How to Know If You Need Marriage Counselling? and is it Effective?

By Prapoorna M

Last Updated: November 27, 2021

Whenever the word ‘marriage counseling’ crops up between the couples, it leads to many unspoken fears and endless thoughts leading to different feelings. In society, generally huge arguments between the couple are often suggested for marriage counseling for giving one more try to the relationship. But couple sees the counseling as a final straw before heading separate ways.

But, in reality, marriage counseling is basically a ‘bridge’ for a couple to use in a relationship to cross the difficulties or issues and influence the marriage in a much positive manner.

Couple during a Marital counselling session
Couple during a Marital counselling session

Signs for Marriage Counseling

Here are the signs that indicate it is time for the couple to head to a counselor.

Lack of trust:

if the couple are finding extremely difficult in trusting each other after going through a situation whether it is extra marital affair, lying in finances which also causes emotional turmoil in the relationship, ultimately counselor would help in dealing with the events happened.

Also Read: How to Overcome Infidelity in Marriage? | What if you found them guilty?

Gap of Communication:

A lack of communication amongst the partners in which it leads to secrecy from each other, frequent fighting, general disinterest towards each other and not confronting the issues to each other. Counselor in definite terms would teach communication techniques to the couple in sharing feelings to each other without any judgment.

Read more: Better ways to communicate in relationships

Spending less time together:

Depending on the nature of the relationship, sometimes it is okay to become closer or drift apart for a short period of time. But when there is consistency in being away from each other, spending free time apart, is a signal for the partners to find their rekindled spark through marriage counseling.

Know more: 10 Reasons you should have a Partner | Advantages of a relationship

Change in relationship goals:

Relationship changes in due course of time. Sometimes many couples have their own perspective plans wanting difference in their lives. If ignored much, divorce would be looming over their heads. So to bring healthiness and calmness in relationship, marriage counseling is a necessity in navigating the challenges, adjustments and communication barriers which would come up along the way in a relationship.

Life Changing Events:

For life changing events like birth of a child, death of a family member, loss of a job, getting transferred in a job frequently would definitely shake the foundation of the relationship. Dealing with such situations would often lead to stress and distance between the partners. In these terms, marriage counseling can keep both the partners on toes in working out the relationship during mental, physical and emotional transitions.

Addiction and Stress:

If one of the partners has an addiction of alcoholism, gambling or addiction to any kind of thing, would lead to serious toll on marriage. Counseling would definitely help to work through the problem together and heal their relationship in process.

Personal Struggles:

When there are personal struggles in a relationship that could be psychological illness or struggling in the career, then either of the partners would hesitate to open up. In this difficult point, counseling would help them in empathizing with each other and understand each other in order to being more supportive and considerate.

When “love isn’t enough’, the couples would have discrepancy in levels of desire such as being affectionate and caring, sex, emotionally focused conversation, fun, raising the children, attachment with friends and family. In these cases, failure to understand or unable to empathize would in turn lead to unhealthy and negative pattern in relationship.

How effective is Marriage Counseling?

The effectiveness of marriage counseling is totally based on motivation of partners in a relationship. It is really effective when a partner genuinely wants to save his/her marriage by taking up initiative to help each other in finding way to deal with the difficulties in the relationships. with the help of marriage counseling, couples would have deeper understanding of each other and would start beginning of a new relation with positive thinking and good approach.

The most important truth is that with counseling comes the effectiveness in building a stable relationship that is much stronger than before. In fact, thousands of marriages with a complex situation have been transformed with the help of counselor who understand where a partner stands and would care how to help in fixing the couple’s relationship. As per the facts, the statics mentions that the couples attend counseling sessions for many reasons such as parenting troubles, financial issues, negative communication, physical and emotional abuse, loss of love, etc.

Also read: Is Marriage Counseling Right to Go through?

A study conducted in United States by American Association of Marriage and Family therapists, reports that the marriage counseling conducted has 98% of couples in effectiveness and benefit from the happy counseling. They felt they had received excellent therapy and have gained most from the counseling. 90% of the couples felt they are ready to tackle marriage problems after they have completed their sessions.

Setting of a Marriage counselling session
Setting of a Marriage counselling session

Principles of Marriage Counseling

Even though for helping in dealing out the issues in a relationship most of the couples try for counseling to save their relationship, couples should also try strengthening their bond by trying to adapt to the principles. Apart from trying out following the principles, if further couples would still come forward for counseling, there are high percentage of chances that the couples would enact positive change in their lives.

There a few principles which were developed by John Gottman which is also known as ‘The Sound
Relationship House Theory’.

