Couples counselling is often viewed by many as an ultimatum thrown out at the end of a heated argument. “WE need to get couples counselling!” It kinda gets a bad rap, like giving someone a gift card for a root canal or a “date night” suggestion of getting a colon cleanse. What if it was preventative — dare I say, a proactive way to make a relationship better? Isn’t it interesting that we don’t suggest oil changes or tire rotations at the end of a vehicles’ suspected life yet the idea of doing upkeep on your relationship/marriage is viewed as weird? What if we were to put one of those sticky rubber labels on our mirror and opt to do some relational maintenance every 5000 kilometres or every 12 months?!
The problem with couples counselling —
- It doesn’t work if you are entering into it as a last ditch move to beat your spouse with.
- It doesn’t work if you are doing as a rubber stamp to say ‘see, we went to counselling and it didn’t work’ also known as, ‘see how impossible it is for counselling to work if you already have your bags packed and your decision made to leave!’
- It takes two! One part of the couple cannot do all the work in changing a relationship.
So why bother to do couples counselling?
- It can totally change the trajectory of your relationship if you head into it with some willingness and an open mind.
- It can enrich your marriage by getting two people mutually investing in the health of their relationship (just like you would invest in a financial commitment together).
- It’s kind of like having a good dermatologist check your sun spots to make sure no cancerous cells are growing.
What if, you were to do some couples counselling on a proactive basis? What if you actually did marital maintenance to ensure that the communication systems are working, conflict resolution/fair fighting skills are in place and the conveyance of love and appreciation is effectively working on all levels. What if, the ‘service marriage soon’ light didn’t need to come on because the operators were viewing the relationship as a priority, have learned effective skills and are treating their investment with care and a dash of fun? (You could even check out “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage” resources and even an event coming to Spruce Grove, Alberta! https://markgungor.com/collections/live-events
Some of the best couples counselling sessions I have ever done were proactive sessions like these where a couple just wanted to give their marriage a tune-up. Neither one of them saw it as something they needed to dread or be defensive about but approached it as a great way to increase and build their love for one another. (It can also be a great way to guard against the possibility of an extremely costly and devastating divorce). It is way more difficult to stop a boulder from rolling down a hill once it’s started picking up speed! Imagine if the boulder was just examined once in a while to ensure that it was nicely grounded and not going anywhere.
I find it interesting that so many people spend hours each week focused on their physical health and wellness — often obsessed with things like their weight, exercise, food & diet, but don’t invest any time, money or effort into their most valuable relationships. What have you got to lose? What if your marriage became more fun, richer, more rewarding and satisfying? Why not do some marital maintenance and see the investment pay off with some lovely dividends. This is not a guarantee, as human beings are far too unpredictable, but I’ve never had a couple regret doing proactive care and investing in their relationship.
You can book a session with one of our Couples Counsellors today at 780-487-3456 or get more information at http://freshhope.ca/services/marriage-couples/