It takes the average troubled couple six years to get up the courage to call a marriage counselor. Most struggle with the decision because of negative feelings they might have about seeking help or discussing their marriage woes with a stranger. In order to help you overcome these pessimistic thoughts and start your therapy journey for either yourself, your marriage, or your child, here are some counter thoughts you can try to remember instead:
1. "Our situation is really not that bad. Other couples are worse off."
Positive Thought: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Yes, your marriage troubles might not be as bad as some other individuals that you know, but when small problems are continuously pushed to the side, they can grow into large resentments. You can avoid this by opening up the communication channels now.
2. "The problem is too far gone. It is hopeless to try."
Positive Thought: I am choosing to see a counselor and try all measures to save my marriage.
Not every couple who seeks out marriage counseling will be saved; however, the odds are much better than if they did nothing at all. A counselor will help you to see where you are both coming from and why you have grown apart. Many discover that they've let insignificant life matters come between them, but with the right tools, they learn how to put each other first once again.
3. "I'm too scared."
Positive Thought: A counselor will help me face my fears and overcome them.
Many couples put off marriage counseling for so long because they are afraid of what they will learn; but, it is only by re-opening communication that they can learn how to save their marriage. A marriage counselor provides a safe space for you to openly discuss these fears, and they offer real tools for learning how to overcome the problems you've been living with.
4. "I'm confused."
Positive Thought: I need a voice of wisdom to help me find solutions and receive direction.
Being in the midst of marital drama can be confusing. You don't know what you can really do to make the situation better for all of those involved. During these times, one of the best things you can do is turn to a nondiscrimanatory third party for help.
5. "I don't want the stigma of counseling."
Positive Thought: Marriage counseling is always confidential, and my counselor will be respectful of my thoughts and situation.
If you are worried about what others will think about you receiving counseling, you should know that it is completely confidential. Your counselor will never reveal that you are a patient, and in most cases, will not even acknowledge you in public to protect your privacy.
- Image: Toa Heftiba via Unsplash