If You Ask Yourself These 4 Qs, Marriage Counseling Is NOT Working

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Marriage Counseling
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Is marriage counseling actually making things worse for you?

As it is hard to address years of conflict in a 60-minute session of marriage counseling — or, if you’re lucky, a 90-minute session — it is not uncommon that you may walk out in the beginning of therapy feeling a little reactive or wanting to respond to what your spouse said. You may even have some of your worst fights after those first few sessions. (One client likened it to peeling off a scab: It may not feel good in the beginning, but the initial discomfort allows for the healing process to occur.)

While sometimes things have to get worse in order to get better, if you are walking away from your marriage counseling sessions weekly feeling even more pessimistic with no sense of hope, you may want to reassess what you are doing.

There are some post-therapy reactions that are not helpful to your marriage, and though you may not know it, here are 4 questions you shouldn't be asking after marriage counseling.

1. Do you feel yourself getting more agitated by your spouse now since therapy has begun?

2. Have you noticed “problems” that you didn’t previously notice?

3. Are you catching yourself quoting your therapist against your spouse: “Well my therapist said...”?

4. Are you suddenly having doubts as to whether you should stay together?

While there are many good therapists out there, there are also plenty who are not competent at helping couples and can undermine your relationship. If you are going to couples therapy to make your marriage better, a good marriage counselor will help work with you to make that goal a reality. Instead of focusing on what you aren't getting from counseling, focus on moving forward and what you can learn from these sessions.

Good marriage counseling helps you work together and doesn’t take sides or place doubts in your mind about the relationship. It encourages you to connect, provides real hope that your relationship can heal, and empowers you with the tools to do so.

This article was originally published at themarriagerestorationproject.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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