necessary and the first step towards solving the problem.
It isn’t quite the same if you go to your first session barking at each other, leaving the psychologist to work out what your problems our first. If you go there and say, we’ve identified these issues and we need to help solving them, that will speed up the process significantly and you will be able to start working on your relationship right away, instead of not accepting the issues that are clearly there.
By doing this, you show maturity and the fact that you can agree on something gives you the common ground to walk further down the road.
3. Why Did We Fall in Love?
When couples live together for years, the very essentials of why they fell in love slip away. People become preoccupied with nuances, irrelevant things and they forget that relationships require constant work.
This isn’t a hard question to answer, because you both know what draw you to the person you love the most. You can see what you did back then and perhaps try to recreate some of the things now. If you used to go for a walk occasionally, or just have a romantic dinner, perhaps doing all those things again will make you see the person you love.
It might take some time, but try to make a habit out of it – leave the kids with your parents or find a nanny for a couple of hours and once a week, you can create a gap in your schedule where you will hang out with your spouse.
4. Questions About Trust
Do you trust the person you’re with? If you’re thinking about marriage counseling, there’s a high chance that you’ve lost your trust. You no longer see them as your support and that can be a major issue. Trust is one of the most significant elements of every relationship. Without it, things will likely fall apart.
If you’ve been let down multiple times, but you feel like there’s a window for you to trust that person again, this can definitely be achieved.
First of all, you need to forgive them for whatever they did. And by forgive, we mean that there’s no occasionally bringing the subject up if the arguments ensue in the future. No – you need to forgive them and start from scratch. However, the other person needs to show you that they are worthy and they want to set things right. It takes a common effort here, and it might take some time before you trust someone again.
5. Are Our Finances in Check?
One of the most common reasons for divorce is finances. We live in such a world where finances are important and therefore we cannot disregard that. You need to talk to your partner about your finances and how you can regulate it better, or perhaps what you do to earn more money.
This shouldn’t be a taboo topic and you should often discuss bills, have a common budget which will be used for the needs of both of you. If only one person is paying for everything that you both use, you can see where the problems may arise.
Of course, we understand not everyone can become rich and this isn’t something you can just decide on. Still, you can see what you can do together to better handle the finances you have and how to utilize the budget the best way possible.
These are only 5 marriage counseling questions that you can ask your spouse but they are among the most important ones. They cover the basic segments of any relationship. Some other questions you can ask yourselves is for how long you are willing to work on your relation. Giving it a timeframe makes it easier because you will both do your best and if it doesn’t work in a year or so, you can then look for alternative solutions.
Make sure to be honest when answering these – otherwise they don’t worth much. Also, once you start with counseling, keep track of your progress.