My husband is the most handsome man I’ve ever met. He’s also generous and works incredibly hard to provide for our family. He believes in me and encourages me to pursue all my dreams. More importantly, he makes me laugh every single day. Simply put, I’m happily married, and I think my husband would say the same.
The flip side of our happiness is that we’ve both suffered through the indescribably painful process of divorce. If there’s any bright side to having gone through a divorce, which is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, it’s that my husband and I both work extremely hard to make our marriage a happy and successful one. We know that maintaining our relationship along the way is a lot easier than trying to repair a broken marriage, and we don’t take contentedness for granted. Happiness in a marriage does not happen without ample effort, and we are proactive in nurturing the love between us.
One of the most important aspects of maintaining a successful marriage is couple’s counseling. For reasons I can’t quite comprehend, counseling has a stigma associated with it. I know countless people who are reluctant to seek out professional counseling services. I think some people believe that couples in counseling are couples whose relationships are failing, but the opposite is true. Healthy couples employ a variety of tools to ensure that their relationships are successful and fulfilling, and counseling is certainly one of those tools.
Relying on professional help is simply a wise investment in a lifelong relationship. When I crashed my bicycle and was injured in a race, I hired a coach who taught me crucial bike handling skills so that I wouldn’t face the same fate during my next race. When I wanted to learn how to make pasta from scratch, I enrolled in a cooking class. To me, counseling is just like having a yoga teacher or financial adviser. Improving upon a skill or reaching an important goal can be made easier by enlisting the help of someone with professional expertise in that area.
Much like my cycling coach taught me to proactively approach hill climbing by gaining speed in advance in order to reach the peak of the hill without running out of energy, our marriage counselor helps us to communicate proactively so that we can navigate potential areas of conflict without resorting to fighting. Our marriage counselor is also an objective third party, providing an important sense of perspective when we have a hard time seeing eye to eye. Even when time for our counseling appointment arrives and we don’t have any particular conflict to explore, we both find the session beneficial. Our lives are filled with meeting the needs of our children, and taking an hour to ourselves to decompress is valuable for both our relationship and our mental health.
Parenting young children can strain even the strongest of marriages, but having children also makes the success of the parents’ relationship even more critical. If you want your marriage to be the best it can be, consider recruiting some professional help. I can speak from experience that counseling is both cheaper and less painful than divorce.