15 Women Share the Moment They Knew They Needed Marriage Counseling

Wendy Robinson | Jan 22, 2018 Love & Sex


As anyone who has been married for longer than 20 minutes knows, being in a long-term relationship definitely has ups and downs. Being with one person every day for years can be stressful -- even before adding kids into the mix. Full disclosure: I am totally pro couples counseling and think most people would benefit from talking to a therapist at some point in their life. 

Before my husband and I got married we did several sessions of couples counseling to talk about how to prepare to have a blended family. After seven years of marriage, we did some marriage counseling to work through some issues that we just couldn't solve on our own. 

More from CafeMom: 5 Ways Marriage Counseling Is Good for Our Sex Life

I'm always curious about how other people's relationships really work, so I asked a group of married women to share the moment they knew that their marriage wasn't going to make it without some professional help. These stories, told anonymously, might help anyone to see if counseling might be the thing their marriage needs too!

  • Better Off Dead


    "Honestly? It was when I started daydreaming that he died and I realized that I felt like life would be easier with him gone. Like, I wasn't going to kill him or anything. But that I'd maybe be happier with him gone. I knew that was a BAD SIGN for our marriage. A year of couples counseling helped. I no longer wish he was dead." 

  • The Gamble


    "I thought we were on solid ground and then I found out that he was gambling again. We went through hell with his gambling addiction and I wasn't going to wait around for things to turn to shit again. I called our therapist the same day I found out he was at a casino." 

  • Over and Over


    "When we kept having the same argument over and over, like about his phone obsession, and were talking in circles. It was so helpful to have a mediator."

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  • Do It or Else


    "My general answer is: We knew we needed counseling after our second daughter was born when we were both horrible to each other and were really struggling, even starting to fight in front of the kids. On a rare occasion that we weren’t fighting, we had a heart-to-heart convo. It was literally 'do you want to throw in the towel or stay married?'"

  • Lay the Groundwork


    "I encouraged my sister to go to pre-marriage counseling sessions with her now husband. She did! Lays the ground work for when things start to get challenging. We did it before we were married and still go in for tune-ups sometimes." 

  • Plant the Seed


    "My husband was laid off during the recession and it was incredibly difficult and stressful. We needed help communicating and both knew it. It was like we were trudging through mud, walking in circles. I think I planted the seed and he agreed. It was so helpful and affirmed we were/are a good team just dealing with huge stress."

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  • Too Late?


    "When did we know it was time for counseling? When it was almost too late and I found out he had cheated. The verdict is out on it, for us. I think it is good but it might be too late to save our marriage."

  • Picture This


    "I pictured myself renting an apartment and living with just my kids. Felt so scary to even have that thought in my head -- so that’s when I knew counseling was absolutely necessary to understand our communication issues. We couldn’t communicate on basic day-to-day stuff and the fights weren’t productive and they felt so mean."

  • Same Fight


    "We have been married for 10 years and had been having the same fights with the same tactics and same results for longer than that. We weren't enjoying ourselves in our marriage as much as we wanted and we weren't able to support each other as well in the ways that we each needed. Counseling made it worse at first (like the whole first nine months!) but it got exponentially better after that."

  • Work It Out


    "Ours is kind of specific. I knew we need counseling when he got SUPER into Crossfit and started food shaming me for not eating paleo. I felt like he was always judging my not-so-fit body and I needed someone else to explain why that was bad for our marriage." 

    More from CafeMom: 9 Signs a Marriage Is on the Rocks

  • All the Small Things


    "I knew we needed extra help when we couldn’t have a conversation about anything that wasn’t superficial without getting angry and defensive. It was a 'do this or split up' situation. It wasn't once incident, but a build up of lots of small things." 

  • Pregnant Problem


    "When we were pregnant with our first, I wanted to get set up with someone preventatively given my history of depression. I thought we both might need help with it. Still seeing her six years later, both together and alone. It's so tremendously helpful."

  • Greatest Loss


    "Our first child died from SIDS. Counseling, alone and together, helped make sure we made it through the grieving process with our marriage intact. We grieved in different ways and we both felt really alone. Our counselor helped us feel like we were in it together."

  • After He Cheats


    "We just started because after 18 years together, my husband cheated on me. We had years of living separately together due to the nature of the jobs he took traveling, and working night shift played a major role. We were both desperately lonely. Counseling helped us figure out how to reconnect." 

  • Too Little, Too Late?


    "I think I knew we needed counseling last year after a particularly nasty blow out (he called me the c-word, which has never happened before) but I didn't push for it until this year. I think it might be too little, too late though. I should have pushed harder, earlier."


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