Relationship Counseling – 5 Rules To Make It Work

Relationship CounselingCouples going through a rough patch often want to know how they will know it is time to seek relationship counseling. The honest answer is that it depends on the couple. Have your small disagreements that used to end in a bit of bickering escalated to full-blown fights over inconsequential things? Do you honestly feel that your partner simply doesn’t understand what you’re saying? If the answer is ‘yes’, you might benefit from relationship counseling.

But I encourage couples not to look at relationship therapy as some type of magic fix, because it isn’t. Relationship counseling isn’t for the lazy, the weak or the faint of heart. You will have to work and you will have a third-party there to keep you both honest. So…are you ready to work on your relationship? To make it better and stronger for the future?

If so, use these rules to make sure you get the biggest benefit possible from relationship counseling!

Relationship Counseling Rule #1 – Set Goals

If you are truly serious about wanting your relationship counseling to work, you need to set goals. What is it that you hope to accomplish in counseling? Do you have any idea what is wrong with your relationship or are you just certain something is wrong.

Both of you should have an idea about what you hope to accomplish during your time in relationship counseling. Do you want to improve your communication? Or are you looking to add more excitement to a relationship gone stale? This is something you need to think long and hard about, because the counselor will also want to know what brought you to his or her office.

Relationship Counseling Rule #2 – Actively Participate

No kind of therapy, including relationship counseling, can be effective if you don’t participate in the process. Don’t sit back like an impertinent child and refuse to part of mending the rift in your relationship. Sit up and take part of the process that is going to help you and your partner communicate better, improve your sex life or simply have more fun together.

If you are asked a question, even if it makes you uncomfortable, think about it and answer.

It can take some time to feel comfortable opening up to a complete stranger about the problems in your relationship. But you have to remember that the goal is to improve your relationship, not to take sides. So be an active participant in your relationship counseling because it will help and it will show your partner you’re serious about fixing your relationship.

Relationship Counseling Rule #3 – Be Honest

Many couples think they can con their way through relationship counseling by saying what they think the counselor wants to hear. The counselor doesn’t want to hear anything unless it is the absolute truth. How can they possibly help your relationship if you’re not being honest about what is wrong with your relationship?

Be honest with yourself, your partner and your relationship counselor if you actually want to fix your relationship.

If you cheated, be honest about why. Be honest about how you feel about your relationship, yourself, your spouse and your life together. If you can’t get to the bottom of the problems in your relationship then you can’t fix them. After all, how can a doctor properly diagnose you if you don’t tell them where you’re hurting?

Relationship Counseling Rule #4 – Actively Listen

The other important part of any successful relationship counseling session is actively listening to your partner and your therapist. It is easy to simply daydream while your partner is telling the counselor what is wrong with your relationship, but then you’ve just missed out on half the reason you’re there. You need to be an active participant which means you also need to be an active listener.

Did you know that your partner feels unattractive or that they feel you have lost interest in them? Well you won’t ever know that if you don’t actually listen to what is being said during your relationship counseling session. Your counselor will also give you great insight into why you are experiencing problems in your relationship, so that you can make an effort to do your part in fixing it.

Relationship Counseling Rule #5 – Do Your Homework

This is the part of relationship counseling that men tend to hate the most. Well, men typically or the person who didn’t suggest counseling. But you will very likely get homework that will help you learn how to communicate with your partner, how to fight fairly with them and even how to recreate passion in your relationship. This homework is an essential part of getting your relationship back on track, and if you don’t do it…you have to ask if you really want to fix it at all.

You are expected to participate in relationship counseling and if you can’t take the exercises seriously, maybe you should be meeting a different type of professional.

Both you and your partner bear some blame for the current state of your relationship and relationship counseling will help you realize that, without finger pointing. It is a safe zone for you both to air your grievances and talk about them without devolving into a yelling session filled with name calling. Fixing your relationship should be what motivates you to not only attend counseling sessions, but also to take it seriously.

Most importantly, be patient. These problems took a while to develop so they will take time to fix. Don’t expect a quick fix after 3 or 4 sessions. Take the time you need to strengthen your relationship.

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