Until recently the “safe” go-to for marriage help has been clergy
or marriage-family therapists. They are good people in most cases. However, there are ‘hidden’ secrets about marriage counseling that I discovered almost by accident when
I was a divorce mediator.
But before getting into the main topic and what you can do about 5 cases
of what happens in a marriage counseling session that I should
worry about, I’ll share these 100%
true and shocking realities that you can discover yourself with your own research.
Success rates are measured to deceive us.
They use how people feel as their measure of success, not how many marriages they save or, make the couple happily married. The truth is that their success rate is dismal. On an NPR radio program that I listened to in 2003 the reporter said the marriage counseling rate of success is below 6%. Based on my observations as a divorce-mediator that made perfect sense.
All therapists see marriage and “treatments” differently.
Psychologists are not trained like medical practitioners who are taught anatomy, chemistry, and so forth according to science. They are taught theory and doctrine, not facts, meaning psychotherapy is a “soft science” and in reality not scientific at all.
I trained numerous therapists after I shifted my business to marriage-saving from divorce-mediation and was surprised by therapists’ lack of understanding.
Very few psychologists knew or could explain the goals of marriage; which MUST be basic if you want to help a couple attain happiness.
Psychologists are not taught the body-mind-soul relationship.
We are responsible for our own happiness and our marriage’s happiness. Granted, we are not taught this critical knowledge or how to master our minds but I discovered that without controlling emotions and learning how to utilize the mind we depend on outer circumstances for our happiness and that means we remain victims of circumstances, making marital happiness “random”.
There are other things that are inconsistent with happiness in marriage, such as how they see love, but we can save that for another article or TMF youtube video.
5 Cases of What Happens in a Marriage Counseling Session that I Should Worry About
You will waste time, which is discouraging
The negative trend of your marriage will increase unless the downward trend is halted right away.
Although therapists will tell you progress takes time that is mostly not true. The truth is good, that you and your spouse are doing identifiable things that are destructive so when those are halted there is quick relief.
It is rare for therapists to offer you a list of those things so as you “work on” “issues” you will continue to unwittingly sabotage your marriage.
When I first started helping couples I pointed out that your choice for any action is either good for your marriage or bad, it is that simple. Although this realization is not nearly enough to heal a marriage it at least gives you some power to stop the slide toward more suffering.
Sessions usually become competitive
One of the usual problems in marriages that are failing is that the couple is competitive and a session in which each of you essentially complains has many ways for that competitiveness to manifest. Some try to impress the therapist more than the other, others compete to see who is the greatest victim, and others try to show themselves as the better spouse, meaning they don’t need help, only their spouse does.
What can be more counter-productive than competing? Yet, it is common and hard to avoid because of human nature.
I stopped seeing couples together (except for the initial meeting) very soon after I began helping marriages. However, now with our online courses for each, we never meet or even chat on the phone. Our clients have easy access to our counselors from their member’s portal.
The overriding goal is to heal the marriage as fast as possible and there is NO better way than the one we use. Here is a review I did myself of the courses.
Most counselors inadvertently take sides
No therapist likes to admit it and they will even call out the ones who do so (I have seen it often) but the truth is that we, as human beings judge and compare all the time no matter how much we intend not to.
Psychologists are taught not to do that but they can’t help it and so not only is it normal but learning how to manage your mind, which would help mitigate those tendencies are unknown by therapists, anyway.
So, the one who is sided with will just love the therapist and the spouse who is condemned will keep their mouth shut for fear of being judged even more. We hear about this all the time, both when people sign up for the course after getting trashed, or from folks who write to our counselors for help, which you can do too, for free.
You realize you are not gaining a happy marriage.
The beautiful promises of marriage are summed up in
1. Happy – Ever-increasing happiness, and
2. Love – Ever-expanding love
These are obvious, but only now after hearing it when I bring them up; isn’t that so? We are not taught this incredibly basic-to-marriage truth, which is nobody’s fault, and so people muddle about with all sorts of crazy diversions when they seek marriage help.
People think they have to blame ‘something’ or someone for why they are miserable.
If you simply learned how to
a. Manage your mind
b. Honor your vows by understanding them
c. Stop expecting of your spouse and only expect of yourself
…and make a few other important changes to your thinking and behavior you would literally enjoy the greatest promise of marriage; marital bliss.
Because psychologists are mis-educated about almost everything about marriage it is impossible for a therapist to help your marriage. It is the blind leading the blind.
.The lives of your children will be discounted
The truth that I never try to hide is that I originally became a marriage-saver to help kids.
I love people, don’t get me wrong, but, at a very deep level it is my nature to protect the weak, and believe me when I tell you I have faced very scary challenges all my life to do so. (Thank God I got out of politics!)
It is a fact that for over 60 years studies have been done to understand the effects of divorce on children. The term used is “broken homes”.
I NEVER saw a study that indicated anything other than a level of Hell for the kids, with some exceptions like when a parent was clearly dangerous to the kids or openly violent staying together is the right choice.
Other than a few cases we know to be clearly bad for children we know with definite certainty that very high rates of things like
substance abuse (another form of suicide),
earlier experimentation with sex,
and on and on, happen to virtually every kid to one degree or another when they come from a broken home. Over 90% of prison inmates are from broken homes. We also know that demographics don’t mean a thing. It is all about the divorce.
But! Things are changing! Not for the better from counselors
The failure of the psychological community to save marriages has made them turn their attention to making excuses and falsely claiming “it is for the best”.
That is not fair to a couple but it is disastrous for the kids.
Counselors are now lying by saying “the kids will be fine”. They won’t!
What can you do?
Your marriage is not functioning as it should, meaning it is not producing happiness and love… this is temporary, no matter what. You will either divorce or fix it.
Fix your marriage!
Most people accept the hype that their marriage would be fine “if only”… Not true! You need to learn and apply what is methodical and proven.
Marriage is a complex institution and an engine of love and happiness that requires at least the same level of specialized know-how that it takes to drive a car.
Fixing one problem today, or correcting a few behaviors as is tried in couples counseling does not work to manifest love and happiness no matter how well-intentioned you may be or how much effort you put into it. Honestly, how good are you at getting rid of a bad habit?
You have to learn how to control your emotions, anger, thoughts, and so forth. This is essential. Therapists just don’t know that you can master your mind. But, it is where I start.
When I began to help couples I had the advantage of having a background that was successful and I made sure my approach to marriage was veracious, efficient, and efficacious. It is truthful, works well fast, and works really well.
Add to that, thanks to time and success, we at The Marriage Foundation have years of honest and glowing reviews.
I invite you to look into the courses we have for men and women. Of course, you can take advantage of our free articles and free youtube videos, or my books. But if you are contemplating marriage counseling you probably should do all you can to stop the downward momentum and get busy with the course.
It is, of course, guaranteed. And I, of course, thank you for reading my article and invite your questions. Blessings.
Last thought – Marriage is intended to be among the most beautiful of gifts from God but like all of His gifts, like our environment, energy, and all things we are given, we must know how to use them correctly. I think mankind is rapidly evolving with the ups and downs being part of evolution and education but we should remember that it is our birthright to be happy and to feel love. We need only learn how.