4 Things To Prepare For In Marriage Therapy

Marriage therapy can help people whose marriages are in trouble. It can also provide a maintenance tune-up for people whose marriages are fine but who would like to improve their communication skills. Knowing what to expect can keep you from feeling caught off guard during marriage therapy. Here are four things that people who enter marriage therapy should be prepared for:

1. Your therapist cannot make decisions for you.

During marriage therapy, a therapist's goal isn't to provide advice or help you make decisions about the future of your relationship. Instead, they are there to facilitate conversation and provide their expertise for your benefit. You can think of your therapist as a helper rather than an authority on your marriage.

2. You will probably need to face hard truths.

It's often easier to point your finger at others and place blame elsewhere than to look at your own role in contributing to problems. However, marriages are made up of two people, and usually, two people are to blame for problems that arise. During marriage therapy, you may sometimes have the uncomfortable task of confronting your own flaws. Your counselor will do their best to ensure that you feel safe and supported, even when criticism arises.

3. You and your partner will both be given equal time to speak your minds.

Marriage therapy is a collaborative process among you, your spouse, and your therapist. Your therapist will strive to ensure that you and your partner both receive equal time to speak. It's important to listen to your partner, even if you disagree with what they say. Active listening is a skill that you can cultivate in therapy. Learning to hear your partner out without defensiveness or immediate denial is a crucial step that will strengthen your mutual communication.

4. You and your partner may decide that calling it quits on the relationship is for the best.

People typically go to marriage therapy because they're seeking ways to save or improve their marriages. Unfortunately, sometimes it's not possible to save a marriage. You and your spouse may find that you have grown in different directions and are no longer compatible with each other. After participating in counseling and searching your hearts, you or your spouse may realize that the marriage is no longer in your best interests. When entering marriage therapy, you should acknowledge the possibility that a divorce is an option. If you do decide to get a divorce, your marriage therapist can help you through the process to make it as amicable and pain-free as possible.