With the current rate of divorce in America hovering around 50%, there is no lack of people who need marriage counseling. Yet for many, there is an incredibly harsh stigma attached to marriage counseling.
Most people do not want others to know they are going to a counselor at all. This means that even if they see someone in the waiting area, that someone knows they are there to see a counselor and therefore they do not want to go. How awful that our pride and ego often gets in the way of our seeking help!
I wanted to ahead and outline for people how marriage counseling typically works. I get this question a lot through emails so I thought I would go ahead and tackle it here on the blog.
Normally when a couple seeks our help here at God’s Light, we speak with them together for a single session to get a grasp as to what they both feel the issues currently are.
Next we will meet with each person individually for at least 2 sessions. During this time, we are assessing the particular persons background for things like: how was your relationship with your parents, what was your school life like, have you ever experienced any trauma in your life or in your marriage. This background information is crucial because when we get married, we bring our entire lives prior to the marriage into the marriage with us whether we realize it or not.
Once we have met with both people individually, then we will bring them back together again and we will talk about the issues that have come up that match from our individual sessions. By starting with the identical issues, we start from a place of agreement. These may not be the absolute largest issues, but they are issues that both agree need to be discussed, and that gives us a mutual place to start.
We will all together create our list of issues that form our goals for the remaining sessions that we will have. These are normally things such as: we need to start communicating better, we need to stop blaming each other, we need to make specific time to talk about our issues together with no distractions, etc.
Now if there is a major issues, such as an affair, that we will be handling together, then that will need to take precedence over all other issues. Something as large as an affair has ramifications in all aspects of both people’s lives and needs to be dealt with immediately.
And before I go any further, let me answer THE most asked question I get from the marriage partner who had the affair – “Do I really need to share every detail of the affair with my spouse? Won’t that hurt them more than help them?” The definitive answer is YES YOU DO! In fact, I know of nothing else that is a MUST for you in order for healing to take place. I realize that this will be the hardest thing for you to do, but do it you must. Remember that God says there are consequences for every action we do, and this is certainly a consequence for having an affair – you must come clean and discuss all of the W’s = Who, What, Where, When, and Why!! Your spouse needs to hear this and they deserve to hear it from you and not from anyone else.
So now you know the flow of how marriage counseling goes and as you can see, there nothing too scary here, and certainly nothing that should stop you from seeking help.
Before I close though, I just want to point out something extremely important for anyone considering marriage counseling or coaching – your issues did not happen overnight and as well, your healing will not happen overnight either. You have some hard work ahead of you, but I can think of no other relationship on Earth that is worth putting in the hard work for. Our marriage relationship is to mirror the relationship that we have with Jesus Himself. Therefore if we choose to leave our marriages in disarray, then we are, in essence, telling Jesus Himself that we would be willing to do the same with Him.
That’s not something you want to be telling Jesus!
Please seek help if you need it. It does not have to be God’s Light either. We would feel blessed to be able to help you for sure, and we feel that our online video sessions will make you feel more at ease as you get to have counseling right from the comfort of your own home, but if you need help, we pray that you will seek it out.
With many prayers for the healing of your marriage,
Pastor and Lead Counselor, Brad Komgenick