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Should We See A Marriage Counselor? - by Christine Schaap

Should you see a marriage counselor? It depends…did yourmarriage cause the current situation? If your wife has recently given you the“I love you, but I’m not in love with you speech” the marriage may or may notbe the root cause.

 

If you walk in your home and feel a drop of water on your head,you’ll likely look up and see a nasty water stain on your ceiling where waterhas been accumulating. In fact, the plaster has probably started to bubble upand crack making a pretty unsightly mess.

 

Your first reaction might be to call the contractor and havethe ceiling fixed, right? Not so fast. If you have a hole in your roof causingthe water damage, fixing the ceiling is not going to help – yet. By the sametoken, if your wife is having a midlife crisis causing her to feel restless,lost, confused, and generally discontent with her life, going to a marriagecounselor at this time is going to put even more focus on your marriage.

 

You don’t want her to focus on the marriage because (in mostcases) it’s not the fault of the marriage. Your marriage was functioning justfine before she became disillusioned with her life (as seen by her no longerliking her job, perhaps not being into her kids as much, and abandoning herformer friends). You have become the most convenient scapegoat. She believesthat if she can just get out of the marriage then she will discover her true happiness.

 

Not only that but, by panicking in general, you arereinforcing in her mind that you are undesirable as a partner and further herconviction that she needs to get away from you. Instead, I recommend being veryconfident (despite the blow to your male ego) and not in any way give her theimpression that you think the marriage caused this problem.

 

I would be remiss not to mention, however, that if uponfurther examination you see areas where you could improve (spending less timeat the office, sharing more of the parenting responsibilities, practicing moreactive listening, etc) then you should seek guidance in making appropriatechanges in these areas.

 

Make these personal changes and improvements for what itwill do for you. If she’s to the point where she’s contemplating ending themarriage, often a wife will get angry when she sees her husband improvingbecause it takes away her justification for leaving in the first place. If, onthe other hand, your self-improvement efforts are met with open arms, it’slikely that the marriage was the underlying problem (but this is not often thesituation).

 

So when should you seek marriage counseling? When youboth realize that you want to be together but have some hurdles that you arestruggling to work out between the two of you. In these cases, a marriagecounselor can be a tremendous aid in facilitating open communication and helpingboth the husband and wife see the situation from another perspective.


Christine Schaap is the co-creator of Path Partners.com, an online membership community for men and women who desire a fresh start. Many times people reach a point in their jobs, health, or relationships that causes them to ask, “Is this all there is?” If you feel stuck and sense it’s time for a change, check out our free membership and put yourself on a clear path toward a fulfilling and rewarding life.

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