  • Improving Communication: Infliction of positive communication is really necessary between the partners.
  • Supporting Each other emotionally: Able to help and support each other during difficult times.
  • Turn towards instead of away: Always state your needs, be alert of the connection and respond to them on time. The small moments of life are the building blocks of the relationship.
  • Always turn towards each other with fondness and admiration: This level basically focuses on amount of affection and respect within a relationship.
  • Positive perspective: The presence of a positive approach and attempt of repairing the issues as well.
  • Manage Conflict: We generally say ‘manage’ conflict rather than ‘resolve’ conflict, because conflicts in relationship is natural and has positive aspects as well.
  • Trust: When the person thinks that his or her partner acts and maximizes in the benefit of the person not just their own personal interests and benefits. This states that the person is having his or her support for me.
  • Creating shared meaning: Understanding important goals, narratives of your relationship for much better understanding.
  • Building love maps: Focusing on how well do you know your partner’s worries, stress, joyful moments or hopes

Who can Benefit from the Gottman Method?

Gottman says that 69% of marital conflicts are perpetual problems and are of particular focus in much of the work. The Gottman method is basically designed to support couples involving various sectors such as economic, cultural, sexual orientation and racial.
Some of the relationship issues that may be addressed in the therapy include the following:

  • Frequent conflicts and the arguments
  • Poor communication
  • Emotionally distanced couples on the verge of separation
  • Specific problems such as sexual difficulties, infidelity, financial aspects and parenting as well.

According to Gottman, Couples who have normal levels of conflict would definitely benefit from the Gottman couples therapy. It also aims in building stronger relationships overall and healthy way in coping up with the issue as they gradually would arise in the future. It is always better to undergo Marriage counseling as early as possible. In case you are having any doubts on when and how to contact a marriage counselor, you may try a free introductory call to find out if you really need a marital counseling. We have a curated list of wellness experts that help you with your marital issues. Book an appointment, today.

Benefits of Marriage Counseling

Clarifying FeelingsHelps individuals understand and articulate their feelings towards their partner and the relationship, facilitating a clearer perspective on what they want moving forward.
Personal GrowthEncourages individuals to reflect on their behaviors and patterns, leading to personal development and a better understanding of how they contribute to the relationship.
Improved CommunicationTeaches effective communication techniques, enabling couples to express their thoughts and feelings in a way that is constructive rather than destructive.
Conflict ResolutionProvides strategies for resolving disputes in a healthy manner, focusing on problem-solving and mutual satisfaction rather than winning arguments.
Increased Intimacy and ConnectionHelps couples rediscover the emotional and physical connection
by addressing barriers to intimacy and encouraging activities that foster closeness.
Strengthening PartnershipReinforces the idea of teamwork and shared goals within the relationship, enhancing the sense of partnership and mutual support.
Coping with Life ChangesOffers tools for navigating through life’s changes and challenges together, strengthening the relationship’s resilience against external stresses.
Understanding and EmpathyFacilitates a deeper understanding of each other’s needs, desires, and perspectives, fostering empathy and reducing judgments and misunderstandings.

Do We Need Marriage Counseling?

The prospect of counseling itself make people hesitant to further venture into this, but counseling sessions makes the person him or her to relieve their stress, anxiety to specific issues and eventually making progress in mutual understanding for a future healthy relationship. Investing feelings in understanding each other for mutual benefit is the most challenging task but yet the easiest way by speaking with a counselor. There are few of benefits which a couple would gain from marriage counseling.

  • Help in clarifying about their feelings
  • Improvisation of personal growth in a relationship
  • Deeper understanding and positive communication amongst the couple
  • Learning to work and process through resolved issues
  • Resolving conflicts and misunderstandings in a healthy manner
  • Building a positive emotional and physical health
  • Building an effective self-esteem

How does Marriage Counseling Help?

With the help of marriage counseling, the couple’s significance and reciprocal nature of their own behavior and attitude which would make them face the reality and give themselves a new positive perspective in their relationship. Due to counseling, it would make the couple understand that, if not taken help in time, a vicious cycle would form which would lead to ending of relationship.

Marriage counseling would also help in bringing out the mutual exchange and openness between the partners, learning how to solve complex and sensitive situations constructively and respectfully, giving undivided attention in listening when either of the partners is talking and also controlling verbal or non-verbal put downs, i.e., making face or rolling your eyes.

