Marriage is hard and takes work from both parties. What started as an effortless relationship over time sometimes becomes challenging to navigate. There may be many reasons for this, but it may come down to growing up and at times apart from each other. When this happens without the couple realizing it, they may start to bicker and become more bogged down in irrelevant problems like leaving the toilet seat up or forgetting to pick up something from the store. These smaller issues may get blown out of proportion, resulting in constant fighting and an inevitable march towards divorce. When a couple decides to call a truce in the conflict, they may want to elicit the help of a couples therapist or marriage counselor. The expectations for how long the process takes depends mostly on the couple and the underlying issues.
Developing a Realistic Plan
When a couple first seeks the help of a third party, like a therapist, they may be at the end of their proverbial rope. Perhaps therapy is a last-ditch effort before they decide to call it quits. A therapist can hone in on non-verbal cues such as:
- Voice fluctuations
- Skin tone or color changes
- Eye movement
- Breathing changes
These body language indicators can help a therapist understand how committed one or the other is in resolving conflict and saving the marriage. From this point, a plan may emerge consisting of therapy sessions with both people. Sometimes, a therapist may recommend a course of therapy for each as well, with the three reuniting in joint sessions at regular intervals.
The sessions themselves usually last no more than an hour at a time. The parties may set the frequency which may depend on personal schedules and the therapist’s recommendation. Insurance coverage may also play a part in the duration. Therefore, it is difficult to say with certainty how long a round of therapy will last since so many factors need considering.
Work Outside of the Therapist’s Office
Couples therapy does not just happen inside the walls of a therapist’s office – the work should continue at home. A counselor may expect the couple to keep a journal of things happening outside of the office and share moments upon their return. This type of practice may help the therapist get an idea of how conflict resolution skills are progressing, as well as emotional and physical progression back to a functioning marital unit.
Marriage counseling can help people stay married by giving couples the resources and tips necessary to move from a dysfunctional relationship into a healthy one. Try giving a therapist a chance to help get your marital discord under control and your relationship back to a healthy and happy place.