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Monday, May 19, 2014

Should You Be A Counselor In Your Marriage?

A lot of people have a lot of problems, and your mate may be among them.

These can range from combat trauma to childhood abuse to addictions to an ego the size of Wal-Mart that makes them hard to get along with.

It can make your life, and that of your family, challenging, to say the least.

But here's a tip for making it easier...or at least ensuring that it won't become more difficult.

You are not your spouse's counselor.

Most people want to help, and have the life experience and intelligence so that they can provide effective counseling to others, at least to a limited degree. (Usually this falls under the heading of 'good advice from a trusted friend.)

But it it poor practice with your mate, because you're too close. The dynamics of marriage and family life make you 'part of the problem', so to speak. This is not to say that your presence is making it worse, by any means...if you're kind, thoughtful, and forbearing you're undoubtedly helping.

But you are a part of their coping mechanism, the responses and reactions that they've built up to deal with the issue, and to live as normal a life as possible.

As such, you already have a job, and it's already vital. You can't suddenly switch hats without removing or diminishing the support you're already giving.

When you counsel, you have to challenge, and a good counselor will know how to challenge at the most sensitive spots,, while providing a place of safety.

You, as a spouse, can't do that. Your job is to protect your mate's sensitive places, to stand guard. If you turn and probe, all the while trying to help, you can do more damage to your mate - and to your marriage - than you possible know.

There are professional counselors out there for a reason, and they stand ready to help. Many will adjust fees if money's an issue; some will take cases for free.

Please, call on them. Let them do their job.

While you do yours.

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