Why we're here...

Love and marriage are the greatest adventures in life, and they point they way to our relationship with the Almighty.

We're honored to be a member of the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association...click on their logo to visit them.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Proactive Marriage Counseling

I believe in marriage counseling. Unequivocally.

It can breathe life into a dying marriage, heal one that's been hurt, and keep a healthy marriage in good shape, growing tall.

The best time to find a marriage counselor is before you have a serious problem. Think of it as preventative medicine. You go to a doctor for a checkup, right?

You tell the doc if you've got a funny ache, or a cough that won't go away, or some weird bleeding, right? Stuff that doesn't really affect your daily life, but still...

Why not do the same for your marriage? Find a good counselor, and go in for a checkup every few months.

'Find a good counselor'...you may be saying that it's easier said than done.  True.

One thing you should not do is go to your church and rely on your pastor for 'free psych work'. Most pastors will be too nice to say no, or if they have to decline, will refer you to a member of the pastoral team...but unless you absolutely can't afford to pay for counseling, don't do this.

It's taking advantage of people who are far busier than you can imagine.

What you can do is talk to your pastor about a counselor he or she would recommend. Most pastors have a pretty good idea of the competence and suitability of the local talent, and will take pains to guide you well.

The most important thing about a counselor is that you have a feeling of friendly neutrality. The counselor should be an objective, interested outsider whom you can respect...and who respects you.

There are counselors who take sides. If you find one, run. Away. Fast.

Schedule the first visit as a meet and greet - and make it clear that you are being proactive in establishing a healthy baseline, to keep your marriage on track and functioning well. You'll see one happy counselor - guaranteed.

Most people run to a counselor when things are spiraling out of control, and too often there's little a professional can do but try to put out fires. Having the chance to help keep a marriage healthy from the start - that's a treat.

But be honest. Don't make it all sweetness and light. If there are minor problems, address them, but don't try to take over the meeting with them.

Allow yourself to be guided. Let the professional be a professional. That's what you hired her for.

Finally, if you're given assignments, stuff to work on - do it. You wouldn't buy a new refrigerator and leave it in the garage, so why leave the tools a counselor gives you 'in the box'?

It does cost money.

But when things are priced according to their value...proactive counseling is the best bargain around.


  1. Andrew, great thoughts! (And you wouldn't believe how I moved browser heaven and earth to make this comment happen. Lol)

    I had some former clients who certainly needed marriage counseling. I was usually in their homes for a different reason, but anything affecting marriages has a trickle-down effect to other family members.

    Let's not even get into the dispensible Hollywood marriages. But... if you insist. I can think of only a handful long-term marriages in the acting biz. Sad. I think counseling isn't considered as fashionable as other "trends-of-the-month."

    1. Cindy, thank you for making the effort to comment. I've been through my share of browser woes recently - I do understand.

      You're right about the trickle-down effect on the entire family (including pets). The main obstacle that has to be overcome is the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality, along with the "I'm right, they're wrong" arrogance.

      Hollywood marriages...a terrible example. But they do it right on film sometimes. Look to "World Trade Center", "We Were Soldiers", and "The Devil's Own" for some well-portrayed long-term marriages.

  2. Great, Andrew! Run away fast ... made me laugh! And I love what Cynthia wrote, too.

    Hey, I got a hold of my friend who made the bracelet. She said she bought the pieces from Hobby Lobby. She said some of the pieces are harder to find today. It's been over five years since she gave it to me. I haven't looked at Hobby Lobby yet ... hope you have a store near you! You should make one ... Barbara would love it!

    1. Run away laughing, that's the ticket!

      Thanks for the bracelet information. We do have a Hobby Lobby in ABQ, but as I'm not well enough to drive now I'll have to ask Barbara to pick up her own present...

      But she's a good sport!

    2. I'm just now getting to where I can drive ... seat belt hurt too much and the jarring on our old county roads. Listen ... I'm praying for you.

    3. I sure understand the roads - we live on dirt. I'm glad you're healing up.

      I don't know if I'll ever drive again, except in an emergency. I can't lean back in the seat, because of abdominal pain radiating through my back. Have to brace forward on an elbow against the seat back.

      Most undignified. And a bit less than safe.

      Thank you so much for the prayers. I do need them now,. no kidding.

  3. So absolutely yes, Andrew. Anything we can do proactively in life pays off - big time. It's one of the wisest investments we can make in cash and time, no matter what else is on the table.

    And I'm not just saying this because I'm a counselor.

    A big round of applause on this one!

    1. Linda, thank you, and please forgive my tardy response.

      It's good to have you drop by. I really value your input.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Thanks, Watson. I'll be here, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with similar posts.