I’m hearing a consistent refrain from men – “Marriage counseling consists of sitting for one hour a week getting to hear all of the things I’ve done wrong in my marriage.” This is from men who have experienced marriage counseling first-hand and walked away seeing it as a one-sided process. Might there be bias in their perspective? Maybe, but after getting more details it’s easy to see how they draw that conclusion.
Marriage counseling shouldn’t be one sided. The couple is the client (not one spouse) with the goal of helping the couple improve their relationship as a whole.
The goal isn’t about dragging your spouse in so you can spend an hour complaining about them. Quite frankly, that’s not productive and is a waste of money. You don’t learn any new skills, your spouse feels defeated, and neither of you make strides in personal growth when you’re pointing the finger of blame at each other.
When looking for a therapist be sure (s)he is asking both partners what their contribution to the marital problems are. Both partners should be setting goals for themselves and working on making changes, not just one. Sometimes it takes visiting a few therapists until you find the right fit. Marriage is hard work and it’s important to get qualified professional help to get you back on track and give you hope for the future.