Some days I get frustrated. Part of my job at SaveMyMarriageToday.com involves answering submissions from customers with marital problems that they need extra advice with. Some people need an alternative perspective on the issues surrounding their marriage crisis, while others simply need a little push. I get a few with issues so numerous and intertwined, it can be quite confusing identifying what the issues even are!
And then I get submissions from people angry with me because they are looking for a miracle, no effort required cure to their marriage problems. I don’t promise I can save every marriage, and anyone who tells you they can are misleading themselves as well as those around them. What I do promise is that the techniques I use and the knowledge I impart will maximize the chances of turning a crisis around and working back towards recreating the love that once existed in the marriage.
Marriage guidance is not about brainwashing your partner into something they don’t want. And it’s not about manipulating your partner into staying in a marriage so that one person can get their own way. If you are looking for that type of advice your marriage is doomed. Maybe not right away, but eventually the cruel reality of brainwashing and manipulation or gameplaying will win over. Saving marriages is about imparting wisdom at a time when no wisdom exists. Saving marriages is about putting an end to the tit-for-tat nature of game playing that many marriage problems seem to follow. Saving marriages is about making a commitment to wanting things to be different, and wanting to express genuine love for your partner without being hurt. Saving marriages is also about recognizing hurt and healing it as part of the process so that couples are able to move forward.
It is also a lot of hard work. And that’s what sorts out the serious ones from the dreamers. A number of people assume that in buying a book or some counseling from a counselor that they will get some magic fix to the train wreck that is their marriage. This is a childish and misguided expectation, but one that is not all that uncommon. If you want someone else to give you all the answers and do all the work, your marriage is over before you have even started. The commitment has to come from you. The patience and heartache has to come from you. Counselors and therapists will help facilitate this process, but essentially the work involves you and your partner.
So what do you need to make your marriage counseling work?
- a work ethic
- a commitment to wanting something bettter
- an open mind to alternative perspectives
- a removal of expectations
- a need to take responsibility for your share of the problem
- a commitment to the healing process
- commitment to an outcome
- the belief that the love you feel for your partner makes the pain of healing worth it
I can help couples, and I have heaps of success stories. But if you are looking for the ambulance at the bottom of the marital cliff to clean up the wreckage and make it all better, be prepared for the fact that the ambulance might have already left.
If you have the belief that you can heal your marriage, this belief will create reality. The job of a counselor is to make you aware of the tools you need to create.