The difficulty in being married is rarely a secret. In The Message Eugene Peterson translates a passage on marriage (Mathew 19:11-12) this way, “Jesus’ disciples objected, “If those are the terms of marriage, we’re stuck. Why get married?” But Jesus said, “Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace. Marriage isn’t for everyone. Some, from birth seemingly, never give marriage a thought. Others never get asked – or accepted. And some decide not to get married for kingdom reasons. But if you’re capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.”
We have found that "growing into the largeness" of marriage is not easy. Marital counseling is a tool to help couples that have found it difficult to work together. Often the safety of having another person in the room (a counselor) helps couples to hear and say things they have not been able to say alone or have said too harshly when alone. In addition, a good pastoral counselor has experience and wisdom in areas where you are struggling so he or she can provide the guidance, teaching, direction, support and/or encouragement that will help you navigate through historically difficult patterns or situations.
The arrangements for marital counseling are different for every couple. There are couples where both spouses attend every session together. Sometimes the husband or wife goes for individual counseling and then is joined by their spouse later on for joint counseling. There are times when the husband may see one counselor and the wife may see another counselor. Couples may also alternate between individual sessions and sessions together. When you call or email to make an appointment, the counselor you speak with can help you think through the options.