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For better or for worse, through sickness and in health, until divorce do we part. It seem like this is what we should be saying when we are getting married. Too many people are getting divorced these days and it is just a shame. If only marriage vows were taken more seriously, then maybe people would be more inclined to work a little harder at keeping their marriage together rather than seeking a lawyer at the first sign of trouble.

Of course there are some circumstances where divorce is the only alternative such as when someone is being severly abused, but why bother getting married if one or both parties considers divorce as a simple solution to marital problems that seem impossible to work out.

Marriage can be extremely difficult at times. By blending two lives together, sharing the same household, cars, friends, and everything else that goes along with the committment, problems are obviously going to occur between even the healthiest couple.

What if it was a law that before filing for divorce, a couple is required to seek marriage counseling for a minimum of ten visits for ten consecutive weeks. I honestly feel that this would drastically decrease the ever so popular high divorce rate in this country.

Why is it that the woman is usually the one to suggest marriage counseling? I guess it is because we are usually the better communicators in the relationship. In fact, communication or lack of communication skills is usually the greatest problem we face in marriage. The counselor usually begins to work on those issues right from the start.

I also think that men tend to feel like they are going to be ganged up on during the session by his wife and the therapist. This is a common complaint that men have because they are unfamiliar with the process and because it is usually the woman's idea. They already feel like the woman is blaming them for all the problems in the first place, so it may seem like the woman wants to go to counseling so the counselor can see all the things that the man has done wrong in the relationship. The woman needs to make the man feel more comfortable and to realize that this isn't the case.

Many people are embarrassed to seek counseling or feel that there isn't anything that can help the relationship, but that is so untrue. Seeking outside help gives a third person's point of view to the problems. It is much easier for a trained professional to look at the problems from an objective point of view and offer techniques or strategies for the couple to work on that can do a world of good. The therapist never takes sides. He or she treats the married couple equally, and teaches them to listen to eachother more effectively.

Conversations are more likely to stay in control when talking in front of someone else. When you begin to talk, the counselor can watch the unique dynamics of the relationship and he or she will intervene when needed to suggest better ways of dealing with particular problem areas, and may even give some work to be done at home.

For the most part, once the couple starts to learn how to better communicate, problems get much easier to deal with. When each individual feels like they are being heard in the relationship, they can talk more freely to eachother without having to scream to get their point across. The problems can actually start to seem small once the lines of communication are open.

Getting professional help can make a world of difference in a marriage and it only makes sense to give it a try before getting a divorce. Why not try everything you can to make your marriage work? What if you are successful after getting counseling and the problems get resolved? You can actually live much happier with your spouse and once you learn how to talk and work out your problems, the knowledge can last a lifetime.

I think that people enter into marriage with the idea that just because you are married now, things are going to be easy. After all, television makes it look easy. You don't see too many people making appointments with marriage counselors in the movies.

Not only does the couple's needs get met by counseling, but the children benefit as well. Children can get really emotionally scarred from divorce so we need to try to avoid it whenever possible. Children need both parents growing up, and they need those parents to be able to love eachother and to get along. Kids tend to emulate what they see. If their parents have a happy successful relationship when they are growing up, then they are more apt to learn proper communication skills that lead them into their adult life.

So, when problems seem like they have gone too far and we feel like we are at the end of our rope, we need to take it a step further and make an appointment with a professional marriage counselor and give it one more try. It is easy to fall in love, it is easy to fall out of love, It is staying in love that takes the work.