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7 Reasons Why Every Couple Should go to Marriage Counseling

Note: I may earn money or products from the companies, products, or links mentioned in this post.

When you hear the words, “marriage counseling” what comes to mind? Do you have positive or negative thoughts about it?

I polled some of my friends on Facebook to see what others thought about these two words. Some had negative thoughts about it, but most were positive and I was very surprised and happy by what I read. Here are some the answers I received:

Negative Thoughts

  • “Divorce court.” – Renee
  • “An ending.” – Nikki

Positive Thoughts

  • “Working out small or large problems.” – Briana
  • “People who need help with communication and understanding each other in a relationship.” – Jane
  • “Restoration, hope, and vulnerability.” – Susan
  • “That the marriage is worth fighting for and when one spouse or both bring it up, it means they care enough to want to stay together.” – Christina
  • “Self care.” – Aprille
  • “Tough conversations that can save a marriage.” – Kristi

I’ve talked about this topic before in my post, 5 Things I Learned in Marriage Counseling and I’d like to bring it up again.

Why Every Couple Should go to Marriage Counseling

There is a stigma attached to the words “marriage counseling.” Most people think that it’s only necessary when there is a problem in the marriage or as a last resort before divorce. I’d like to propose a different line of thought: I think every couple needs and deserves to go to marriage counseling. Here’s why:

Every Couple Should Go to Marriage Counseling Because…

1. Every Couple Needs it.
You may not realize it yet, but your marriage needs counseling. Every marriage does. Marriage counseling isn’t just for those whose marriages are on the verge of ending, but for anyone who wants to strengthen and protect their marriage, help it last longer and grow.

2. Pre-marital Counseling is not Enough
Pre-marital counseling can sometimes be a requirement before a minister will marry you. My husband and I both went to pre-marital counseling and it was good, but why stop there? Why only go to counseling before you get married, but not continue it throughout your marriage?

Pre-marital counseling it not enough. All couples need someone to check in on them to see how they are doing, to be a go-between, a mediator, an advocate, and an encourager. It should be with someone who knows the couple well and has followed them along their journey. This is what marriage counseling is about.

3. Good Communication is Important
Communication is one of the most important aspects of marriage. If you don’t have good communication, then things tend to get blown out of proportion and arguments break out. A marriage counselor can help you navigate communication  and teach you both how to communicate with each other better.

Communication is one of the big things my husband and I worked on when we went to marriage counseling. I didn’t realize how different we really were until I saw how differently we both communicate things and that we both needed to be more understanding of that. Learning better communication changed our marriage in a big way.

4. Every Relationship Needs Maintenance
I like the example my friend Katie gave me. She likened marriage to a car:

“Let’s say you buy a brand new car and it’s beautiful and shiny and new. You love driving it around and you love bragging about it. But then as time goes on it hits some bumps in the road, has a fender bender and some accidents. None of those may have been a choice, they probably just happened, but you have to fix all of those things and you have to do routine maintenance too. You have to change the oil, check the brakes, and get the car filled with gas.

When you start out in marriage you have this bright, shiny, new relationship. Everything is new and perfect and wonderful. After the big day, you have a journey that you are on together. It’s not about it being shiny and bright, it’s about being real and having to stick together to maintain your relationship.

Some believe there is negative connotation about maintaining your relationship. It can be made to sound like you are just doing the bare minimum, but really this is the foundation of your marriage. You have to make sure you both check in with each other, check on your schedules, your faith, and where you are in your individual journey as people, as parents and as a married couple. That’s what maintenance is all about.”

5. It Helps Keep Your Marriage Strong
Like I said above, marriage counseling can help strengthen your communication. But that’s not the only thing it’s good for. It can strengthen you both as a couple and it can strengthen you both as individuals. When you go to marriage counseling and you sit there, you learn how to make your relationship better in every way. You are strengthening your relationship. When you go home and you put these things into practice, you are strengthening you relationship. When you walk out of there and are done, you are both stronger for it.

My husband and I went to marriage counseling during one of the toughest parts of our lives. Our daughter has been in and out of hospitals numerous times, our son had autism and it was a very stressful time. But each time we came out of those sessions, I felt stronger. Our bond was stronger, our marriage was stronger, our communication was stronger. We put those things into practice and I still rely on them today.

6. It Helps You Work Out Problems Before They Start
You may not have any marital problems, but maybe there are a few things you just need a third unbiased opinion on. Seeing a counselor can help you find and solve issues before they become big problems. Taking care of these things can save you a lot of time and heartache and is a big part of the “maintenance” part of marriage.

A lot of times couples don’t even realize that there is a problem. Maybe one spouse is angry or bitter about something, but is keeping it to themselves. Or maybe there is something that’s been a problem and no one wanted to bring it up. Having a counselor as a mediator can help, and having that different point of view and perspective on your marriage is invaluable.

