Is Your Marriage Counselor Really Pro-Marriage?
October 11, 2020
This might seem like a silly question, right? After all, wouldn’t you expect any marriage counselor to be pro-marriage? Well, yes you would; but surprisingly, many are not.
The reality is a good percentage of marriage counselors are at best “marriage neutral”. Now, that may sound appealing to you at first. After all, ‘neutral’ has a kind of Switzerland, non-offensive, bipartisan feel to it, doesn’t it?
But trust me, if your goal is to fight for your marriage, you do not want a marriage-neutral therapist.
The neutral therapist may be fighting for you, but not your marriage
Most counselors, even a lot of marriage counselors, spend their education and training focused on the individual, not the relationship. In other words, they are trained to zero-in on their client’s individual happiness. It’s why with a marriage-neutral therapist, if one or both of you isn’t happy in the relationship, it can quickly turn to a recommendation of divorce as the only viable option.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard stories from clients who had their previous marriage counselor frame divorce as inevitable for their relationship because someone wasn’t happy. It blows my mind, almost every single time.
Fighting for your marriage is very different from fighting for the individuals in the marriage. It’s not the same. A true pro-marriage therapist is going to advocate for your marriage. He or she will be focused on helping you find health and happiness as a couple, rather than just individual happiness. And YES! It is possible to achieve both! A good marriage counselor can show you how.
The neutral therapist may be too quick to give up
A therapist not fully vested in the outcome of the marriage union itself may find it easier to throw in the towel on the toughest cases – the ones where traction is possible but not easy to come by. The stuck couple. The highly volatile couple. The couple rocked by years of infidelity or addiction. The couple where one spouse thinks they may want out. What if this is your marriage? When you are wondering if there is any hope for your marriage, only to have your marriage counselor tell you it’s ‘hopeless’, feels, well, hopeless.
Find another one.
Find a therapist who can hold that hope for you…a therapist who can paint a picture of the possibilities of what “could be” versus what “is” at the moment. A good pro-marriage therapist will be willing to tell you the hard truths with compassion, and help you each see the things about yourself that aren’t always pretty. It’s tough work for you and it’s tough work for the therapist too. These situations take an incredible amount of skill and finesse and often, confrontation, to address the underlying root causes of the conflict. It can get tougher before it gets better, which is all the more reason you need a therapist who will hang in there with you and continue to fight for your marriage.
Pro-marriage therapists help marriages work
No one gets married hoping to have it end in divorce. Yet many couples find themselves in an unhappy marriage and question the future of their relationship. Listen, every marriage has bumps along the way. And some of those bumps look more like Mt. Everest, especially when you are standing at the base and looking up.
If you are struggling in your marriage and need an expert, someone who knows how to help you fight for your marriage, I hope you’ll reach out and schedule a time for a short Discovery Call. The call is free and we will be able to answer your questions and match you with one of our therapists or coaches who will advocate for you and your marriage.
I am thankful that many years ago, John and I finally found a therapist who knew how to fight for our marriage and show us what could be possible. It changed my life forever for the better. It’s also what fueled my passion for our clients’ marriages too. If you’d like to know more about our story, you can read it here.
How healthy is your marriage?
ready to have a conversation?
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