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Sunday, January 19, 2014

What Marriage Counseling Taught Me

It is no secret that married couples including Christian couples face some challenging times. My husband and I was not except from these challenges. Coping with job loss, a toddler and two different personalities left our family living in an intense and at times unhappy setting which led to questions of separation and divorce. Before making a final decision to leave my husband, I met with two older, wiser and more experienced women.  What each woman said, changed my outlook on marriage and what is needed to maintain a successful marriage.

One of the women said, “I wish we sought counseling years ago, it would have made our lives easier.” The other woman stated, “Counseling helped me be honest.”  

Since I have read studies that show over and over again that couples who seek counseling usually end up getting a divorce (“MarriageGuardian,” 2014) I was still unsure. After praying and fasting, counseling was the best option. I must admit that my husband was not too happy about going to counseling but it made our marriage stronger and we appreciate each other more than ever before.

During those grueling 1 hour sessions, I learned many things but three (3) main things were revealed about myself and our marriage that may help your marriage.


1.      I was selfish: Everything I did was about me (my dreams, my feelings, my money).  I was not living a biblical life but allowed the worldly view to change my Christian perception on marriage.

In Philippians 2:3-4, it states, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.  

What I do to combat Selfishness:

Now, I try to do something daily to make my husband feel special. If it means spending extra time cooking his favorite dinner or just calling to say hello during the day


2.      I did not really know my husband: I spent so much time focusing on myself that I failed to learn more about my husband. During counseling, I realized that he really thinks highly of me, loves me unconditionally, and loves having sex to show how much he cares for me.

What I do to remind myself my husband cares:

I read between the lines. If my husband says, “I really liked when we watched NCIS together the other day.” This means, he wants me to start watching it with him weekly. I have started taking the time to watch the series with him, and I can tell that he loves that time with me.

3.      Things are NOT that bad:

I never thought I would ever say that things are NOT that bad but they are NOT. The counselor discussed that we all have “deal breakers” in a marriage. Meaning cheating, lying, fathering another child while married, physical or mental abuse.  My husband does annoy me, but he did not do anything that we could not work out.


How I remind myself things are NOT that bad:

 If my husband forgets to take out the trash but cleans the bathroom, at least he completed one task for the day (do you agree ladies)?



If you are having a challenging time in your marriage, reflect on your reasons for falling in love and pray about what to do next. Is counseling an option? If it is, I don’t think you will regret having the opinion of an objective source.



  1. Delora - Thank you so much for being vulnerable and sharing your heart with us. My husband and I have talked about going to counseling. We both have brought a lot of baggage from our childhood's into our marriage. Since we grew up together, I thought I knew everything there was to know about him (naive, I know!), but like you, I'm slowly starting to realize there is SO much about him that I didn't. And I have a feeling I will be learning about him for the rest of my life.

    Again, thank you so much for sharing. Your words help me realize that I am not alone.

    Kelsey - Faith Fun and the Fergusons

  2. Kelsey, thank you so much for stopping by. being vulnerable is not always easy but always turns out to be a blessing!

  3. Selfishness is a big marriage killer, Delora. I know. So does my spouse. And in our marriage now we put into practice all we learned by what we lost. So happy you and your spouse are being proactive. Today I posted 15 ways to be intentional in your marriage that you might find helpful, too. Blessings upon your marriage for a lifetime of dreams come true. Sheila at Longings End.

  4. Thanks so much for stopping by. I was so touched by your blog on 15 ways to be intentional in your marriage. I will be implementing some of those suggestions in my marriage.

  5. As a pastoral counselor, all I can do is applaud! Your courage, your learnings, your willingness to share your story.

    Here's a whole load of resources that might be helpful when the time comes to look for a good counselor

    Blessings, Delora ...

    1. Wow! Thank you so much for the great resources and thanks for stopping by.

  6. I completely agree, I have always known that the reasons I married my husband are genuine and godly. I remind myself of those reason each time I don't see "perfection". No one is perfect...
    Thanks for sharing what you learnt, I am learning them too. Do have a super blessed day!

    1. Thank you so much Ugochi, I look forward to staying connected.

  7. These are great insights, and I'm so glad that counseling helped you find them!

    We learned a lot from doing the exercises in a book called Getting the Love You Want. It is from the '80s but still completely relevant. It is the ONLY self-help book on relationships I have ever read that didn't have any part that made me want to throw it across the room! It is a wonderfully gentle guide to exploring who you really are deep down and what you really need, and helping you get to know these things about your partner, so that you learn how to love each other better and be more vulnerable without feeling like you're setting yourself up to be hurt. I highly recommend it.

    1. Thank you so much for the recommendation. One of my friends also recommended this book, so it must be a sign from God :-)

      Thank you!