Featured What are the circumstances a couple (or one of the spouse) should consider marriage counseling?

Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by MrsTekPro2, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. MrsTekPro2

    MrsTekPro2 Puritan Board Freshman

    What are the circumstances a couple (or one of the spouse) should consider marriage counseling?

    This is on the context that both spouses are believers and part of a faithful church.

    Thank you for your inputs.
     
  2. BG

    BG Puritan Board Junior

    Ask your elders at church
     
  3. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    All couples should consider some form of counsel, though this will often be informal.

    It's good for a couple to talk about rough spots in their marriage with a spiritually wise person. This could be another couple, an elder/pastor, or in some cases a professional counselor. There are many options, some more formal than others, and the best time to start is before the difficulties become severe.

    Sadly, many people hear the word "counseling" and think it signals a huge failure in the marriage. So until things become unmanageable, they avoid talking about marriage struggles with anyone at all (or they engage in behind-the-back gossip about their spouse to a friend). It's better if we realize from the start that every marriage has struggles, so that we enter into marriage expecting to need the counsel of wise believers several times along the way.

    My wife and I have been married 19 years and fully expect to remain married "until death do us part." But at times we have sought counseling—both informally by talking with trusted friends, and formally with a trained counselor. Each time, I have been hesitant. This is because I am one of those many, many people who hears "counseling" and feels like a failure for needing it. I have had to be gently reminded that it is wisdom, not failure, to admit struggles and get counsel from godly people.

    So for anyone reading this, please note: It is NOT helpful to take a post like this, which generally favors counseling, and use it to nag a spouse into doing something he/she feels uneasy about. Nor, in most cases, is it helpful to march straight to the elders in a manner that suggests an unexpected spiritual crisis has arisen, since this is likely to make one party feel accused and get defensive. Good elders may indeed be the ones to provide helpful counsel or to steer a couple toward it. But it's smart to begin by gently helping a hesitant spouse to see that it is a mark of Christian maturity to have godly counselors in one's life. It's something all the wisest believers do, not just as individuals, but as couples as well.
     
  4. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable Staff Member

  5. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Senior

    The appropriate times would be when either one of both parties see that their relationship is getting worse, as in distant, not communicating to each other, not involved in lives of kids, and especially when one or the other is finding themselves growing distant to God.
     
  6. MrsTekPro2

    MrsTekPro2 Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you all. These are helpful.
     
  7. AnnaBanana

    AnnaBanana Puritan Board Freshman

    The part I bolded is so true. I was engaged to my ex-boyfriend right around the time I became saved. I began going to Church and found that I wanted to do marriage counseling which triggered something within him, and he ran for the hills. Later down the road, I found that he was not ready to address issues and felt that marriage counseling would just make it worse.
     

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