Your Parents are the Best Marriage Counselors
The State of Marriage Counseling Study surveyed 1000 couples who were engaged, married, and divorced to learn more about the effectiveness of marriage counseling. The results showed that 71% of participants say their experience in counseling ranged from helpful to very helpful.
Marriage counseling doesn’t have to happen in a professional’s office. Sometimes the best marriage therapists are your own parents.
Unlike a marriage counselor, your parents have a vested interest in the success of your relationship. They want you to succeed. They know the positive and negative qualities of both you and your spouse. Because of this, they’ll be the perfect coaches to help you navigate through marriage’s unique problems.
In order for couples to get the best out of marriage counseling, they have to go before any issues and disagreements have gone too far. Here are 10 ways your parents can help solve your marital problems.
1. Outlook is Everything
Not only are parents older and wiser when it comes to managing love and relationships, but the way they raised you may also be beneficial for how you handle your marital problems.
Whether you’re coming to your parents by yourself or with your spouse, their outlook can have a huge impact on how you view your life.
Studies show that parental outlook directly affects how children view the world around them. If they viewed life as negative, you probably do, too. But if they viewed love in a positive light, that optimism will pass onto you.
2. An Outsider’s Perspective
Your marriage-therapist-parent is related to either your or your partner, but that doesn’t mean they can’t see your issues clearly. So long as they are unbiased in their assessment of the situation, letting a parent in for a marriage counseling session can give you some much-needed outside perspective.
3. Trustworthy Parents
If you are approaching your parents with your marital problems, they must be trustworthy. You have the comfort of knowing that they are on your side and want you to succeed. They aren’t going to view your problems as clinical or share them with other members of your family for the sake of gossip.
Your secrets are safe with your parents, which can make opening up about your troubles that much easier.
4. They’ve Been Through It
The odds are that the things you are agonizing over in your marriage are the same issues your parents have had in the early years of their relationship. They’ve been through it and they know how to navigate these challenges.
The insight your parents have will help you have a realistic view of what to do from this point on. This doesn’t mean things will be easy, but having the support of your family during difficult times has been proven to improve mental distress.
5. No Judgement
Marriage therapists do not make it their business to judge couples for coming to counseling. Yet couples may feel squeamish, uncomfortable or embarrassed confessing their problems to a complete stranger.
When it comes to your parents, you do not have to worry about whose side they are on or whether or not they are judging you. They aren’t.
Your parents want you and your partner to succeed in your marriage. They have your happiness and responsibilities in mind as they listen to your troubles.
6. The Importance of a Marital Friendship
Your parents haven’t made it X-amount of years in a successful marriage by being close associates. Far from it! Research reveals that couples are happier when they treat and view each other as best friends. This strengthens the marriage bond and makes it more fun to be around your spouse.
Your parents can give you helpful advice on how to nurture a budding friendship with your spouse in order to strengthen your marital bond.
7. They Know the Importance of Respect
Mom and dad have been through it all. They’ve heard countless parenting tips and navigated the challenges and adventures of marriage like pros. The knowledge they gained has likely led them to know the importance of respect in a marriage.
When you respect your partner you:
Take the time to understand each other
Long to resolve issues
Stay true to your word
Ask any marriage therapist and they will tell you these are all excellent qualities to have in a marriage. When respect has been damaged, your relationship suffers.
Sometimes the best marriage counseling comes from those who know you best. In order to get the best help possible, you and your spouse must be willing to bare your souls and communicate. Let your parents be your marriage therapists and guide your relationship in the right direction.