When your marriage is in trouble, when you suspect infidelity, when things aren't going well, the last thing you want is a marriage counselor who steers you in the wrong direction. So, how do you know what's "right" and what's "wrong" when it comes to working with marriage counselors. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- If your marriage counselor lets both of you complain on and on about each other, you're not going to end up with a great result. If the marriage counselor does not know what lies at the bottom of criticism, then the critical thoughts and comments will continue, even after the marriage counseling is "completed."
- If your marriage counselor EVER takes sides, this will always produce a non-optimum result.
- If your marriage counselor ends a marriage counseling session and either of you are upset, this is not only poor form and unprofessional, it will have a negative impact on the marriage counseling process.
- If your marriage counselor is all about "compromise," then that's pretty much where you'll end up: having compromised. You won't feel renewed, restored and excited about creating the future with your spouse. Yes, there does need to be some "give and take" in any relationship, but focusing on compromise does NOT get to the root of things.
- If your marriage counselor is unaware of the role an "outsider" can play in destroying a marriage and how to address this subject, you will not have a stable, happy marriage no matter what else is addressed.
- If your marriage counselor doesn't have total certainty that the communication can be fully restored, then you're in trouble from the get-go. You and your spouse should know this CAN be accomplished and that thousands of married couples have achieved this result.
This does not mean all marriage counseling will result in the marriage staying together. It does mean that marriage counseling should fully restore the communication between husband and wife. What the couple decides to do at that point is up to them. But they are making that decision from a very high level of communication with each other.
I'm sorry if I was a bit blunt in letting you know what marriage counselors should and should not be able to do, but I'm familiar with what REALLY EXCEPTIONAL marriage counselors can accomplish.
Exceptional marriage counselors never take sides.
They do not let the spouses criticize the daylights out of each other.
Their main focus is getting to the SOURCE of the marital difficulties and not on compromise.
Exceptional marriage counselors never end a session when one or both spouses are upset. There is no: "I'm sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Jones, your hour is up."
Here is the most important thing about exceptional marriage counselors: They know they can fully restore the communication between husband and wife. And they have total certainty they can achieve that result.
Well, there you go. I hope that helps. I know it sets the standard very high. But a marriage and a family are extremely important and should be addressed with a very high level of expertise.
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