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How Can Marriage Therapy Help Your Relationship?

Your marital relationship can be a source of stability and comfort in happy times as well as difficult times. However, your marriage may also be a source of stress if there's strife in the relationship. Resolving conflicts on your own can be difficult. Fortunately, marriage therapists specialize in helping married couples overcome their differences. Here are four ways marriage therapy can help you build a more harmonious relationship with your spouse.

1. Communicate more effectively

Communication is the key to successful relationships. Effective communication can reduce misunderstandings that can lead to hurt feelings. Communication in a marriage may break down because one person is unwilling to listen to the other. Sometimes both spouses have stopped listening by the time they find themselves in a therapist's office. In marriage therapy, a counselor will act as a mediator, ensuring that both parties feel heard and understood. 

2. Address problems as they arise

Disagreements are unavoidable in any relationship. You will run into problems during your marriage. The way you handle those problems will determine whether you have a happy marriage or a troubled one. Ignoring problems may seem like a tempting solution at first. However, problems that are not addressed may fester under the surface, breeding resentment. A marriage counselor will teach you conflict resolution skills that will give you the confidence you need to address problems as they arise.

3. Discuss your sex life

Sex is a contentious topic for many people. There are many taboos around discussing sex, even with your spouse. However, sexual problems are a leading cause of unhappiness in marriages. Discussing your sex life may feel uncomfortable, but it's often necessary to better understand your spouse. Marriage therapy is a safe place to bring up any feelings you have about your sex life. Your marriage counselor will assist by guiding the conversation in constructive and non-judgmental ways.

4. Identify areas where there's room for personal growth

Every marriage is made up of two distinct people. Each spouse's individual mental health impacts the overall health of the marriage. Your personal struggles affect your relationships. Marriage therapy is not a substitute for individual therapy. However, it can still help you and your spouse identify places in your life where there's room to grow. Anger issues, unresolved past trauma, and addictions can all have a detrimental effect on your marriage. Identifying these problems is the first step toward resolving them.

For more information about marriage therapy, contact a local counseling center.