There is a growing trend in modern culture suggesting that even though couples’ counseling is one way to address marriage problems, there are times when it’s too late to try. We disagree. We believe it is never truly too late to make an honest attempt to work out problems.
This is not something we say flippantly. It’s not something we take lightly. It is rooted in the understanding that people always have the free will choice to change their minds. Some troubled marriages are much harder to fix than others, but all are candidates for an honest attempt.
We offer couples counseling in our Rye, New York office. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you and your spouse are struggling to keep it together. Our fully trained counselors can help by offering an unbiased, third-party perspective as well as a compassionate ear and sound advice.
One Doesn’t Want to Go
There are a number of scenarios that convince people that it’s too late for couples’ counseling. One such scenario is when one spouse wants to go to counseling and the other doesn’t. Experts are known to say there isn’t much you can do if you find yourself in such a position.
While it’s true that you cannot force your spouse to go to counseling, that doesn’t mean it’s too late. Your spouse always has the opportunity to change their mind. In the meantime, counseling can still help you learn how to manage your current circumstances.
You’ve Waited Too Long
Another reason for suggesting that it’s too late for couples’ counseling is that you have waited too long to get help. We are familiar with people who have stated the following: by the time couples decide they need counseling, it’s already too late. Again, we couldn’t disagree more.
It is obviously better to address problems sooner rather than later. But waiting 5 to 6 years to seek out couples’ counseling doesn’t automatically define a marriage as forever lost. A couple could wait 20 years or longer. If they agree to go to counseling and have the right mindset, they can learn to work out their problems.
A Violation of Trust
If there is any scenario that could make saving a marriage impossible, it would be a violation of that sacred trust between husband and wife. But even at that, trust can be rebuilt over time. Sure, it takes a lot of hard work and the ability to look past mistakes. But trust is a matter of the will. Couples can choose to trust one another whenever they want to.
The other side of the coin involves that partner who violated the trust. They have to put in extra effort and time to earn back what was lost. If they are willing to do so, half the battle is won.
‘Too Late’ Is Giving Up
It has been our experience that two people involved in couples’ counseling have all but given up when they say it is too late to save their marriage. But the ‘too late’ mindset is an acknowledgment that there is no hope. It implies that you cannot turn back time. In turn, this implies there is no going back to the way things used to be.
Please do not misunderstand the point of this post. Fixing a broken marriage is rarely easy. Attending couples’ counseling and heeding the advice of the counselor doesn’t achieve desired results overnight. But it is never truly too late if couples really want to fix their relationship. And by the way, willingness is what it really boils down to.