If you and your spouse have agreed to begin marriage counseling together, it is really important for you to make sure that you are ready for it. You both will want to know how to make the most out of your time with the counselor and how to work on things at home in order to get the best results possible. Here are a couple of things for you to keep in mind:
You Have To Really Hear What Your Spouse Is Saying
It is incredibly important to make sure that you are not just listening to the words that are coming out of their mouth, but that you are really hearing the message they are trying to convey. This is their chance to try to be really heard and truly understood by you. Don't let them down and, in turn, you can ask the same of them. The counselor's office should be a safe space where each of you can take turns expressing what hurts and why you feel the way you feel without getting snarky comebacks from the other spouse.
Do The Homework Assigned To You
There are a lot of marriage counselors that will assign couples homework that will need to be done before your next session. An example of such homework would be to go out on a dinner date with each other and talk about whatever you want, but exclude the subject of the kids or anything that you have recently argued about. You will then report back to your counselor about how the date went and whether you were able to reconnect on some level. Even if you are asked to do something that might feel silly, the more effort you put into the work asked of you, the better the results can be.
Ask For Individual Sessions As Well
There needs to be a balance, and sometimes that can be achieved by throwing in some individual therapy sessions. You will still be addressing the issue of your marriage, but on a more personal basis with the counselor. This might be where you can feel free to discuss things that would not yet feel comfortable discussing with your spouse. The counselor might be able to help you work up the courage to talk with your spouse about some sensitive subjects.
Remember that you will want to find a counselor that specializes in marriage counseling.