Marriage counseling is supposed to fix marriages, isn’t it? Well, not exactly. In my humble opinion, marriage counseling is just a temporary patch.
When a couple comes in and they are experiencing problems, focusing on the marriage and getting the marriage back to running smoothly should not be the goal! Why? Because it only addresses symptoms of the real problem. The real problem is the unhealthy behavior in the individuals in the marriage! Each person needs to look at their own unhealthiness, figure out where it comes from, and then work to make themselves healthier (that’s called recovery!).
If we don’t fix what’s wounded in the two individuals, then a healthy marriage cannot be had. Oh sure, you can patch it up a bit and gimp the marriage along for awhile, but you will miss some extremely important life lessons. It is through finding out what is broken in us, and working on ourselves, that we can ultimately experience self-fulfillment, peace, and true joy. It is by being humbled to our very core, that we learn to fully love ourselves and to be loved by others. Simply working on the mechanics of being a good marital partner won’t turn you into a good spouse. If that were true, we could theoretically marry a robot, and be quite happy (have you seen The Stepford Wives?) Being humble and open enough to admit that you are broken, and being dedicated to working on being the best person that you can be is the best way to be a good spouse.
You are much more than a spouse! If you want to reap the benefits this life has to offer, I encourage you to take your focus off of your marriage and focus on being who and what you were created to be. Find your life’s purpose. Love and serve others. Learn what your marriage has to teach you. Experience personal growth through the trials in your life. Find personal fulfillment. Find God. Let the marriage fall into place because you are being who you are and doing what you were meant to do! When things get back into balance, you will see that marriage is not meant to make your life. Marriage is meant to enrich your life through not only the joys, but also the sorrows it brings. If there is too much focus on keeping your marriage together, you might miss the full and wonderful richness personal growth!!