Marriage counseling isn’t something you wake up one morning and exclaim, “Let’s go see a marriage therapist! That'll be fun!” Marriage counseling is something you choose because you feel stuck and don’t know what to do to move forward. It’s not like going to Disneyland, but it doesn’t need to be awful either.
Your marriage is your primary relationship. It is a very important part of your life. It is something worth working on. Your relationship is built on your hopes and dreams for your future. It is not something you want to give up on easily. You have a lot invested in your relationship. You want a loving, stable relationship where you are comfortable being yourself.
When your relationship starts to become unstable, you can feel vulnerable and off balance. When your relationship isn’t working, you will naturally -- and sensibly -- want to make it better. Moving towards a better relationship can feel difficult and you may not know where to even begin. Asking for help with anything can be difficult. Asking for help with your relationship could be embarrassing.
You might even be thinking, “We love each other. That should make it work.” However, making a marriage work takes more than love. You can love someone with all your heart and still have difficulties fitting your lives together.
Relationships have many aspects besides love. Different types of challenges show up at different stages of a relationship. These challenges have their own unique solutions.
This doesn’t mean that love isn’t powerful. It is. Love is what helps you get through tough times. Love helps you hold on to hope as you traverse difficult situations and build your relationship. Struggles that you go through together can help to make your relationship stronger. Together, you can find practical solutions to manage your differences and find balance.
When you are able to find balance between work and home life, learn to communicate well, maintain a nurturing connection and resolve your differences, you can come out the other side a couple who are sharing their lives in harmony -- despite your differences.
Even when you’re both giving your very best, you can still experience struggles in your marriage. There is nothing strange or embarrassing about finding yourself in this situation. It is normal. You are not failing, you just need some extra support.