Eighteen years ago my marriage was in tatters. My husband and I went to counseling for years thinking there was something wrong with us, but we finally realized that the counseling was the problem. That set me on a path to discovering the principles of intimacy, which I describe in The Surrendered Wife, a New York Times best-selling book printed in 26 countries and 15 languages.
Hundreds of thousands of women have used these principles to transform their shredded marriages into intimate, passionate relationships, but too many are still stuck in ineffective marriage counseling. Here are some of the reasons that marriage counseling is a big, fat lie.
1. It starts with calling your spouse a loser
When a wife says to her husband, “We should go to counseling,” what she really means is, “You’re a loser.”
Since a key ingredient for intimacy is emotional safety, this approach puts the connection she craves further out of reach. The last time your husband criticized you, did it make you want to hug him?
A woman who doesn’t realize she just criticized her husband by suggesting marriage counseling might think his snarky response is coming out of nowhere — which proves he needs marriage counseling.
No relationship ever got happier from one person criticizing the other. What takes more courage — but always results in much greater connection — is being vulnerable by admitting you feel hurt, rejected or lonely.
2. Some marriage counselors are failures
Some marriage counselors aren’t married. Others are divorced twice or unhappily married. Is this who you want to pay for advice? Would you take fitness tips from a 350-pound personal trainer who just had bypass surgery?
If your marriage counselor doesn’t have the kind of relationship you want, she simply can’t tell you how to get it. When I think about the lousy advice that we got during our marriage counseling, I’m amazed that we survived it.
Instead of someone with an impressive diploma, consider seeking the advice of a wife with a happy, healthy, intimate relationship.
3. Any fool can complain and most do during marriage counseling
The fastest way to destroy your relationship is to focus on what’s wrong with your partner. Dwelling on his faults is the opposite of what you did when you fell in love. If you admired his ambition and now you think he works too much, guess what changed? Only the way you’re looking at him.
Couples typically argue after a marriage counseling session because focusing on each other’s faults makes you feel more resentful and hopeless.
If you want to restore your relationship, here’s a great remedy: Make a habit of giving your partner three expressions of gratitude daily. Focusing on the things you appreciate about your mate is a powerful way to remind yourself…
Read more: Laura Doyle, YNaija