The world has changed over the years and as such there seems to be so much more pressure financially which can take its toll on a marriage. There also seems to be more difficulties with children behavior problems these days, whether this is due to the changing roles of men and women or due to the increasing number of additives and preservatives in the foods that they eat, regardless of the cause, the behavior problems can put an incredible strain on the relationship between the parents.
These are just a couple of reasons that a marriage can begin to fail, there are many more. If you feel that your marriage could be on the rocks what can you do to help get it back on track?
Church is one institution that values marriage very highly and as such can be a great place to get help if your marriage is in trouble. You can visit a psychologist or a family therapist for marriage counseling and these can help, but they tend to take a more individualistic approach to marriage counseling. A church pastor will take a holistic approach to making a marriage work and this approach can have a much better chance of saving a marriage.
Is a pastoral counselor really any better than a secular therapist?
The problem with a secular therapist is that they have been taught to treat individual psycho-pathologies. Even counselors that specialize in marriage and family counseling don't often have many classes that deal specifically with couple's therapy. The 'individual' approach is not the approach needed to save a marriage that is a union of two people.
On the other hand, a pastoral counselor is taught to counsel couples as couples to help bring them closer together and repair any problems that have arisen in their marriage. The church believes that marriage is forever and when a couple has taken those marriage vows, a pastoral counselor will be dedicated to help save that marriage if the couple seeks their help.
There are some pastors that have formal education in counseling as many churches now offer pastoral counseling degrees. There are also many ministers who do not have a formal degree but still have taken seminars and classes on the subject.
If you are not currently a member of any church then it can be a little more difficult finding a pastoral counselor to help save your marriage. If you're marriage is struggling then you won't want to wait six months to establish a membership in a church before you can approach a paster for counseling.
If you find yourself in this situation and do not have a membership at any church, you can perhaps call some of the churches in your area and inquire about couple retreats where they may hold weekend seminars targeted to saving marriages. If you attend a seminar like this you can then build up a relationship with the pastor and can then possibly follow up with that pastor for some marriage counseling.
Couples retreats themselves can be very helpful for a troubled marriage. Couples retreats often run group sessions as well as work with couples individually and can cover a big range of different issues that couples might face.
Often the biggest problem with many relationships is a lack of communication and these couples retreats can help you work on your communication skills within your marriage. If you can improve your communication then you might find that many areas of your relationship will also improve.
There are also other issues addresses during couples retreats, such as finances, sexual relationships and child raising. By addressing all of these issues they can help you to get back on track with each area of your relationship. The hope is that when you leave a couples retreat you will be much happier and have a better understanding of each other than when you first arrived.
Marriage isn't easy and is something that often needs to be worked at. If you're marriage is having difficulties and you feel like it is falling apart, then you need to take a long look at your relationship and find the good in it and find the reasons why it is worth saving. If you need some help then visit a pastoral counselor who may be able to help you get your marriage back on track.