Marriage Problems and Couples Counseling: Why Try?

Marriage problems don’t have to end a relationship. With couples counseling, your relationship may become healthier, stronger, and long-lasting.

Marriage problems  and aren’t easily defined. They can arise in a new marriage or an old one, vary in depth, result from a volatile event (like infidelity), or come to a head after consistent miscommunication. Marriage is a union of two lives and, naturally, conflict happens. You and your partner may need a new set of skills to address your differences and respond in healthy ways.

When we look at why couples break up, the most common culprits are:

  • The individuals in the relationship haven’t learned to deal with their differences
  • The individuals don’t pay enough attention to the relationship
  • One partner feels like they accommodate and sacrifice more than their spouse

However, marriage problems can also erupt from more complex sources like each individual’s personal challenges, including bad habits and behaviors, anger problems, emotional pain, loneliness, or past life events.

If you seek support from a couples therapist, choose an experienced counselor with deep knowledge of all possible systemic causes of marriage and relationship conflict.

Watch a one minute video about why couples put off counseling, but why they shouldn’t:

Have questions about couples counseling? Get in touch with us →

Do Marriage Problems Mean It’s All Over?

The short answer is “no.” In fact, many couples come out of crises stronger! If you and your partner want to make the marriage work, counseling can be especially helpful.

Some couples recognize their marriage problems and come to a mutual understanding that they need to devote energy to their relationship. If you and your spouse decide that you want to improve your marriage, be proud that you’ve already taken the first step to a healthier relationship. Commitment, work, and time can turn a resentful, disillusioned relationship into a thoughtful, affectionate one that flourishes.

If you don’t know whether you want to work on your relationship, you can try discernment counseling. Discernment counseling is a short series of sessions that help a couple decide if they want to move forward with the relationship or not. Sometimes it’s best to walk away from a relationship, but before you make any major decisions, we recommend you discuss your situation with an objective, experienced relationship counselor.

It’s important to note that discernment counseling is not appropriate when there is danger of domestic violence, an order of protection from the court, or one spouse is forcing the other to participate. You and your spouse need to be in this together.

Marriage Problems and Newlyweds

A new marriage can feel blissful, as the cliche “newlywed bliss” goes, but it’s also a challenging adjustment period. Even couples who dated long before they tied the knot can suddenly feel caught up in a post-honeymoon sea of emotions. First, recognize that this is completely normal. Marriage is tough and you’re not alone!

You can work on your marriage by developing relationship skills that help marriages grow stronger over time. As a newly married couple, it’s helpful to learn how to embrace change, resolve conflict peacefully, and be self-reflective, rather than critical of your partner, when you become frustrated. You can grow old together. An experienced counselor can help you build these skills together.

Find out if Couples Counseling is right for your relationship →

Marriage Problems and Stepfamilies

marriage and stepfamiliesIntegrating two families causes a unique set of challenges for adults and children. Everyone has a unique response to change. You and your spouse may clash even if you both have the best intentions.

One common solution to conflict is boundary setting.


In counseling, you learn how to set boundaries for parenting new stepchildren and co-parenting with your ex-spouse.


Find out if Stepfamily Counseling is right for you

What’s Next?

Our experienced associates can help you develop a healthy, long lasting marriage:

More Resources for You and Your Partner

In our efforts to bring value to your life, or if you are not in the Chicago area, Couples Counseling Associates has developed a series of lessons that could have a major impact on effectively improving your relationship. We encourage you to dive into the series and discover how these resources can benefit you and your partner.

Remember, it’s the positive habits we develop that guarantee us success in all areas of our lives. Discover the seven healthy habits that improve relationships or get in touch with us to learn more about Couples Counseling Associates.

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Couples Counseling Associates in Chicago