Updated: Mar 31
No matter how long you've been in your marriage, if you've reached a point where you're beginning to feel a little trapped, bored or think you could use some outside help to feel happier, there is absolutely no shame in seeking it out. Are you feeling taken for granted, or unappreciated? Those are feelings that can surface in any relationship, and don't necessarily mean your relationship is in trouble. If you're not feeling completely sure about that decision, you can do a little research to see if couples counseling is the correct choice for you and your partner. Is it worth the cost? Will it work for your situation?
Here at Relationship Help, our greatest goal is to find the correct solutions for you and your partner to work together and feel both comfortable and satisfied in your relationship. So, let's take a look at what couples counseling looks like and whether or not it's the right time for you to dive in.
Is Couples Counseling Necessary? How to Know
While no one can answer this question for you, there are some things you can do to determine if counseling would be beneficial to you and your spouse. There are plenty of signs that might indicate you could benefit from couples counseling, but sometimes it's more of an ever-present feeling of needing to do something.
Whatever the case, in order to figure out whether or not couples counseling would be a good investment, you will need to do some evaluating beforehand. Ask yourself questions like:
"Do I feel like I am treated like an equal in this relationship?"
"Are we fighting more than is considered normal or healthy?"
"Could I do anything to make this relationship better?"
"Am I feeling disappointed more than I am feeling happy?"
"What do I want and need out of this relationship?"
"Do I love my spouse in a way that causes them to feel loved?"
"Are all relationships this hard?"
"Do I often wish I could be free?"
Each of these questions are common among couples who have been together for six years or longer, or who have been experiencing compatibility problems. While it's normal to go through rough patches with your spouse, sometimes there are underlying issues that are best addressed with a therapist. Do you have the desire to improve your relationship, or are you simply sleep walking through your life?
Did you know that 50% of couples who get divorced have some regret about not seeking help before ending things? That alone is worth considering counseling. If you're feeling like you want to get divorced but aren't sure of the consequences, or think you may be letting your feelings run the show right now, take a deep breath and remember that you don't have to decide anything just yet.
Your relationship is worth it. It's worth the time and effort to bring you the most satisfaction, and to preserve the once-positive feelings you had with them. We suggest counseling to couples who find themselves in the middle of a pattern of heated arguments, or have lost interest in communicating regularly or spending quality time together. Certainly if you have proof or fear of an affair, or who are seriously considering divorce. If now might be the time to invest in your marriage, let's talk about your options.
How Much Does Couples Counseling Cost?
There are several options when it comes to counseling. While you could just Google therapists near you, there's something to be said for choosing a program that is highly tailored and uses therapists that are highly experienced.
While the cost of couples counseling can vary widely, you can usually expect to find a counselor that will charge somewhere between $100 - $199 an hour. For couples, many counselors will schedule 90-minute sessions, which would average between $150 - $250 a session. If you can't afford this out-of-pocket, there may be some programs in your community to help with the cost. But don't let cost stop you because you have to ask yourself, how expensive is a divorce?
What Are Our Couples Counseling Options?
When thinking about relationship help or couples counseling, the first thought you will likely have is about talk therapy, or meeting with a counselor and "talking about your problems". While this is the most common type of counseling and can be effective, there are other ways you can get started with couples counseling, or information to gather before you begin that may save you a great deal of money long-term.
Begin with figuring out your personality tendencies and the personality tendencies of your partner. Gaining this incredibly valuable insight can provide a new understanding into how you behave and why, and how it relates to your partner and your relationship. Knowing yourself is the first step to working on how you communicate and what you need in order to be happy in a relationship. There are many personality tools out there but Primary Colors Personality Tests were designed specifically to help people struggling in their relationships.
Then, it's time to consider what type of counseling will be most effective for you. Luckily, there are plenty of options for whatever situation you are dealing with! There is of course, couple's therapy, but there are also couples luxury resort intensives that have proven to be not only extremely enjoyable, but relationship savers. There are online courses where you can bring couples therapy into the comfort of your own home and of course many churches have relationship programs that can be very helpful.
Here at Relationship Help we offer a variety of packages and programs that can make a huge difference in your relationship, and can help you feel happy and connected once again.
