Sometimes while we are rolling through our lives together, distance creeps in and marriages become strained. Bickering begins over trivial issues; traits we once thought were cute in our spouses now annoy us half to death, and we find ourselves looking at our partners with resentment rather than love or trust. If this all sounds familiar, it may be time to seek counseling services.
If you or your spouse finds that either of you aren’t into the idea of bringing a third-party into your relationship, online marriage counseling may be your best option. By the simple fact of its nature, online counseling is quite different from the traditional office visit to a therapist.
Benefits of online marriage counseling:
The comfort. You can accomplish this in your own home, at your own pace, on your own schedule. There is no need to take time out from work to make an appointment across town or wait for a counselor who may be running late for sessions.
The cost. One counseling group in my area is $140 per 45-minute session. Medical insurance does not cover the cost of the visits; so you’re paying out-of-pocket weekly or several times a week. Some online options will offer free advice or the ability to communicate with a counselor over the Internet with the purchase of their kit. Most counseling packages are priced from $95 and are a one-time fee.
The choice. You have the choice of religious or non-religious counseling. Depending on your choice, there are several options for religion-based counseling that draw from their respective texts. If organized religion isn’t really your cup of tea, you can go for the more traditional, secular route.
The privacy. Because you can accomplish the coursework at home, you can keep your relationship status private between the two of you. There is no rick of bumping into someone you know out and about while you and your spouse are heading to a therapist’s office.
Some things you need to be careful about:
You have to be self-motivated. You won’t have the accountability of a third-party to keep the two of you on track. Both parties in the marriage can’t slack on the motivation or the process won’t work.
You need to do some research. In an online world, it can be hard to distinguish between a legitimate program and a total scam. Take the time out to research the backgrounds of the program developers as well as the success rate of the program itself.
You need to stay practical and calm. With traditional counseling there is a third-party in the room to act as the mediator and referee if the process becomes too heated. In the online world, both partners need to stay calm, identify the issues that crop and work together to help themselves.
Making the decision to attend counseling in any capacity is a big decision and a sign that both of you want your relationship to work. That sign alone is proof that your marriage can and likely will be saved. Whatever choice you make – be it online or the more traditional route – make sure that it is perfect for your needs. This will take being honest with each other about what that means to both of you.
Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples in therapy. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is currently associated with Marriage.com, a reliable resource assisting millions of couples to resolve their marital issues. She holds a Master’s Degree in Arts (Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy).