It’s going to happen. We are going to have arguments and disagreements with our spouses. Neither husband or wife came into the marriage perfect and neither will ever be perfect. There are the highs and the lows. In terms of seeking marriage help, it may come down to just how low we allow the lows to go before getting help.
Disagreeing and having a normal argument every now and then is pretty common in the best marriages. However, when the conflicts, the arguments, the disagreements, and difficulties come to a place to where the marriage is on the brink of failure, you probably should be getting help already.
But how do we do that? If our marriage is in trouble, what steps do we take to find the marriage help we need? We realize that there are instances of physical abuse, or a mental illness, or where your safety and that of your children are threatened. In those cases, you will need to get to safety and will require deeper help beyond what this article covers. However, for a majority of marriage problems, these are some steps to think about when you need to seek marital help.
1. Admit that your marriage relationship is bad enough that it needs some type of intervention.
At first glance you make think, well duh…. that goes without saying. However, actually it doesn’t. Too many couples grow apart, have major disagreements and arguments and virtually have their marriage in an extreme mess. However, they are still telling themselves that it will pass, or it will get better, or “surely we aren’t the type of couple who needs marriage counseling or couples therapy.” But the truth is that while one or more of the spouses are glossing over the problems, being too hopeful, or trying to justify the troubles in the marriage as being normal – the marriage is getting worse and worse.
So, the first step is to recognize and admit that your marriage needs help. Draw a line in the sand and make the decision that you have to do something to get the help you need. To continue to put it off is counterproductive to the final happy results that are desired.
2. Make the decision that embarrassment or shame is not going to keep you from getting some type of marriage help.
Sometimes even when a couple realizes they need help, they procrastinate and use all sorts of excuses and put off getting help for fear of people finding out and the couple being embarrassed or feeling ashamed. But listen, there are so many other people who have had, or are having the same problems. Try your best not to be ashamed or embarrassed. Marriage problems do not indicate that you are bad people. It means that you have troubles, pain, and heartaches like everyone else.
And, also, many times you can keep it very private and work on the marriage without the whole world knowing. For the mot part, it’s none of their business anyway. Yes, there are times when a relationship gets so bad, that friends and family are intentionally or unintentionally brought into the situation, but it doesn’t have to be that way. But here is the truth. Either way, whether people know about your struggles or not, embarrassment shouldn’t be a factor in determining whether or not your marriage gets help. Don’t let pride or the fear of embarrassment keep you from a potential happy solution to your marriage problems.
3. Attempt to come to a common agreement that both of you will get help.
Knowing how, who, and where to get marriage help can inadvertently be just another thing about which to argue if a couple isn’t careful. Sometimes when couples at least come to a common agreement that they will definitely start the process to seek help, the emotions can begin to subside a bit at that point because both partners can then focus on the hope that help may be soon coming.
But, remember, as mentioned in other places on this website, if it is only one partner who wants to seek help, or even try to save the marriage, there is still hope. There are wise strategic steps that can be taken by a spouse even if their partner doesn’t want to seek help or reconciliation.
4. Start the research that will lead you to the best source of help.
You may just happen to know the greatest marriage counselor in the country, and maybe his office is a mile away….but probably not. And don’t just take the first marriage counselor that you hear about, or your first cousin whose best friend is a preacher at the church across town. Now, don’t take me wrong on that statement. There are many pastors and other types of ministers who have been properly trained in marriage and family counseling. However, there are many who have not. That certainly does not make them a bad minister or pastor, it just means that their type of pastoral training may not have included a lot of couples therapy training.
Or, you may not consider yourself a religious person and are uncomfortable in a counseling environment with a minister. There are many organizations and individuals who are sound, trained, and organized marriage counseling professionals who can help you, but you need to research. Search the internet, but carefully. Ask for references from close friends or family. Chances are that you may have a friend who has gone through similar circumstances and they may can point you to a very qualified counselor.
Then there is the online route that many couples are choosing. With today’s modern technology many couples are seeking help online and are finding some of the same, or better, marriage saving materials on various websites online. On our home page, we offer links to some of the best materials I have ever come across whether in person or online. Maybe that could be a route for you.
Or perhaps, you strategically use help that you find from top sites online and also have a few visits with a counselor in person. Those are decisions that you will have to make. We just encourage you to be as thorough as possible about checking out any individuals who might give you counsel, as there those out there who may not be qualified to help you navigate the types of problems in which you are dealing. If you decide to go into see someone in person, please do your homework to find a qualified counselor.
5. Take action.
After researching counselors, or methods, online assistance, whatever you might choose – take the action. Do it. Get the process rolling. You will start a journey that can change your life for the better forever. Yes, do your due diligence in trying to make a wise decision about the proper therapist, counselor, program, or materials. However, as soon as you can, make the decision. Make the decision and don’t put it off any longer. Start the process in getting the marriage help you need. You and your marriage are worth it.
Certainly, as mentioned before, there are disastrous situations in which the marriage may not be repaired. However, for most people, with the most common marriage problems, even unfaithfulness there is much hope for restoration and happiness. If the couple gets the wise help, guidance, and support that they need, there is a very good chance that the marriage can greatly improve and the couple can build a lasting love relationship well into their senior years. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4MXnEv7wsY