Oct 14, 2010
When Is Time for Counseling?
Sholom Bayis Blog with Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch. Question #5: When is it time for a couple to go for marriage counseling?
Q: My husband and I are having trouble in our marriage. We tend to fight about the same issues every day and heís so emotionally distant. At what point should I consider seeing a marriage therapist?
A: A professional practicing marriage therapy can act as a mediator when it comes to disagreements and personality differences. These differences can cause any number of arguments. Most of the rifts a couple experience have the potential to end in a peaceful way, but then there are those rough and tumble situations where there seems no hope in sight. When the stability of your relationship is in question, marital therapy can provide you with the best relationship advice and guidance.
Seeking out marriage therapy to get unbiased guidance from a mediator who is professionally trained in such matters, is a good start to getting back what was lost between the two of you. The marriage family therapist will offer you their expertise and qualified suggestions as your professional negotiator. Itís sometimes nice to have that cushion when you and your spouse canít seem to get past your marriage problems and communication has stalled.
Family counselors are certified professionals that have experience in all types of situations. Marriage therapy advice is a just a small portion of what they offer to couples from all walks of life. They also instruct a couple on techniques of how to strengthen their bond, improve their listening skills to better understand each other, and increase their conversational and interpersonal skills.
A marriage therapist will never place blame on a guilty party, if there is one. They only try to help you work through the misconceptions, accusations, and ego trips that may bring negative feelings into the relationship. Youíll find that marriage and family therapy will have a significant impact on your relationship and your lives. When communication becomes stagnant and it no longer exists between loved ones, family therapists can guide and teach you to share your feelings once again. They give a person permission to share their deepest fears and desires without feeling guilty or ridiculed by their partner. Egos are checked at the door when a mediator is present, for there is no room for them in a successful relationship.
Boredom, emotional neglect, lack of communication or attachment issues from childhood are just a few reasons why marriage problems may occur. The problems can be compounded or it may be just a single issue, but it is enough to shake the foundations of a relationship. When the couple fails to identify the causes of their difficulties, confusion and separation from the relationship can soon follow.
Sometimes, when a couple takes marriage advice from a marriage therapist, issues are revealed that were once hidden due to anger, misunderstandings, and a breach of trust. Using your marriage counselorís advice can aid you through the process of working it out for yourselves. They have the knowledge and experience in these types of situations, and can offer you several techniques to work through your relationship issues.
There is the belief, or opinion, that family therapy should only be undertaken when a situation is too dire for repair. This is a false conviction for anyone who believes it. Marriage family therapy can be beneficial to any couple that is having issues, and at any stage in their relationship.
In many instances, troubled couples thought they were destined for divorce, and had actually started the proceedings, before they engaged in any type of family therapy. They soon realized their mistake once they began participating in regularly schedule appointments with their family therapist. The family therapy sessions saved their marriages from failing and taught them how to relate to each other in a more efficient manner.
It is best to begin family and marriage therapy when marital problems are still in the early stages. The sooner a couple engages in family and marriage therapy, the quicker and easier it will be to eliminate any misconceptions, anger, frustrations, and trust issues they may have.
Now, there are always those stubborn partners out there that refuse to participate in any marriage and family counseling. This should not stop the one individual that wishes to seek out the help from a marriage therapist. The marriage therapist can help the individual work through their own personal issues, and maybe once their partner sees the remarkable effects that the marriage therapist is having on their spouse, they may want to join in on the sessions.
Donít be surprised when the marriage counselor digs deep into your private life. No judgment will be placed upon you; it just gives the therapist an understanding plateau of what makes you tick. Itís common to feel uncomfortable with disclosing so much personal information, but as your sessions progress, that queasy feeling will dissipate. The more open you become, the easier it will be to accept truths and understandings.
Seeking out professional guidance when your relationship appears to be bleak and unsalvageable is the wisest thing you could ever do. Regardless of the price you pay for family therapy, it can never be as expensive as losing a family.
Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch is a trained marriage and family therapist who maintains a practice in Crown Heights specializing in couples therapy and families with teenagers at risk. For an appointment in person or via the phone/Internet, visit JewishMarriageSupport.com or call 646-428-4723.