In every relationship couples may have arguments. Marital counselling is one means to help couples settle their conflicting issues. During the counselling sessions, differences are addressed to find ways to make the relationship better. Through the help of marriage counsellors, couples receive suggestions on how to strengthen their marriage. Many cases have been documented to show that married couples who have sought the advice of counsellors and complied made their marriage last. There are instances when counselling may involve other family members if they are seen as contributing to the problem.
Addressing marital problems before they get worse can help alleviate the pressures on a marriage and improve a relationship among spouses. Most of the counselling techniques currently being used teach couples how to listen and communicate better, and help couples to behave in a more positive way. But some counsellors feel that these techniques only help a marriage last for a year and are insufficient to get couples through more difficult conflicts that may repeat after several years.
Most couples usually wait an average of about six years in an unhappy relationship before they seek for help from a therapist. Marriage counsellors believe that they could have saved more relationships if partners started their therapy way before their relationship has reached a bad condition. It is with a firm commitment and patience that marital therapy can help keep a couple together.
If the case of two couples with the same marital problems are compared and one seeks marriage counselling and the other does not, the one who has gone through therapy would fare better than the partner who does not seek help. Marriage counselling usually does not show high success rates since most of the couple who ask for help are already troubled with heavy problems difficult to solve. It is not a good basis to compare the divorce rate of sad married couples with happy married couples that do not seek marriage therapy. If a couple has reached a point where their relationship can no longer be fixed, it is expected to fail.
The couple and their counsellor must be able to determine the main cause of the failing relationship for the counselling to make a difference. This can take long and trust but if the partners commit to make the relationship work, it will work. A counsellor usually asks if both parties are committed to a lasting relationship so he or she can determine if the couple is serious. If there are signals that indicate that one may not be as committed, the counselling will not work. It is good to remember that many couples have exerted efforts to discover ways to save their marriage.
One of the new approaches to marital counselling is through combined behavioural couples' therapy. Those who have used this method have shown improvement in their marriage in just two years. A study has shown that it is the way that couples fight that breaks the relationship and not the issues that they argue about. Instead of the traditional marital counselling strategy that teaches a couple how to solve or avoid arguments, the integrative therapy method's aim is to make a couple's fights less hurtful by helping the partners accept their differences.