If you're just now beginning to worry about your marriage—or you don't feel that things are that in danger just yet—we suggest our Basic Personality Training course. This fun, easy test allows you and your spouse to learn critical insights into your personalities and how you work together, or more importantly, are NOT working together. This can easily help you communicate better, learn what environmental factors trigger your anger and how to deal with them, as well as how to treat your partner better. This is a great course for those wishing to learn more about themselves and build their emotional intelligence!
If your marriage is on the rocks—or are seriously considering divorce—we suggest our Relationship Help Retreat. In this weekend retreat, you will stay in a beautiful suite in Mesa, Arizona, and get the best help possible for your marriage, working directly with Dawn Billings. Dawn has over 45 years of experience working with marriages, has published over 15 books, and been featured by Oprah. This Retreat will give you everything you need to build a strong foundation in your marriage, and build the relationship you've always wanted.
All the Benefits of Couples Therapy, at a Fraction of the Cost
Another amazing option for getting started with Couples Counseling is Dawn's do-it-at-home program, Relationship Help at Home. This 26-week at-home course is easy to follow, offers incredible insights into effective communication, and comes with our colors personality test. This means you can figure yourself out at the same time that you are learning how to be a better partner and spouse.
The best part is that that the entire course only costs about as much as 2 or 3 couples counseling sessions, and comes with a list of awesome resources for you and your partner to work with. Take advantage of all of Dawn's experience and training on your own time, in your own home, and at a fraction of the cost of ongoing couples therapy. Skip the therapist, and start today!
How To Get Started With Counseling
Counseling and marriage programs at home can be a super effective way to increase your quality of life and help you to become better people both together and apart. A study performed by Frontiers found that couples who went through online couples counseling came away from the experience feeling as though they had a connection with the therapist, complimented the ease of at-home counseling, and ultimately felt better in their respective relationships.
Once you've chosen the program that's right for you, it's time to put in the work. Hopefully you and your spouse are both ready to begin this journey together, and hopefully you both desire the same outcome. If not, things might get a little confusing as you work toward improving yourselves and your marriage. So, make sure your goals are aligned before you even begin the course. Remember that, even if you are feeling resentment, anger, and even outright betrayal about your marriage, you cannot begin the process of healing without approaching it from a place of love. You'll need to ask each other questions like…
"If you could change anything about our relationship, what would it be?"
"How do you envision a more positive relationship?"
"What do you need from me in order to feel happier in our relationship?"
"What do you think would help you the most with this course?"
"What do you think needs to change in order to prevent divorce?"
Then, it's up to you to really want to change. You didn't go into this marriage lightly, and it's still not something you want to just give up on. If you're willing to try couples counseling, then be sure your partner is as dedicated as you are to building a lasting, more effective marriage.
How Long Does Counseling Take to be Effective?
Studies have shown that, on average, it takes about twelve sessions before couples feel as though they've made progress and no longer require counseling. However, the answer to this will be different for every couple depending on how long you've been together, if you have children or other parties involved, and the results you're looking for.
Sometimes your relationship just requires a safe environment to discuss sensitive topics, with a licensed professional there to mediate. That being the case, you may find yourself feeling ready to end counseling after only a few sessions. Sometimes, there are deep-seated issues that may take much longer to unravel and begin to feel manageable. However, if you both are willing to put in the work, counseling can:
Help you work through disputes
Heal you heal from trauma
Help you resolve cohabitation differences
Help you rekindle passion and romance
Teach you how to better appreciate and love one another
The biggest difference in how long you attend therapy will depend on you and your partner. Not to keep harping on the same point, but we cannot stress enough the importance of going into counseling with the right mindset. If you or your partner are entering counseling with feelings like 'this is unnecessary', or 'we can handle this on our own', or 'we don't even have any problems to begin with,' then you won't get far with counseling. Make sure you and your partner are both willing to change and grow together.
Time to Take the First Step
If you're considering couples counseling as a way to save your marriage, you are not alone. Couples counseling can be highly effective in the right situations, and if you are ready to change for the better. If you want to continue doing research, check out our blog, written by Dawn L. Billings, the author of many relationship and counseling books, as well as the creator behind Relationship Help's colors personality test and therapy courses.
We hope this guide was helpful, and we hope the best for you and your partner or spouse on this journey to self love and self improvement!