If you and I have been hanging out together for a while on this blog, then you already know how I feel now about marriage canceling, I mean marriage counseling.
So don’t even get me started! Who even approved this topic for the blog anyway?
Actually, there is one very specific kind of marriage counseling that I believe can help, which I’ll tell you about in a moment, but first…
1. The Embarrassing Reason Marriage Counseling Didn’t Work for Us
If you’re wondering whether marriage counseling is worth it, that means you’re looking for some relief.
Maybe you feel like I used to and you want validation that you were abandoned, duped or abused.
I wanted sympathy and a professional to confirm that I was right, right, right!
That’s what I was hoping for when I dragged my husband to marriage counseling so that the counselor could fix him and I could finally be happy.
Of course, as you know, that’s not how it works.
That’s not how you get the outcome you’re wanting from marriage counseling. And that’s the real reason you go to marriage counseling, for the outcome.
Because nobody says to their partner, “I’ve got a great idea! Let’s go sit on a stranger’s couch, complain about each other for an hour, then have a fight on the way home!” That’s not anyone’s idea of a good time.
No. You go to marriage counseling because you hope to get a happy relationship and stop suffering.
Or in my case, to have the counselor tell your husband how wrong he is!
2. Why Couples Fight On the Way Home from Marriage Counseling
Okay, so that was not the right attitude for me to have in marriage counseling.
I know, I know. I should have been trying to learn how I could be a better partner and communicate better and blah blah blah.
Buuuuut since our problems were all his fault and the marriage counselors agreed with me, all I could do was wait for him to finally get that he was a loser McLoosy pants who needed to straighten up!
You might be thinking that this bad attitude I had was the reason I had a bad marriage counseling experience. And you’re probably right! (Doesn’t that feel good?)
I didn’t go to take a long hard look at myself and my flaws. No! I went to blame, complain and criticize.
But I don’t think I’m the only one who approaches marriage counseling this way.
I mean, it’s like inviting my dad to complain about the government. It’s not going to end well. Your husband is right there and the counselor wants to know what the problem is and it’s your big chance to get it off your chest.
No wonder John and I fought all the way home.
3. The Only Kind of Marriage Counseling I Recommend
But there is one situation where marriage counseling can be very helpful toward improving your marriage, and that’s if and only if the marriage counselor is also a Laura Doyle certified coach and expert on the 6 Intimacy Skills™ who sees you individually, not as a couple.
In other words, you’d be having a session by yourself with a counselor who is also equipped to help you learn and practice the 6 Intimacy Skills. The Intimacy Skills, if you don’t know, are the powerful skills that I learned from women with happy relationships.
Who would have thought that women with happy relationships would know the actual practices that work to make your marriage playful and passionate, right?
Having marriage counseling by myself with a coach who held me accountable and emotionally safe at the same time would have really busted me. Nobody else to blame or criticize. No one to point a finger at. Only my own paper to look at and try to improve.
I probably wouldn’t have been open to that in the bad old days of my marriage. Because it’s not easy to be accountable. It’s kind of excruciating at first. You need someone super safe and supportive to help you get there. That kind of accountability feels like you’re going to die. It’s painful. At least it was for me.
But then, after you run through the waterfall of fear and get to the other side, there are new sensations. Hope. Empowerment. Determination. Possibility to create the kind of marriage you dreamed of when you were a little girl, one where you feel loved, desired and taken care of. That is your birthright as a woman.
Having a certified coach who’s in your corner because she has fixed her own marriage and can empathize with your pain, your struggle and your heartbreak is what I wish for every woman who wants her marriage to last and thrive.
What kind of support would really change things for you? I’d love to hear in the comments below.