Marriage Counseling: Proactive Steps Toward Relationship Health

Marriage Counseling: Proactive Steps Toward Relationship Health

As a family counselor in Singapore, I’ve seen the transformative power of marriage counseling. It can be effective, especially when both partners are committed to improving their relationship. Despite common misconceptions, seeking help for your marriage isn’t a sign of weakness but rather a proactive step towards strengthening your bond. Whether you’re wondering about its effectiveness after infidelity or seeking to address recurring conflicts, early intervention with a qualified therapist can provide the tools to potentially improve communication, rebuild trust, and ultimately lead to a healthier, more fulfilling relationship.

Myths About Marriage Counseling

Among the many misconceptions, there are two common myths about marriage counseling that have stood out:

Myth: Marriage Counseling Only Works as a Last Resort

Many people think counseling is something that you should do as an absolute last resort or as a final option for couples on the brink of divorce. This belief assumes that only when problems reach a breaking point will counseling be impactful. This is far from the truth. In fact, the earlier a couple seeks help, the more likely it is that counseling can save a marriage. This is because marriages that have already reached breaking points tend to stem from many unresolved issues and grievances that may have built up over the years. And this misconception that counseling can save a dead or divorcing marriage is unfortunate.

Myth: Marriage Counseling Won’t Work After Infidelity

Some people believe that marriage counseling doesn’t work after infidelity because trust is irreversibly broken. However, with the right therapist and proper marriage counseling for the cheating spouse, both committed partners could work towards saving their marriage even after an affair. By providing tools to improve communication and rebuild trust, counseling for the cheating spouse can offer some level of hope and a path forward for the couple.

How Does Marriage Counseling Work

Marriage counseling involves a comprehensive assessment of the relationship to determine if salvaging the marriage is feasible. This process entails examining the underlying issues and exploring potential solutions to address them.

What is Marriage Counseling?

Marriage counseling is a structured process where couples work with a therapist to address and resolve issues affecting their relationship. The primary goal is to provide a safe space where partners can openly communicate, learn new tools for managing conflicts, and develop healthier communication patterns.

What Happens During a Marriage Counseling Session?

During a marriage counseling session, I focus on identifying each partner’s needs and concerns. We can discuss existing issues, explore the underlying dynamics, and develop actionable strategies to potentially improve the relationship. The sessions also offer an opportunity to air grievances, express emotions, gain insights into the relationship’s health, and perhaps better understand each other, which is what marriages are all about. 

What Happens After a Marriage Counseling Session?

After a session, couples are encouraged to implement the tools and strategies discussed. The real work happens outside the therapist’s office, when partners implement and practice improved communication and conflict resolution skills. The goal is to continually apply what they’ve learned to achieve lasting change.

What is the Role of the Counselor in Marriage Counseling?

As a counselor, my role is to facilitate conversations, provide insights, and offer practical tools for couples to strengthen their relationship. While counseling can save a marriage, it’s up to the couple to put in the effort to rebuild their relationship. I can offer a framework for improving communication, managing power dynamics, and building trust, but ultimately, it’s the couple’s responsibility to take the lessons home and apply them.

When to Seek Marriage Counseling?

Waiting until your marriage is almost dead or at the divorce lawyer’s office to go to counseling is one way to ensure counseling won’t be as effective as it can be to repair your marriage. If you want to save your marriage, start the process of counseling or getting help early while positive feelings about the marriage and your partner still exist. Don’t wait until the relationship is at the point of no return to seek marriage counseling.

Helps to Make Marriage Work

Marriage counseling offers couples tools and a framework to strengthen their relationships, but its success hinges on the client’s participation and engagement in applying these insights. In my practice, I’ve observed that couples are responsible for about 60% of the outcome. The therapist provides guidance, but it’s up to the partners to actively work on the relationship outside of sessions.

An analogy I give my clients is that marriage counselling is a lot like dieting. People fail diets not because of will power but because they forget why they are doing things that they do not feel doing in the moment. And for it to be effective, you need to put in consistent effort and stay focused on the long-term goal even if you do not see immediate results. In a similar way, couples have to be willing to make changes in their daily behaviors, whether by improving communication or addressing deep-rooted issues.

Marriage counseling is the kind of therapy that guides a marriage through their journey with educated and informed advice while maintaining a neutral stance. If you wish to seek marriage counseling and discover how it might work for you, call or email us.

Tammy Fontana
M.S., NCC, CTRT, USA Sex Therapist, Hypnotherapist

With years of experience, Ms. Tammy Fontana specializes in family counseling, including marriage counseling after infidelity. Recognized for her expertise, she guides couples on when and how to seek marriage counseling, emphasizing its effectiveness in saving marriages. Ms. Fontana employs a collaborative approach, addressing how relationship counseling works to foster lasting change. Clients benefit from her compassionate guidance, grounded in clinical training and a heartfelt commitment to empowering couples toward well-being and growth.

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