Relationships are challenging, we know this to be true. We can try our hardest to “make it work” with our partners but sometimes we’re at a loss as to how to “fix” things. I’ve participated in couple’s counseling multiple times and I’ve learned some important lessons from my experiences. One of the most important lessons I recall from my time in couple’s counseling is this: we each have a different perspective on events and both viewpoints are valid. I can see the sky as blue and you see it as green; both views are valid because we are two human beings with different brains, and disparate feelings. There is no right way to exist because most things in life are subjective. This is especially important to remember in romantic relationships.
Before I went to couple’s counseling, I believed that my viewpoint superseded my partner’s. Now I realize just how wrong I was. Yes, my viewpoint is valid and important, but so is his. If I could go back in time and place more value on my partner’s perspective on emotional concerns. I had difficulty accepting his point of view, because I am used to questioning myself. In the past I was insecure about my opinions; I believed that other people’s points of views were more valid than mine. I know that seems counterintuitive, but being assertive about standing my ground was my way of building a wall so that the other person’s opinion couldn’t merge with mine. In the past (specifically my childhood) I got used to people with strong stances speaking over me or invalidating my point of view.
Now that I’m an adult I know that my opinion matters. It took going to couple’s counseling for me to fully recognize my deficit and to shift my perspective. As human beings we are bound to disagree on certain topics. The most important thing to remember (and keep reminding yourself) is that both views are valid.
There are different forms of couple’s counseling. When I was in marriage counseling (for example) it was an in-person experience. We went to a therapist’s office, sat down with her and spoke about our issues with communication among other things. However, now that technology has advanced, there is online marriage counseling. In this technology-based area (the 21st century) it can be difficult to line up one another’s schedules to meet with a psychologist in person. Online marriage counseling is a great way to address relationship issues in a timely way, and in the comfort of your own home. This sort of counseling can feel less intimidating than seeing a psychologist in person.
Remember that your point of view does not exist in a vacuum. Other people have perspectives that may differ from you. I say this a lot, but your feelings are valid because you feel them. Just as you are entitled to your feelings, so is your husband, wife or partner.
More than anything, the fundamental reason for marriage counseling should be that you love your partner and you want a concrete way to show them that. If you can show your partner that you care and appreciate them, you will most likely find that this caring and compassion is reciprocated. That’s something that I personally want in a relationship, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that.
What about you? Would you consider couple’s counseling?