If partners go to marriage counseling to resolve marital conflict and try to save a troubled marriage, they are going to confront a lot of questions. This is because the counselor often starts with a goal of learning about and understanding what is going on in the marriage.
Marriage Counselors often use individual and partners counseling sessions to learn about both the individual and shared views, partners hold about the union. The agreement or lack of agreement in each partners perceptions, can be a big help in finding common ground or fractures within a marriage.
These questions are not rocket science, but confronting them in a controlled environment with a third party like the counselor, is often the first time many partners have considered the subject or the issues. A board general question like "how would you describe your marriage?" can provide volumes of information to work with right away and to share in future sessions.
"How would you describe your partners role in your marriage?", is a question that can really start the ball rolling in both individual and couples sessions. An answer of "he/she is the decision-maker", is far different from an answer like, "he/she is responsible for MY happiness." However, lack of agreement between partners in either case, calls for serious work on defining roles and responsibilities within the marriage partnership.
If you have been involved in marriage counseling, the counselor may have ask you to write a job description for your "position" in your marriage. This approach can provide an amazing eye opener for both individuals and marriage partners.
The demands of a marriage can be very much like those of a job. Marriages require tons of planning and that is not just about the wedding, but every day. If planning ended with the honeymoon, focus people! Marriages and families demand coordination and scheduling, ask any parent. Marriages call for building agreements and making decisions. Marriages can even involve contracts, much like a business.
Let's take the family holidays example. A marriage can bring together as many as five or six families for children of divorce. It is not just the family created by the marriage that gets all the attention come a major holiday like Thanksgiving or Xmas.
Making a decision about retaining past family traditions and gatherings, provides a test of the marriage partners management skills. The demands for planning and coordination will be right in your face. You could be dealing with the input and demands of parents, siblings, grandparents and even step-parents. Decisions about travel will flow right into planning and coordinating schedules and other logistics.
So, if a marriage counselor asks you to write a job description or to define your roles and responsibilities in you marriage partnership, don't be afraid to put on you managers hat. Grab A Your Copy of "The Magic of Making Up"
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