It’s natural for married couples to go through some hiccups every now and then. Sometimes, though, the problems can become so serious that it can end the marriage itself. Before that happens, it can be very helpful for the couple to go through counseling to try and fix the problem. The best Montreal psychologists usually offer couples counseling as part of their services.
To be effective, both parties in the marriage have to be committed to saving their marriage. They both need to be more accepting of their spouse and also accept responsibility for their part of the problem. Their expectations regarding the helpfulness of the psychologists in couples counseling should also be more realistic, as problems can’t always be resolved in just a few sessions. It can take a while to just discover the underlying problems.
But in some cases, it doesn’t work. So when is couples counseling less likely to succeed? Here are some conditions that can lead to couples counseling catastrophe:
- At least one of the partners has already given up. For couples counseling to work, both must still want to save the marriage. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. In some cases, one has already decided to end the marriage and is only using the counseling as a way to “prove” that they did their best to save it. Sometimes they may even use the counseling session to tell their partner that they want a separation or a divorce.
- The problems with the marriage have been there for too long and too deeply. It’s like trying to fix a car where every metal part has rusted through. It’s basically a total wreck and there’s nothing left to do but to admit that there’s no fixing it.
With some marriages, the problems may be just too ingrained. If that’s the case, then couples counseling may not be enough. However, at least in this case the couples counseling can determine that the underlying problem is just too deep-seated.
- One of the partners is abusive. Physical or even verbal abuse can easily derail the effectiveness of couples counseling. It’s very common for the abused spouse to refrain from being honest and open because they fear the repercussions at home when they leave the psychologist’s office. If this is the case, then the counselor may even recommend that the two separate until the abusive spouse can go through effective counseling.
- Mental illness is involved. Any mental illness that affects one of the couples must first be treated before couples counseling can work. Perhaps the most common mental illness that can threaten a marriage is addiction to alcohol or drugs, although depression and anxiety can also be detrimental to the relationship. If one of them is an addict, they must first undergo addition counseling.
- At least one of the couple doesn’t want to do “homework”. It’s tempting for some people to just give their all during the counseling sessions but to forget about it after the session is done. But that’s not how it works. Proper counseling requires both persons to practice certain methods and acts at home when they leave the psychologist’s office. Learning to foster a better marriage is like learning a college course—both of you will have homework to do.
- The therapist isn’t right for you.There are some cases that the counselor isn’t right for you because they’re just incompetent or inexperienced. But in most other cases, it’s not the right fit because the counselor isn’t trusted by both individuals that make up the couple. If the wife thinks that the counselor is always on the side of her husband, then there’s obviously a problem.
Couples counseling can work, especially if you go to a psychologistwho has the proper training and experience in dealing with married couples. But you may want to make sure that these 5 problems don’t apply to your case, or else you may just be wasting your time.