When you opt in to marriage therapy, you are ready to confront some of the most difficult challenges in your relationship. Before you attend your first counseling session, you and your partner should ask each other some of these important questions. The answers may surprise you, but understanding their answers helps you achieve the relationship of your dreams.
How Is Your Communication?
One of the best things you can do before you go to therapy is discuss your level of communication and intimacy. Do you feel like you can be vulnerable with your partner? Can you express those deep feelings and emotions? If you don't feel safe in your communication, your marriage counselor needs to know.
How Is Your Respect?
Many people feel contempt in a deep relationship, especially if they are not happy or have been experiencing problems. Do you respect your partner? Why or why not? Your therapist may ask this question if they feel you may not exhibit respect regularly.
How Is Your Criticism?
Many people end up criticizing their partners over time, and this can feel like an attack. People who feel attacked by their partner on a regular basis do not want to have open and honest communication with their loved ones.
At the same time, you should consider how often each of you feels on the defense. A defensive partner is not open to hearing real criticism. He or she may actually contribute to more problems by being defensive.
How Is Your Commitment?
Do you feel committed in your marriage? If you are not committed to your marriage, your counselor needs to understand why this is the case. Your counselor also needs to understand if there is a reason why your level of commitment could change.
How Is Your Level of Responsibility?
Do you feel that you are a responsible partner? Is your partner responsible? You need to consider which one of you takes on the emotional weight of your relationship more, and how this can change.
How Are Your Goals?
As a couple, you should come up with goals for your relationship. You should also come up with goals separately and see how they line up with the goals of your marriage. What can you do to help your partner achieve those goals?
Marriage counseling helps you answer many of these questions and determine the next steps to move forward with your relationship toward happiness. For more information, talk to a marriage counselor.