Here at Relationship Blackbook, we care about helping you through every stage of your relationship, especially if the stage you’re in is a painful one. If you and your spouse are in one of those painful stages, first we want you to know that you’re not alone. Every marriage goes through difficult seasons for so many different reasons: affairs, lack of intimacy, lack of communication, and a host of other issues that arise when two people attempt to blend their lives together.
Marriage counseling is always a great option for couples who need help working through their issues, but making time for weekly or even bi-weekly appointments with a marriage counselor can be difficult, not to mention costly.
That’s why we want to examine a different option for struggling relationships: online marriage counseling. We want to help you answer the question, “Is online marriage counseling right for my marriage?”
Though it would be nice if a husband and wife could just hit a magical pause button when married life gets hard, that is far from the case. Life goes on – work and errands, sports practice and dance class – while mom and dad struggle silently in the background, wishing and longing for an opportunity to talk, to work things out, but never finding it.
According to Psychology Today, online marriage counseling is an effective alternative for couples who can’t work traditional marital counseling into their busy lives. But you might be wondering…What is online marriage counseling?
Here is a another valid question: How on earth can a struggling married couple receive valuable marital counseling online?
The answer: In a world of high-speed internet access and Skype calls that allow you to talk face-to-face with another human being half a country or even an entire world away…well, anything is possible.
For example, services like SaveMyMarriageToday.com offer countless resources on their website for struggling married couples, including real tools and exercises to help you resolve your marital problems.
Other websites offer trained counselors to meet with you via Skype to help you identify and work through the issues that are causing disruption in your marriage.
Can’t work a weekly meeting with a counselor in the city into your busy schedules?
Do you feel more comfortable discussing your issues in the privacy of your own home?
Would you rather develop the emotional intimacy that comes with privately working through your issues together?
If you answer yes to any one of those questions, then marriage counseling online might be exactly the thing that you’re struggling marriage needs.
What are the benefits of online marital counseling?
As with all marriage counseling, consistency is the key to success. In the beginning, a couple traditionally meets with the counselor on a weekly basis, moving to a bi-weekly or monthly basis after several successful months have passed.
However, our lives don’t always allow for time off work or away from kids and family long enough to incorporate a counseling session into our weekly schedules. That’s why the first benefit of online marriage counseling is flexibility.
It allows you and your spouse to work through the material, meet with your counselor via Skype, and complete the exercises in your own time. BUT, you and your spouse will still have to commit to the process and make the most of it. No program, regardless of how convenient it might be, will work if you don’t use it.
A second benefit of online marital counseling is extended emotional intimacy.
In a perfect world, a couple who seeks marriage counseling would arrive at the appointment together, spend the hour or so with the therapist, and then have the drive home to continue the conversation.
But this isn’t a perfect world.
A more likely scenario is this:
- A couple arrives to the appointment separately, harried and rushed due to traffic, hectic work schedules, or babysitter difficulties.
- The couple sits in awkward silence in a quiet waiting room, possibly both reliving their most recent attempt at communication, i.e. the argument they had right before both sped off in different directions for the day.
- Despite it all, the couple has a positive session with the counselor, opening lines of communication, building trust, and getting to the root of their issues.
- Then the session ends. Each member exits to their respective cars, rushes off to pick up kids, figure out dinner, or fight traffic on the drive home or back to work, and every shred of the new-found emotional intimacy is lost.
Online marriage counseling offers a different scenario. Instead of rushing off in two different directions after a session ends, the couple gets to spend as much time as they want discussing the material – or anything else – in the comfort of their own home.
In other words, the session ends when you need it to end, and not a minute before.
A third benefit to online marriage counseling is privacy.
In traditional counseling, not only does a couple have to exit their comfort zone to seek help for private matters, but they also have to explain those matters to a complete stranger.
Completing marriage counseling online provides a safe, private avenue for working through your issues, whether you find a service that provides a trained counselor through Skype or online chatting, or if you use a service that simply provides helpful materials and support.
In many couples, there is one who is more reluctant to seek out marriage counseling for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is often an issue of privacy. Online marital counseling resolves that issue, allowing one or both members of the couple to feel comfortable getting help while still having their needs for privacy met.
Still not convinced? Below video discusses some of the issues you should consider when making the decision about whether or not online marriage counseling is the right choice for you and your spouse:
Finally, there is a fourth and very obvious benefit of doing your marriage counseling online: affordability.
In-office marriage counseling can be expensive. Most couples do not have thousands of dollars to spend on counseling, no matter how necessary or beneficial it is.
However, services that offer online marriage counseling, whether through a trained, in-person counselor via Skype or chat, or through materials you work through on your own, are often a fraction of the price of traditional counseling.
In addition to those services, the internet offers a wealth of free online marriage counseling materials. With a little research, you can find the right material, advice, or counsel for the exact problems you’re facing.
Every marriage is worth fighting for, but life does not always make time for the right battles to be fought at the right time. Traditional marriage counseling provides a safe way to work through your issues, but it doesn’t always meet the needs of everyday life.
Online marriage counseling is an excellent alternative for the couple who needs help but can’t make traditional counseling work.
Let’s keep the conversation going! Have you and your spouse utilized online marriage counseling? What did you like about it? How did it help? Let us know in the comments!