Q. What steps can I take to save my troubled marriage?
A. Many have found marital counseling, with either clerical or lay therapists, quite beneficial. While no therapist can solve every marital problem, many have succeeded in changing the course of their rocky relationships through counseling. On the other hand, there are the unfortunate many who fail to save their marriages through conventional marriage counselling.
One of the necessary elements for most forms of marriage counseling to work is that both parties earnestly want the marriage to succeed. Often, one party wants the marriage to succeed, while the other wants out. Another ill-fated approach to training to save a marriage through counseling happens when one or both of the parties attend the sessions because they feel that it is expected of them.
When a divorcing person announces his or her plans for ending a marriage to friends or family members, the classical response is the question: "Have you tried marriage counseling?" Many people, in anticipation of this question, see to it that they can respond: "Yes, we've tried marriage counseling, and it didn't work."
Some couples are turned off by the idea of marriage counseling, and so never attend. Others get turned off once the process is initiated. An unskilled or clumsy counselor can actually contribute to the problems dividing the couple.
Our approach to helping couples reconcile their issues is discussed on our "Reconciliation" page. The approach does not rely on psychology, but on understanding the realities of divorce, the needs and issues of the parties, and the best approach for communicating, arguing and solving problems.