Needless to say, marriage can be hard at times. As people grow older together and change overtime, it is only normal to encounter periods where you don’t feel as close as you were before. Perhaps one person cheated, or another person revealed their addiction to drugs or alcohol. Or maybe after being together for so long the couple has started to lose a spark and sense of intimacy. Thankfully, there are marriage counselors, like a therapist in Palatine, IL from Lotus Wellness Center, who can help.

Here are tips for how you can get the most out of marriage counseling: 

Realize You Both Have To Put In The Work

Simply being present during a marriage counseling session won’t be enough. Both partners will have to be dedicated and put in work towards their marriage. Unfortunately, many couples have the idea that marriage counseling will “save” their relationship. But, attending counseling is only one peice of the puzzle. Each spouse must be open and willing to make changes after leaving the session. 

Focus On What You Can Do Differently

Many couples enter marriage counseling with the idea that they will be able to “fix” all the things wrong with their husband or wife. Serious topics such as infidelity, addictions, alcoholism, codependency, and other trust issues can be discussed. And while certain topics and events will surely be gone over, therapy isn’t a blame game. One thing that many spouses do wrong is that they expect their partner to please them, when they aren’t doing any internal work on themselves. Healing and forgiveness can be achieved if both partners focus on what they can do differently to make the relationship better. 

Keep Your Problems Between You Two

When relationships get tough, we may have the inclination to call our friends, coworkers, and family and vent to them about our partner. The problem with this is that it can leak energy out of the marriage, promotes a mentality of being the victim, and keeps you feeling distant from your partner. It is healthy to turn to others during difficult times, but you want to be careful about what you share as this can have long-term impacts on a relationship that you are trying to rebuild. Later on when you visit family and friends, they may view your partner in a negative light and it will only add more strain to your marriage.

Refrain From a Wandering Eye

When things get stressful between partners, they may be tempted to have a wandering eye or heart out of fear, loneliness, and pain. However, the road to infidelity can certainly backtrack any progress you make together. There is also a chance that after finding out about these temptations, your husband or wife may decide to leave you altogether. 

Practice Empathy and Support

One of the major roadblocks to the success of marriage counseling is both partners not showing empathy for how the other person feels. Especially if resentments have built up overtime, it can be challenging to show concern and support to their husband or wife. But, practicing being empathetic can open up the opportunity for healing on both sides.