Typically, when a couple walks in my counselling office, I can tell within three minutes if there are going to stay together or not. People often ask me is it going to work out with us? Sometimes I say no. But how can I tell? There are three types of couples that walk into my office. All of them as a specific motivation. The first is: I'm leaving, theren't not that much that can be done with this group. I basically help them separate. The second type of couple that comes in because they are not sure if they should be together. Often they will ask, what's your opinion on our success? I'll often say: Zero. The reason for this is because if you have not decided that you want to be together. If you don't know yet? You most likely will not get there with your partner unless there is a radical shift. Marriage counselling is not be people who aren't sure that they should be together. It is for people who have lost hope but still want to be with that person.
In some ways marriage or any relationship is about the time line you want to have with your partner. Are you going in the same direction? Maybe you were but not the two of you hae changed and are looking for something differeent out of the relationship. Maybe you're kids have grown up. Maybe you want deeper sex and intimacy. There are all clients that I love working with, they are easy.
And they are easy because they have the ball, and they want to learn how to play with it more. They have had enough togetherness experiences to say, I want more of this but am not certain as to where to go from here. This is my ideal couple.
This is different from people who have not decided if they can or even want to play together with the other. Often this group might share simliar goals but there old stories (which should be respected) and the beliefs of what they are looking for in a parnter are different. Sometimes this group might want to get to the same place but they soon find the person they are driving with isn't that pleasant. With this group, I'll often deconstruct what they are looking for and see if they are in fact looking for the right partner.