Does Marriage Counseling Actually Work??

Does Marriage Counseling Actually Work??
The short answer is yes, yes absolutely marriage counseling can work. Notice I said can. It doesn't always work, and there are a few things you may want to consider before jumping in head first.

First of all, for marriage counseling to be effective, both partners need to be on board. If only one is invested in it, it will most likely be one sided, and will lead to resentment, which can further damage the relationship rather than healing it.

That's not to say counseling can't help your marriage though, even if your partner isn't interested in going. 
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The Biggest Difference

The Biggest Difference
Three years ago, my life was a freaking mess. My stress level was through the roof, I was yelling at my kid all the time, and my marriage was far more broken than I even realized at the time. I had started attending seminars that were billed as business teachings, but really were so much more, and had learned quite a bit about why I was struggling in life. One of the things I learned was that a husband is supposed to be the leader of the house. Maybe this is something that makes you say duh. Or maybe you believe this is an antiquated notion that has no place in this day and age. Either way, what I'm sharing in this post can still be relevant to you, pinky promise.
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Do Scary Things!

Do Scary Things!
Now, I'm not talking about rollercoasters and haunted houses, though I am always up for those kind of thrills! But what I'm talking about goes much deeper. I'm talking about stepping outside of your comfort zone and doing the things you feel called to do, but also feel really really scary.

For me, that's being vulnerable. It's showing up in a place that opens me up to judgement. It's showing my human-ness, showing my pain. Because for me, feeling pain meant being weak. Obviously that's not actually true. It's just part of the human experience. But I had held that believe for as long as I can remember.
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Happy is a feeling, Love is a choice

Happy is a feeling, Love is a choice
My husband did something that really made me mad yesterday. Like, I wanted to condemn him, and stomp off and slam the door kind of mad. Was it really that bad? Probably not. But that's not the point. Did I give in to my feelings? To some degree, yes. And as I stood in my bedroom scrolling my phone, this voice whispered to me, love is a choice, an action, not a feeling.

See, you can feel love from another and for another person. That much is true. But it fades, on both ends. And when it fades, you have a choice. You can either let it fade away like the daylight, or you can choose to show love. And sometimes you will be faced with the choice to show love even when you FEEL mad.
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The truth about hiding your pain...

The truth about hiding your pain...
For as long as I can remember, I have been very guarded with my feelings. I don't like sharing, even with close friends and family, even with my husband, because it makes me feel vulnerable and unprotected. It opens me up, to judgement, to hurt, to abandonment. Likely, this stems back to when my mom was sick with cancer, before she passed away. I can remember going to visit my mom when she was in the hospital, in a coma, and I couldn't even form the words to tell her I loved her. I didn't want the others in the room, even my dad and sister, knowing how much I was hurting. It never occurred to me that they were feeling the same way. I only felt how visible I was to them, how on display my pain and feelings were. My dad didn't really open up with us about how he was feeling when she was sick, and actually neither did she. They both put on a brave face and tried to go about life as if all was well, and would be well forever. It wasn't until the night before my mom died that my dad had a heart to heart and finally broke down and cried. That was the first moment I realized she might not come home. She passed the next morning before I woke up.
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