when to seek marriage counseling

Whether you have ever considered marriage counseling for you and your spouse, or even if you are single, you have heard about marriage counseling. Likely you have formulated ideas that may be positive or negative about what that would be like for you.

Perhaps one of the most prevalent thoughts is, “I hope I will never need that.” If that thought crosses your mind, that’s an indication that you see marriage counseling as an indication that “something’s wrong.” Who wants to admit that to a third party?
I would urge you to think of marriage counseling as an indication that “something’s happened.” No one can stand at the altar, and say, “I do” to a known future. Life happens, and if you are married, you understand it will impact you, your spouse, and your marriage.
Marriage is the greatest asset you will ever have, and deserves the appropriate care and nurture so that it can remain life-giving and foundational for you and your extended family.

So, when is it time to consider marriage counseling?

If you have thought about it, it’s probably time.

Often we continue to endure headaches, sprained ankles, and the like for a period of time before we finally seek out the proper help to take care of our bodies. Usually as an afterthought, we recognize the truth that we would have been better to seek out help sooner.
The same is true when it comes to your relationships. Why continue to “limp along” after something has happened? The sooner you seek to get better, the sooner you will feel better. Marriage counseling is an investment in your daily sense of fulfillment, joy and peace. I don’t know of anyone who would not want more of these experiences in the fullest.

If your spouse has mentioned it to you, it’s probably time.

In fact if your spouse has mentioned it to you, it’s probably overdue. I suggest that you consider this kind of conversation as a “check engine” light on your car. You can ignore that light in your car, but you realize it may cause even greater mechanical trouble. And often it does. There is a very similar dynamic that is in play in every relationship that displays a check engine light. The longer you wait, the worse it could be.
If you have never seriously considered or experienced marriage counseling, it might be a very uncomfortable or even scary thought. I encourage you to read this blog to help sort through some of the myths that you may be living with.
The greatest wealth you will ever experience is not in your physical health, financial health, but in your relational health. You can be healthy, have lots of money, but if you do not have peace in your relationships, you will be miserable.
I encourage you to prioritize your marriage by reading marriage enrichment books, watching lots of great material on YouTube (here’s my channel) and yes, even consider a few sessions to be sure your marriage is well maintained. I encourage you to talk together as a couple and see if you feel like this would be a beneficial step. I would be honored and humbled to come alongside and help encourage and equip you in any way that I can. If you are interested, here is a link to view my calendar of availability.
I am a big fan of marriage, but not miserable marriage. Don’t let that happen to you.
Rev. Greg Griffin is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and Forgiveness Coach in private practice in Marietta, GA. His specialty is relationship repair and rescue- helping partners, spouses, and parents and their adolescents. He’s also the author of Dungeon Times Survival Guide, and Vital Faith.

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