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Get Counseling? Never!

When is it a good time to get counseling? I remember when even the thought of counseling annoyed me. Going and bearing all to a stranger who was in my opionion probably more messed up then me. In our marriage I wasn't the first to go to counseling my wife was. Week by week I saw changes in her and week by week I saw none in me. I felt more hopeless, more alone, more bitter and especially more curious about what really went on. When panic attacks started in me I figured it was time, it only took being choked up and feeling like I was going to die to get me to go to counseling.

After trying out several counselors and finding fault with most of them I found one I kindof liked. What was so annoying is he would sit back in his chair and close his eyes and say to me, "lets be curious ". It didn't matter what I said to him he would just say to me, "let's be curious about that". "A $100 bucks an hour for this I'll give you something to be curious at," is what I thought to myself. You can see why this would annoy me. I wanted goals, maps, things to do and he wanted just to provide space for me to talk and listen to myself. Listening to myself was the most amazing experience for me and it is the reason I recommend counseling to anyone hurting.
The junk that lies deep inside of you that guides your daily thought and decisions and hides in your heart never gets exposed until you give it space to come out. I guarantee there is a lot of junk in there too!

So how does this all relate to marriage and sex back in marriage? It relates in every way, until you understand the things you do, the needs you have, and why you have those needs you will have a difficult time relating in an intimate way with your spouse. Breaking down the barriers to understanding opens up the pathway to intimacy and begins healing.

Will counseling fix my spouse? No it won't but it will help you cope and understand yourself. It will give you tools to communicate on a deeper level with your spouse.

Will counseling bring sex back to my marriage? This was my hope when I went and I will answer this question like this. There is no more powerful attractant than someone who is working to better themself and is trying to relate to you more. Said another way, I feel so loved when I see my wife trying to understand herself deeper and how she relates to me. She is working on us and that is a turn on. I believe counseling added a huge amount of fuel to the fire in our marriage and directly and indirectly helped us bring sex back into our marriage.

So when is it a good time to go to counseling? Ask yourself this question: Am I struggling each day just to make it? Is my joy gone? Do I lack passion in life? Do I feel rage inside and don't know why? If you answered yes to any of these questions the time is right to go. Uncover what is buried inside, shine light to the darkness that lives in you and get the junk out!

A few pointers when looking for a counselor:
1. Look for someone who shares your beliefs. I am a Christian and my worldview is a positive one, "I am loved by God and His Son Jesus and when I die I will go to live with him forever". I didn't want someone whose world view was, "we are all gods, what we do today we do for ourselves and there is no heaven or hell". I think you can see why, it really doesn't work to submit yourself in an intimate way to someone who lacks your most fundamental beliefs.

2. Don't be afraid to shop around. Trust your heart and listen to that voice inside (I call it God's Spirit). I said no to a few counselors before I found the one I spent almost two years with. This is an important decision it is ok to treat it so.

3. If you think about quiting - before you do take your thoughts to your counseler. I found myself wanting to quit 100 times and a few times I went into my session knowing I was going to. The best thing you can do is to share that with your counselor. There is a reason why you want to quit and usually it revolves around not wanting to get into something you are about to deal with in therapy. There is a time and a place to stop therapy and I do believe as you spend time there it will become apparant to you when that is and you can celebrate that decision when it happens.

4. Don't let excuses make your decision. I can't afford therapy I can barely pay my bills. This was my excuse but there are always reasons why you can't do something. Find the solutions which help you reach your goals. In our case we found an organization that helped us pay for therapy and some insurances also provide paid therapy alternatives.

Lastly I leave you with this thought. You, your marriage, your life you are worth whatever it takes to bring greater joy, peace and happiness in your daily world. If you are unhappy, hurting, depressed, and feeling like every day is the same old thing, I ask you what have you to lose? Your way isn't working its time to change course, get drastic and try something new. Decide today to change your course - You Can Do It.