7. Every Relationship Deserves the Best
Your marriage deserves the best! It is a symbol of love and all your hopes and dreams. Don’t you think that something like that deserves it’s best chance? That’s what marriage counseling does. It keeps your relationship at its best because you deserve the best. No one should have to settle for anything less.

What about YOU? What do you think? Do you think every couple should go to marriage counseling? Have you ever been to marriage counseling?

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  1. I really wish I had gone to counseling before problems occurred in my marriage. I did not do the best job of leading my family financially and spiritually in the early years. Of course we were young and thought we knew everything we needed to know… but a great marriage doesn’t just “happen”. During troubled times, we went to one session with a marriage counselor, and then broke off into individual counseling for a while. There’s no shame in getting help and learning how to be the best version of yourself. Long story short… we got help… and our marriage is better than ever before.

    A mentor, a counselor, or the couple you know who has the truly fulfilling marriage that you can just “feel” the love between them… these people would gladly share their knowledge with you.

    Keeping your marriage strong and preventing problems before they start… those two reasons alone are enough to consider speaking with knowledgeable people.


  2. I love this, Kathryn! Whether we want to admit it or not, ever person bring baggage into a marriage. My husband and I grew up together. And when we started dating our senior year of college, I assumed I knew everything about him. I mean I had known him for well over a decade. It didn’t take long for me to realize that being friends with him and him being my husband were two completely different things.

    I’m one of those weird people who enjoy going to counseling. If my husband was on board, I would be all for going with him! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this! It is so important to take care of our marriages!

  3. If only my husband was willing. We don’t really have anyone to go to either, since our pastor is more focused on talking video games and movies with my husband than us a s a couple.

    1. Marissa,

      My wife was in a similar situation as you find yourself now. She’d come home from work to find me playing video games, with the living room cluttered and nothing cleaned. It was like that for years. Then we had two kids and she found herself taking care of them full time while I worked. When I got home, I wanted to play games to unwind.

      Now.. here’s my wife, having very little adult conversation, having unmet needs, and receiving little attention from me… joins me in a get together at my company… only to hear how GREAT I am. I’m the “man”.. I’m the goto guy for just about every major problem and isn’t she lucky to have such a great guy!!

      Well, she wasn’t feeling very lucky, and rightfully so. I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand how much I neglected her until she moved into the downstairs bedroom. At first I thought she was playing a game of her own… but she was very serious. She was ready to leave me and take the kids.

      Video games and hobbies became the LAST thing on my mind. Long story short… I sought help from individual counseling and I found a mentor who showed me all the things I had been doing wrong. At the time.. my wife was adamant that it was “too little too late” to begin changing who I am now… but I persisted and turned the situation around eventually. That was 8 years ago. Today our marriage is better than it has EVER been, because my wife took strong steps to stand up for what she needed.

      I am convinced that if my wife had not moved into a separate bedroom and checked out our of marriage emotionally … that I would never have WAKED up to the reality of the situation and we could be having a mediocre marriage even now. I don’t think a man EVER comes to this realization alone without a strong enough reason to look for answers. Again… she wasn’t playing games or doing this as a way to manipulate me into changing… she has said over and over again what she wanted and I didn’t listen… so she took steps to leave me. I was quite sure she might have succeeded if I didn’t GROW UP really fast!

      Your pastor, sad to say, doesn’t seem to understand that a husband is the leader of the household. And as such, the husband needs to be meeting the needs of his family unit, not just his own! He needs a bigger perspective and he really needs to learn how to meet your needs.

      I recommend that you be very direct and SPECIFIC with him and tell him what you want:
      “I want you to hold my hand as we take a walk around the block”
      “I want you to put the controller down at x:00pm and do _______ with me”
      “I want you to leave your phone in the living room when we are eating in the dining room”

      Also say what you do not want:
      “I do NOT want you to grope or paw at me”
      “I do NOT want you eating lunch alone with a female coworker…it undermines our marriage”

      If being direct doesn’t work… then escalate.

  4. Remembering that things need maintenance to work well can help when you’re thinking about couples therapy. While my marriage is going well right now, I want to make sure it stays that way. Communication can always be improved, so maybe we should try going to therapy.

  5. “You may not realize it yet, but your marriage needs counseling.” That sounds like a healthy attitude to have about getting some help. It probably hurts peoples’ relationships if they feel like couples counseling is a last ditch effort when things aren’t going well. Having a good attitude about things and wanting to develop healthy communication patterns to begin with would be much more useful.

  6. I wish there were more workshop type ways to keep continuous marriage maintenance happening. I feel like we only go to counseling once there is a problem. More churches need to sponsor marriage nights – free childcare and a seminar/speaker on communication. Even once a month would make a huge difference.

  7. Wow, I never thought of marriage as something that might need a “tune-up” regularly. That makes sense, though, especially since people constantly change over time. Plus, in today’s day and age, couples tend to forget to check in with their partner to see how they’re doing. Marriage counseling can be that dedicated time for “maintenance”!

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