When you’re oblivious to the ways marriage can operate as a people growing process, all you see are problems and pathology — and the challenges of marriage will probably defeat you. Your pain will have no meaning except failure and disappointment; no richness, no soul.
Dr. David Schnarch
There are numerous reasons that can bring a couple into counseling.
Some couples have a healthy, vibrant marriage, but they recognize that even good marriages have areas of growth. These couples use therapy to ensure they are staying on the cutting edge of growth in their intimacy and partnership with one another.
Other couples have specific challenges they want to take on. It may be:
- The volatile, toxic way they communicate with one another.
- The growing emotional distance and lack of connection they feel with each other.
- The loss of a job or the death of a family member that they have suffered as a couple.
- Working through infidelity, addictions or sexual problems.
- A feeling of boredom, listlessness, loss of passion and excitement in the marriage.
There are as many unique reasons to seek marriage counseling as there are unique couples.
For each of these challenges, there are tools to learn and skills to develop which can help repair and strengthen the marriage. But couples counseling is more than a “problem solving” exercise. Rather, therapy helps couples enter the difficult work of building true intimacy.
Dr. Schnarch calls marriage a “people growing machine.”
Marriage forces us to grow up, to face the ways that we are still immature, and to become the people we were meant to be. Taking on the challenges of marriage not only gives us a more satisfying home life, but it helps us become mature adults, capable of real intimacy, passion and friendship.