Have you ever considered (or are you in) marriage
counseling? If your marriage
is in trouble, the answer is probably YES.
But will it help you? Will counseling be a
healing experience, or will it make your situation WORSE?
Marriage Fitness is an ALTERNATIVE to marriage
counseling. Why do we need an alternative? What's wrong with marriage
who work with couples are trained to do INDIVIDUAL counseling. They
marriage work as an extension of individual therapy. This is
like asking a private tutor to take over a classroom. Let me explain.
counseling is a laidback experience. The counselor asks questions and
empathizes patiently as the client tells their story. Wherever the
the counselor follows and makes sure the client feels heard. Together,
client and the counselor discuss available options.
This method will NOT work if you’re trying to
stop a divorce and save your marriage.
Reconciling a marriage requires STRUCTURE,
DIRECTION, and GUIDELINES. And the role of the professional in session
is to be
assertive and provide LEADERSHIP. Otherwise, a couple will simply move
battle ground from their house to their therapist's office. The
feel that a lot has been clarified, but that's because it's the first
therapist heard the fight. For the couple, nothing was accomplished. In
the couple leaves the session feeling hopeless.
Helping a couple heal a relationship is a
completely different process than helping an individual "find
themselves." If you want help with your marriage, you don't just want a
professional to listen; you want someone with the confidence and the
provide a clear path to healing and who isn't shy about holding you and
spouse accountable to it. In short, you want LEADERSHIP. You want
You want someone to tell you what to do...what's worked for other
Marriage counseling usually
fails in this
regard. Marriage Fitness, on the other hand, provides a clear and
step-by-step system for renewing your marriage.
Another problem with marriage
counseling is that it unnecessarily demands that both parties get
with their FEELINGS.
Picture this: one
day Brian gets a wake-up call from his wife and realizes that he better
up or he's going to lose his family, Brian agrees to see a marriage
Early in the first session the counselor asks Brian, "How do you
about being here?"
"I just want
to save my marriage."
that's not a feeling," says the counselor, "that's a thought. How do
know," says Brian, "I thought we could talk about solutions
need to work on yourself first before you can work on your marriage."
But Brian is NOT
interested in individual counseling. He's not looking for insight into
he wants to fix his marriage. He doesn't care about his psyche right
cares about his wife. And there's nothing wrong with that!
marriage counselors sometimes advise spouses to separate into
sessions when they really want to work on their marriage. But
counseling is NOT a prerequisite for marital work!
Separation, in general is not good for
Let me be clear
about this point. I'm NOT saying that there's anything wrong with
self-discovery. In fact, understanding yourself can only be positive
will certainly help you succeed with your marriage. However, it's not
necessary. You CAN transform your marriage without entering individual
Here's another big problem with traditional
counselors would describe themselves as "neutral" therapists; meaning
that they aren't in favor of marriage or divorce. Instead, their job is
guide you through a cost-benefit analysis. In other words, would you
by staying married or getting divorced?
If you should
happen to meet a therapist with this approach, while you're at it, ask
you should buy or rent. (Ha Ha!)
Our society has
become very consumer oriented. Unfortunately, this consumer mentality
seeped into marital counseling. But deciding about your marriage is NOT
a purchasing decision. Relationships and family values do NOT lend
to charts listing pros and cons. That would be like trying to grasp an
with your hand; it's the wrong approach. And it won't work.
The other thing
worth noting about this cost-benefit approach which is typical amongst
"neutral" therapists (by now you can see that they're not really
neutral) is that it "favors" the more self-oriented spouse. But in a
troubled marriage, it's that selfishness that needs to be tamed not
I want you to
know that I am NOT neutral. Except where there is physical abuse or
job is to support the POSSIBILITY that you can restore your marriage.
pro-marriage. I'm not on your side or your spouse's side. I'm on the
your marriage. And I think that's what most people need when they're
marital problems; someone to show them hope and offer them a clear path
restoring their relationship.
Recently I helped
a woman named Julie save her marriage. She went through the Lone Ranger
of the Marriage
Fitness Tele-Boot Camp and
I had a number of private sessions with her and eventually with her
too. She said something to me after she felt safe in her marriage that
really proud of. Julie said, "You know Mort, when we went to marriage
counseling, the counselor just kept asking us questions. But I got sick
being asked questions. I wanted answers. You gave me answers. And for
If you'd like
answers too, then enter your name and email address below. I’ll
important point. I want to be clear that I'm not against counseling.
There are some very good counselors who truly understand how to help a
couple succeed with their marriage. My comments above are
generalizations. Generalizations, by definition, are generally true. Of
course, there are exceptions.