Comparison Before and After Marriage Counseling

IssuesBefore CounselingAfter Counseling
TrustLack of trust due to issues like infidelity or financial dishonesty, leading to emotional turmoil.Improved trust through open discussions, rebuilding confidence in each other’s commitment.
CommunicationFrequent misunderstandings, arguments, and an inability to express feelings effectively.Enhanced communication skills, leading to fewer misunderstandings and more productive conversations.
Time Spent TogetherSpending more time apart, lack of shared activities, feeling disconnected.Increased quality time together, engaging in shared interests and experiences to strengthen the bond.
Relationship GoalsDiverging or unclear relationship goals, leading to uncertainty about the future.Aligned relationship goals through mutual understanding and compromise, providing a clear direction for the future.
Handling Life ChangesStruggles in adapting to life changes, leading to stress and distance.Better coping strategies for life changes, mutual support, leading to a stronger partnership.
Dealing with Addiction or StressAddiction or stress affecting relationship dynamics, causing conflict and resentment.Joint strategies to address addiction or stress, fostering healing and mutual support.
Personal StrugglesIndividual issues affecting the relationship, leading to isolation or lack of support.Improved empathy and support for personal struggles, enhancing emotional closeness.


Marriage counseling is a crucial resource for couples facing relationship challenges, including trust issues, communication gaps, and life changes. It provides tools for better understanding, communication, and emotional support, guided by principles like John Gottman’s. The effectiveness of counseling depends on the couple’s engagement and willingness to work on their relationship, with studies showing significant benefits in strengthening partnerships.

Wellness hubs play a vital role by connecting couples with expert counselors, offering a supportive environment for relationship growth. These platforms make it easier to find tailored counseling services, emphasizing the importance of proactive steps towards a healthier, more resilient relationship. Engaging with a wellness hub can be a decisive step for couples looking to enhance their connection and navigate challenges together.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is marriage counseling and how can it help couples?

Marriage counseling is a form of therapy that aims to help couples navigate challenges in their relationship. It offers strategies for improved communication, trust, and understanding, helping partners to strengthen their bond and resolve conflicts effectively.

2. What are the signs that we might need marriage counseling?

Signs that a couple may benefit from marriage counseling include a lack of trust, poor communication, spending less time together, differing relationship goals, coping with life-changing events, dealing with addiction or stress, and personal struggles affecting the relationship.

3. Is marriage counseling effective?

Yes, marriage counseling has been shown to be effective for many couples. Its success largely depends on the couple’s willingness to participate actively and work on their relationship. Studies report high levels of satisfaction and improved relationship dynamics among those who undergo counseling.

4. Can marriage counseling help with personal growth within a relationship?

Absolutely. Marriage counseling not only focuses on resolving conflicts but also promotes personal growth and understanding between partners. This can lead to deeper emotional connections and a more fulfilling relationship.

5. What principles does marriage counseling follow?

Marriage counseling often incorporates principles such as those outlined in John Gottman’s “The Sound Relationship House Theory,” including improving communication, supporting each other emotionally, managing conflict constructively, and creating shared meaning in the relationship.

6. Who can benefit from the Gottman Method of marriage counseling?

The Gottman Method is designed to support couples across various demographics, including those facing frequent conflicts, communication issues, emotional distance, and specific problems like infidelity or financial stress. It is beneficial for couples at all levels of conflict.

7. How does a wellness hub support couples seeking marriage counseling?

Wellness hubs provide a platform for couples to connect with experienced marriage counselors and wellness experts. They offer a curated list of services that cater to the unique needs of each couple, facilitating easier access to support and guidance for improving their relationship.

8. What are the benefits of marriage counseling?

Benefits of marriage counseling include clarified feelings, improved personal growth and communication within the relationship, resolution of conflicts, enhanced emotional and physical health, and stronger self-esteem for both partners.

9. How soon should couples seek marriage counseling?

Couples are encouraged to seek marriage counseling as soon as they notice persistent issues that they find difficult to resolve on their own. Early intervention can prevent further deterioration of the relationship and help couples build a stronger foundation for the future.

10. What steps can couples take if they’re considering marriage counseling?

Couples considering marriage counseling should start by researching reputable wellness hubs or counseling services. Many offer introductory calls to discuss the couple’s needs and match them with suitable counselors, making it an accessible first step towards healing and strengthening their relationship.

About the Author:

Prapoorna Mangalampalli

M.Sc., M.A., (Dual Masters in Psychology & English) – Counselor (6+ years of experience)

Prapoorna armed with a passionate dedication fueled by dual Master’s degrees in Psychology and English, Prapoorna sheds light on and elevates human experiences. Over 6+ years of experience fuel her insightful approach to counseling, offering profound empathy and guidance across diverse areas like online, marital, relationship, child, family, and career counseling.

At Wellness Hub, she thrives in a team environment that values innovation, compassion, and achieving results for their clients.

Connect with Prapoorna to learn how she can help you or your loved one find their voice and build a brighter future.

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