I’m well aware that counseling—specifically marriage counseling—often gets seen as a last resort. We think about marriage counseling when there are major issues like abuse, addictions, abandonment or infidelity.
But what if I told you we needed to start considering counseling 10 steps before those things ever happen?
If my counselor heart could have one wish, I’d wish that people would see counseling as a regular part of their health and well-being long before problems came into view; that they would understand that in order to maintain your emotional and psychological health, you’ve got to invest in it.
Unfortunately, my wish is not a reality quite yet.
Last week, on a discussion thread on my Facebook page, it hurt my heart to read story after story of the stigma that can often exist around the topic of counseling—particularly within the walls of the Church. I’m hopeful though, that step by step, we’re moving in the right direction.
But until we get there, allow me to make it blatantly clear that there are times when counseling shouldn’t be optional, but rather, crucial.
Let’s start with the topic of marriage, as we talk through 10 signs you need to get yourself into marriage counseling:
1. You find yourself caught in a repetitive pattern of arguing that ends with high emotional reactions but no resolution in the end.
2. You find that the majority of your time together is filled with tension and irritation rather than enjoyment.
3. Somewhere in the relationship one or both parties don’t feel like they can fully trust the other (whether or not there has been a breach of trust).
4. There’s a pattern of blatant deceit, hiding things or omitting the truth, and a lack of openness and honesty.
5. You’ve experienced a trauma, grief, or life-changing event that has left one or both of you feeling stuck (death of a child, major injury, etc).
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Source: Relevant Magazine