Poll on Marriage Counseling

Since my wife and I have started seeing a counselor (trying to make that 8/10 marriage into a 9.8 out of 10), we have had various reactions from friends and family. Some think it’s a good idea for anyone, some are a little jealous, and some recoil with horror and try to make excuses for why we would need to do such a thing. “Surely it must be for your training, Adam.” Little does that third group know, we like going. We are actually regular people with regular problems, and don’t want to settle for anything less that pretty much amazing. Which is important because contrary to popular belief, people who have higher standards and expectations for their marriage have the best marriages, not the worst.

While I certainly don’t think everyone needs to go, even if they have the opportunity, it is a great resource, and I am curious why many of us don’t. Time for a poll!

For those voting “other,” feel free to leave a thought in the comments. 🙂


About shenpa warrior

"Patience is not learned in safety." View all posts by shenpa warrior

9 responses to “Poll on Marriage Counseling

  • Debra

    I found a link to your blog via Sherpa’s blog. I am a marriage counselor myself, and I have heard some people express many of those concerns you listed in your poll as reasons why they haven’t been to counseling. It does help, but I don’t think it’s necessary for everyone. If you do have a good thing, it can still make it better, though. The key is that both people have to WANT to be there and be willing to be open and honest and put the work into it to get something out of it.

  • adam

    Debra–agreed. I’m fairly new to the field (been seeing couples since August of last year). I agree that it is not necessary for everyone, or even the majority of couples. I definitely view it on a spectrum, however, and a good therapist can really help most relationships.

  • Papa D

    adam, given the time and money constraints of our life and the very strong nature of our relationship, we just don’t think it’s worth prioritizing over other things. I wouldn’t word it as “our problems aren’t bad enough”, since I don’t see counseling as only for those who are doing badly, but . . .

    I don’t mean this in a proud way, but we do a really good job of communicating about marriage-specific stuff – and I’ve functioned for years as a free therapist for my wife. *grin*

  • Happy The Man

    I was going to say exactly the same as what Papa D said, almost verbatim. Though I would say that I do feel “my problems aren’t bad enough”, at least to merit making it a priority over other things that demand my time. BTW, I checked the “my problems aren’t bad enough” but the poll results did not reflect that answer. I went back and polled again, only selecting that one choice and again the poll results didn’t reflect it. There’s a glitch in the poll app.

    For what it’s worth, I do think highly of marriage counseling. 9 or 8 or 7 or fewer kids ago (back in the care-free days when I had to worry about how much TV I watched or personal fun time I indulged in), I should have set apart time to pursue counseling. And maybe if I had had any positive feedback on the matter in those days, maybe I would have. But it wasn’t until my sister did it and told my Mom that it was extremely beneficial that I would have ever even considered it. And realize, this was passed on from my mom and not my sister, so I’m inclined to think these matters are a little too personal to share openly (or they are at least perceived to be). But my sister has a wonderful marriage and I’m pretty sure she always did. I’m certain that she wasn’t one of those “last option before divorce” cases, I think she did it more for the reasons you stated, to make a “good” thing “great” or better. They have 5 boys, the youngest is 12 the 4th is going on a mission in April, the other 3 are RMs and two are married in the temple, the third soon to be (April). So, I speculate that they have never had real troubles in their marriage, at least not that I ever knew about. And my sister is pretty open, she’d have told me.

  • Deanne Hill

    Ditto to Papa D’s comments as well. I too think counseling is a fantastic idea… I just never have needed it thus far in my relationship. Our stake had 2 counselors (also from our stake) hold a group marriage class and I heard such positive things about it that if they held one again, I’d probably go. I’m always up for learning new things! 🙂

  • [kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊]

    I think therapy and counselling are awesome, whether for individuals or for couples. I voted other only b/c I’m single.

  • adam

    Here are the comments from the “other” votes:
    -“we feel we are doing well at improving our good marriage on our own”
    -“I’m not a couple”
    -“It would be premature, as I am not married.”
    -“Time is an expense, if I felt that we really needed it, I’d make it happen”
    -“Our marriage is 9.5 out of 10, if not better.”

  • G

    we haven’t gone to counseling because we are both pretty lazy.

    and there are no red flags to kick us out of that laziness.

    did you ever see Mr and Mrs Smith? heheh… Brad Pitt’s character: “just want to take a look under the hood. make sure everything is running smoothly” (paraphrase)

    I think it’s always a good idea.

    but so funny how other people interpret it.

    as an aside, when I added that “not just friends” book to my goodreads list I got several messages from friends concerned that something had happened in our marriage.

  • adam

    Ha, when I added that book I still managed to get one message, despite being a counselor. Really though, would someone add that book to their goodreads list if there really was a problem?

    I did see the movie, and actually those scenes were my favorite. Of course, I like any marriage counseling in movies, especially when it’s not portrayed poorly.

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