Marriage counseling is readily available around the country. Clinics staffed by trained and certified therapists operate in most major cities. Local churches welcome the opportunity to counsel members, at the very least, and non-members in some circumstances. Even licensed psychotherapists are known to offer marriage counseling.
With so many opportunities, it is a wonder more people do not take advantage of counseling services. But they have their reasons. The therapists at Relationships & More have heard them all. The Rye, New York counseling center can only offer assistance, though. They cannot force people to get help.
So why do couples who could obviously benefit from marriage counseling avoid it? Here are the five most common reasons:
1. Not Wanting to Spend the Money
Counseling with a minister is generally free of charge. But if you want counsel from a trained marriage counselor or a licensed psychotherapist, you have to pay for it. Unfortunately, private health insurance doesn’t normally cover marriage counseling. In the end, it is the perfect recipe to allow couples to avoid counseling because they don’t want to spend the money.
What they do not realize is that not doing something to fix their marriage could mean eventually winding up in divorce court. That will be far more expensive than the counseling that could have saved their relationship.
2. Fear or Embarrassment
Admitting you have marriage problems is not easy, especially when making that admission to a complete stranger. It can be a fearful thing to sit in a counselor’s office and describe how things are not going well. Those who aren’t afraid may be embarrassed instead. Either way, fear and embarrassment tend to keep couples away from marriage counseling.
3. Ongoing Denial
For other couples, avoiding marriage counseling has nothing to do with fear or embarrassment. Instead, they are in denial of their marriage problems. They refuse to believe that anything is wrong. They live in a sort of fairytale world in which they see everything is perfect. Meanwhile, those around them watch their marriage crash and burn.
Denial is a pretty strong thing. If you do not believe anything is wrong, why would you seek a fix? Couples in denial of their relationship problems do not seek marriage counseling because they don’t think they need it.
4. Laying the Blame
In some cases, one spouse places all the blame for their marriage troubles on the other. They may think that counseling is necessary, but only for the spouse. It is essentially the blame game. When couples lay the blame on one another, they also expect the ‘guilty party’ to take the steps necessary to fix things.
Laying blame is a recipe for failure. Truth be told, very few relationships are destroyed by just one person. The two parties in a marriage almost always share the blame to one extent or another. One party may deserve more blame than the other, but both have contributed. Couples unable to admit that don’t see the need for counseling.
5. The Belief That It Doesn’t Work
There are those couples who go to counseling and find their marriages do not improve. They will never go again because they firmly believe that counseling doesn’t work. There is no convincing them that they were the problem, rather than the marriage counseling itself.
Marriage counseling is out there for any couples who want it. Just as there are many reasons for avoiding it, there are plenty of reasons for participating in it. A well-designed counseling program can do wonders for a couple that is willing to admit its problems and commit to finding solutions.