Many people have a misconception that they have to wait until their marriage or relationship is in shambles to seek counseling. That’s like saying you have to be in the worst shape of your life to go to a gym. In fact, many of the happiest couples are those who seek counseling at the first sign of even the slightest issue. Some couples have a strong marriage partly because they attended pre-marriage counseling when everything was wonderful. See an additional article for why premarriage counseling is important for engaged couples.
But for some reason, many people have a stigma about counseling. With half of marriages ending in divorce and an unknown percentage of married couples who merely learn to tolerate one another, it can be difficult to understand while a stigma still exists. For example, how many people have complained to a friend or family member about their partner, even in a half-joking and loving way?
Most Cardinal Point clients are high-functioning couples for whom perhaps their best friends wouldn’t know they have some marital struggles. Maybe there are just a few communication issues (every couple has communication issues). Others have diverse issues, and some are on the brink of divorce.
The sooner a couple starts counseling, the more likely they will have highly positive outcomes. But unfortunately, while the average couple in the U.S. waits six years after the sign of serious problems, this isn’t the healthiest, easiest, most cost-effective, or efficient way to improve the thing that may be most important to you.
Most couples try first with books or self-help articles. If this approach works for you, that is wonderful. But most of these books collect dust on a shelf, and most couples need a person who can provide individualized care and accountability.