You never thought it would happen to you. But now here you are today... faced with the most important decision of your life.
No matter what circumstances led to the current condition of your marriage, all that doesn't matter anymore. All that matters now is that you need to find a solution to your marriage problems. You desperately want to keep your family together, but the problem is - you want a solution that works.
Most people think that when marriages take a turn for the worst; the only solution is marriage counseling.
But when you turn to marriage counseling, the focus is on behavior, action and doing. And in fact, it's very possible that you could DO all the tips, techniques and offered to you by your marriage counselor, yet still wind up unhappy and frustrated with each other. Why?
Pastor and international marriage expert, Mark Gungor's has one of the best answers I've seen. He makes a wonderful point that we just don't hear enough. Here's what he said:
"If your view of marriage is flawed, all the energy and strategy you are using (such as our marriage will be better if we just do this or change that) will end in failure...you must work on your marriage BECAUSE you believe it IS valuable, not because you are trying to make it valuable."
Did you know that most marriage counselors do not believe your marriage IS valuable? Many of them have already divorced, so why would they see your marriage as any more valuable than their own?
They believe marriage is simply expendable and that the kids will be ok. They hold the belief that not all couples are meant to be together which is why they are so quick to give up on your marriage.
Now I know I'm making a generalization about ALL marriage counselors and I do realize that there are some "renegade" marriage counselors who do not follow these beliefs. But based on the countless "horror stories" from the couples I've worked with over the years, these counselors are few and far between.
What kind of "horror stories" you ask? Good question.
I know this may be difficult to believe, but many of the couples I've worked with over the years who have attended marriage counseling told me that their marriage counselor actually advised them to DIVORCE!
These couples attended marriage counseling because they wanted to save their marriage, not hear from an "expert" that their marriage is hopeless!
In fact, there have been statistics recently that stated 80% of marriages that end up in divorce could have been saved if the couple had only received the proper help they needed.
And as time goes on...while our divorce rate continues to remain at 50%, the truth about marriage counseling is increasingly gaining more exposure with new alternatives to marriage counseling popping up all over the net.
Now the REAL question you must ask yourself is this...
If the two of you don't believe your marriage IS valuable, and worth doing every positive thing you can to make it healthy again (marriage counseling not in the list), then what hope can you have for your marriage?
The reason couples end up in the offices of marriage counselors is because they want somebody to help them do what they're not able to do... believe their marriage IS valuable. Talk to virtually any couple who has been to a marriage counselor and you'll find them in agreement.
But the sad truth is that most marriage counselors just don't believe marriage itself IS valuable.
What all this boils down to is this:
Marriage Counselors need to take a good look at their massive failure rate and realize that they're doing more harm than good.
Ultimately, the real reason for their failure to save marriages may have something to do with their initial schooling and education.
Most people don't know this, but marriage counseling as taught in universities isn't marriage counseling at all. It's therapy for individuals.
80% of all private practice marriage counselors in the U.S. say they conduct marriage therapy, yet only 12% are in a profession that requires them to take EVEN ONE course on dealing with couples, (Dr. William J. Doherty, Minneapolis MN)
As a result, they prefer to work with each person individually, instead of as a couple.
So my advice to you is...
If you're considering seeing a marriage counselor, take this as your alternative view. If your marriage problems persist, you're far better off with a weekend marriage seminar or a marriage coach than a marriage counselor.
In fact, do a quick search in Google for "alternative to marriage counseling". What you'll find is a variety of solutions that don't involve marriage counseling. And very often these alternatives are less expensive, less invasive and not at all emotionally draining - much unlike what you might find in traditional marriage counseling.