3 Reasons to Avoid Marriage Counseling
People are starting to become more aware of the pitfalls and dangers of marriage counseling. I personally cannot think of a more misleading group of so-called professionals...There are some very good reasons to avoid marriage counselors.
People are starting to become more aware of the pitfalls and dangers of marriage counseling. I personally cannot think of a more misleading group of so-called professionals. Just the other day I met an individual who told me the marriage counselor she and her husband were seeing was wonderful. I was surprised and told her how unusual it was, from my experience, for marriage counselors to actually help marriages. She said "Oh, she wasnt able to help us stay together, were getting divorced at the end of the week, but we really like her." Fortunately for her family, which includes a precious four year old daughter, I was able to convince her their marriage was definitely worth saving.
There are some very good reasons to avoid marriage counselors.
I dont know the statistics of how many people who are getting a divorce went through marriage counseling, but the most commonly accepted statistic for how many people get a divorce - and most of them have gone through marriage counseling - is scary enough. On the low end 70% of the people who have gone to marriage counseling get a divorce, on the high end it is well over 90%. Thats like bringing your car into an auto repair shop that repairs somewhere between %2 and 30% of the cars they work on; the rest of the cars end up in the junkyard. So its fair to say the number one reason to not get marriage counseling is because statistically it is a fraudulent profession that advertises benefits it cannot deliver.
Sometime statistics can be misleading. What is important to understand is where they come from. Sometimes they speak so loudly there is no need to look into their source. For instance the statistic regarding divorce rates among various professional groups. I found a statistic that I thought was pretty reliable because I was able to trace it back to a study. A psychiatrist is a medical Dr. who is trained in the fields of psychology. The following article reports that 51% of psychiatrists get a divorce.
From the John Hopkins Gazette
After decades of following 1,118 physicians who graduated from the Hopkins School of Medicine between 1948 and 1964, researchers found a 51 percent divorce rate for psychiatrists and 33 percent for surgeons, rates higher than those for internists (24 percent), pediatricians and pathologists (each 22 percent). The study revealed a 32 percent overall physician divorce rate.
The number two reason to not go to marriage counseling: Statistically they demonstrate the same capacity for remaining married as anyone else! Wouldnt it be odd if an auto mechanic had to bring his car to the junkyard because he couldnt get it running?
Everyone knows the story about the boy who stuck his finger in the dike and saved Holland. The counter moral to that story is if you dont do something in time it gets much worse. But the accepted practice of marriage counseling includes regular meetings of 45 to 50 minutes for at least several months. As someone who has worked with people in crisis situations I can tell you absolutely 45 or 50 minutes is not enough time. My own sessions lasted two HOURS and I never scheduled anyone behind the people I worked with in case I needed another 15 or 20 minutes. What do these counselors think happens at the end of the session when one or both parties has just vented about their spouse? So here is the third and final reason to not get marriage counseling: So that you can avoid the increased grief caused by putting everything out on the table, when all it does is worsen the relationship.
God didnt make marriage so complex that you need an expert to guide you every step of the way. However, due to the bizarreness of our current society, people dont lead a natural life and dont know what to do in most situations. The lessons I have written explain the principles and dynamics of marriage. When you read them everything will become very clear to you. I cant tell you how many times Ive heard people say or write that everything in the lessons seems like they already knew it before. In a nutshell Lessosn For A Happy Marriage is common sense sorted for the specific life of a married couple. Learn how to be married and enjoy the very best situation you will ever have. Now go ahead and tell your spouse, "I love you."
Paul Friedman, author of Lessons For A Happy Marriage, entered into the business of helping couples mend their marriages after a very rough personal experience with divorce. He discovered the truth from his clients: they only sought divorce because the help they found to stay together didnt work. Read more on the Relationship Advice Blog.