Wendy Warner is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in private practice at Trinity Family Counseling Center. In addition to working with couples, children, and individuals, Wendy also enjoys teaching the premarital classes for all couples planning to marry at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Macomb.
As a counselor who works with hurting couples, I am often struck by the timing of the call for help. Many couples seek counseling after years of marriage stating they have been hurting for a long time but did not know how to address it with each other. In some cases, one member of the couple is so hurt and angry, they struggle to find a desire to restore a marriage with someone they deeply resent. After one or two sessions of counseling, the angriest spouse gives up and files for divorce. This is a tragedy that could have been prevented in most cases.
When is the right time to pursue help in a hurting marriage? Think of it like a crack in the foundation of your house. If you address it when it is merely a crack, there will be less damage to repair. However, if you ignore it, you will have major damage to multiple areas that need repair. Here are some signs that it might be time to call a counselor:
It does not feel safe to share feelings openly and honestly
Conflicts are shut down and not resolved
Criticism and defensiveness are a regular part of your communication
You are lonely, craving more closeness and connection
If you have considered finding a couples counselor who can be objective and provide support, I encourage you to heed that inner nudge and take action. Any time is better than not seeking help. However, why wait?