Are you tired of fighting and want desperately to save your marriage - you have options for giving it the best shot possible. Although it takes two people to make a marriage work, if your spouse agrees to counseling, we strongly recommend it. The key to success with counseling is working with a professional, someone who is licensed, believes in marriage, and has years of experience working with other couples in trouble.
A good counselor would provide guidance, support, encourage, and new ideas to breath new life into a tired relationship. This person would be able to provide you and your spouse great tools while taking an unbiased position in the counseling. Just remember that when it comes to broken marriages and counseling, one size does not fit all. In other words, each marriage needs a customized solution based on the couple and the specific problems being faced.
For more information & resources written by top marriage counselors read our reviews of some of the top 'How to save your marriage' guides.
You and your spouse have a unique situation, even if the problem is common. Your goal is to work with a reputable counselor who can determine the specific principles that apply to you and then show you how to apply them to your situation. The counselor should also have the ability to develop an action plan that works with not just your situation but also your values, lifestyle, personality, and style for solving problems. When you walk out of the counselor's office the first visit, you should feel optimistic about the marriage and have a good idea of the direction the counseling will take. If not, then you should look for a different counselor.
You want to work with a professional who will take the time and have the expertise to answer all of your questions, regardless of how difficult or sensitive. Your counselor should be your team captain, the person who leads the process of taking a damaged marriage and putting it back together again. This person should interact with you and your spouse honestly and openly, while also being an excellent listener. This person should celebrate with you when you and your husband or wife overcome a challenge and keep you on track when you start to veer off course.
Keep in mind that having someone standing behind you, offering encouragement is crucial in mending broken fences. The process of repairing a damaged marriage is slow. It will take time to undo hurt, rebuild trust, and learn to love again but it can be done. By having a coach or counselor on your side, someone who is upfront all the time without taking sides is your best resource. With this, you and your spouse will have the ability to stay focused on the most important aspects of the marriage, working on the priorities first.
Although some marriages cannot be fixed, many can but again, it takes dedication and determination from both the husband and the wife, regardless of who is at fault. For instance, if the husband had an affair, the wife will need to put her anger aside and learn to understand why he had the affair. In fact, it may be that she has to make some changes to make the marriage stronger. However, the husband will have to stop blaming and start looking in the mirror, admitting to what he did and working through the process of his wife learning to trust. All of this takes time. The amount of time it takes to rebuild the marriage will depend on how hard the two of you work, how qualified the counselor, and the issues behind the scenes.
Obviously, if there are severe problems in the marriage, it will take time to work through them whereas minor problems would be easier to fix. Then, you have the situation of the chronic problem whereby one spouse tends to have affairs, drink, or do drugs ongoing. Unfortunately, couples who have a broken marriage due to chronic problems are hard to treat and not always, successful but then again, you can always try. During the course of your counseling, you will have times when the three of you sit down and work through things but other times, the counseling may come in the form of a phone call or assignment done between husband and wife.
Best of all, as you work through problems, ask questions, and start to rebuild your life, you will find that you have greater peace of mind. As both husband and wife calm down, dealing with the problems becomes less intense and more effective. The goal is to eventually, see couples working together as a team instead of two separate people. Sometimes, a professional counselor will recommend the couple separate so the problem can be worked on without the direct intensity. Again, working with a counselor that can take your specific situation and mold a plan around it is your best weapon in saving your marriage.