Staying in a marriage is just as much about endurance and commitment as it is about love, which is why marriage counselors can become an important piece of the puzzle. However, making the leap to working with a counselor can be intimidating, especially if you are new to the process. Here are three ways to prepare for marriage counseling so you can get more from the experience.
1. Think About Your Goals Before you start looking for a professional to help you and your spouse, think carefully about your end goals. Do you need someone to help you through a difficult time or have you always struggled with the same types of things in your marriage? Do you want to stay married or are you sure your marriage is heading for a divorce?
Before you start vetting professionals, carefully consider what you want. If you want someone to help you align your marriage with certain marital ideals, consider working with a counselor that understands your religion and has helped other people you know. For instance, if you are Christian, working with a Christian marriage counselor may be helpful.
2. Consider Your Past After you know what you want to accomplish in counseling and you have identified the right person to help along the way, spend some time thinking about your past relationship with your loved one. Consider the times when you were hurt the most, so that you can identify what to focus on in counseling sessions.
Although you might be tempted to bring up these things with your spouse before you arrive at counseling, save your commentary for when you have access to a counselor who can guide the conversation.
3. Get A Journal During your experience in counseling, you will be able to accomplish a lot, but it helps to track your progress. Consider getting a journal that you can use to record the things you learn during sessions, so you can look back on your progress later. That way, if you and your spouse encounter similar problems down the road, you may be able to refer to your notes to learn more about how you resolved the issue, and can tackle future concerns.
Although it can be a little intimidating to start working on repairing your marriage, working with a marriage counselor can help you to enjoy a fresh take on your relationship by helping you to identify and resolve issues proactively. Find out more about marriage counseling by meeting with a professional in your area.