At its core, marriage counseling is intended to help couples understand and resolve conflicts to improve their relationship. Its goal is to give couples the tools to communicate with more compassion and less fear while learning to solve problems and address conflict in a healthy way. Marriage counseling, or couples therapy, is a type of counseling that focuses specifically on marriages and relationships. Marriage counselors, usually licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFT), are specifically trained to help couples diagnose problems and find solutions.
Marriage counseling is a safe place for couples to discuss things and talk about what they really have in mind. There are several reasons why a couple may seek professional help for their relationship. Marriage counseling and couples therapy can be very effective, especially when started sooner rather than later. Marriage counseling is for resolving relationship problems.
Most marriage counselors encourage both spouses to attend counseling sessions. The way in which both of you communicate plays an effective role in counseling. However, if your partner is hesitant to come, you should attend marriage counseling only. It's important to remember that thinking about marriage counseling isn't a sign that your relationship is doomed to fail.
Deciding when to get marriage counseling can be tricky, especially since, ideally, both people in the relationship decide to go together. Marriage counseling is for heterosexual couples, homosexual couples, couples of all races, and couples who have less traditional relationships (long distance, open marriages, married, but don't live together). Regardless of the challenges you encounter, couples therapy or marriage counseling can help you make sense of your relationship. If you feel like you might be facing a problem as a couple, marriage counseling can be a useful tool to help you get your relationship back on track.