For most, getting married is the happiest time of your life. It’s a time filled with excitement, family, love, and dreams of the future. So why would anyone consider getting a marital counselor in the early stages? Couples Therapist Marcella Blum from Perspectives Counseling and Psychotherapy Centers have provided some insight as to why proactive marital counseling can be beneficial:
There are multiple benefits of being proactive about marital counseling. In the first year of marriage, couples are establishing so many new patterns and routines, from communication to division of labor and financial responsibilities, all while maintaining intimacy and connection. Establishing a comfortable and trusting relationship with a couples’ therapist during earlier phases of a marriage will help them to navigate these things with purpose and intentionality, while setting in place a healthy standard of mutual expectations. This can help couples to build a strong foundation, upon which they can foster a meaningful and sustainable relationship. So many partners feel that they should just inherently know how marriage works, but there are effective evidence-based practices to make a marriage last.
It is not uncommon these days to marry someone after a divorce. When children are in the picture it is particularly important to make sure you are on the same page with your partner. Several factors come into play with blended families including the ex-partner, the children, establishing your role as a stepparent, and navigating relationships with new in-laws! This can often be problematic if it is not addressed up front. A marital counselor can help to facilitate these conversations between you and your spouse, and help communicate current issues, fears, and build strong relationships within the home.
Everybody brings something into the marriage; both good and bad. Some bring debt, some bring the trauma or negative patterns from previous relationships, and some may have other medical or mental health issues. Loving someone does not mean having to take this on alone. These things can cause stress in any relationship and it’s especially important that couples have a healthy way of communicating their feelings on these issues when they are in the home. Ongoing support from a couple’s counselor can give your relationship the skills that you need in order to navigate difficult circumstances.
The first year of marriage has proven to be particularly hard and it can feel shameful to want to seek help so soon after making the big leap. These feelings are normal, and so is struggling in your new relationship. Whether you are married 10 years or 6 months, you are in for a lifetime of overcoming challenges together and at no point should you feel ashamed to seek help.