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Traditionally, a marriage was to last a lifetime. However, staying married to the same person for decades isn’t always easy. As you age, your visions and interests change. That can test even the strongest marriage.

Using statistics provided by the U.S. Census, Arkansas and Idaho have the nation’s highest divorce rates at about 11 per 1,000 women. Overall, the nation’s divorce rate is about 6.9 out of every 1,000 women. It’s lower than in 2011, which is good news. Marriage therapy plays an important role in saving marriages.

Marriage therapy is only effective if both parties regularly attend sessions. This can be difficult when work schedules conflict. It might be easy for you to get to a session that’s near your office, but your spouse works an hour in the opposite direction. You might find it impossible to attend a session when you are at home with children. This is why online marriage therapy is valuable and something you must consider if you want to save your marriage.

The Top Reasons Marriages Fail

What are the leading reasons people list when filing for divorce? Forbes Advisor completed a survey and found:

  • 43% had a lack of family support.
  • 34% experienced infidelity or affairs.
  • 31% felt a lack of compatibility.
  • 31% felt a lack of intimacy.
  • 31% felt there was too much arguing and conflict.
  • 24% experienced financial strain.
  • 23% felt there was a lack of commitment.
  • 20% dealt with parenting conflicts.
  • 10% felt they married too young.
  • 6% had differing values or morals.
  • 3% dealt with drug or alcohol abuse.
  • 3% experienced domestic violence.
  • 1% wanted to pursue a different lifestyle.

Many marriages are crumbling for multiple reasons. You might find that your marriage’s issues are part of your spouse’s refusal to stop drinking, your desire for more intimacy, and the combination of those leading up to constant arguments. This gives you three areas to address and work on resolving.

The most common signs that a marriage is in peril are avoidance of each other, disrespect, continual arguing, constant criticism, and general disinterest in a partner. If you’re experiencing any of those, marriage counseling can help.

How Online Marriage Therapy Works

With traditional marriage counseling, you go to a therapist’s office together and talk about the things that work and don’t work in your marriage. You learn communication skills, how to be open and honest, and what to do to continue building a strong relationship.

Because online marriage therapy doesn’t take place in the therapist’s office, it’s often easier for people to speak openly when they’re in a safe setting. A bedroom, home office, den, or living room can be a comforting place to sit and talk to a therapist and spouse without having to be face-to-face. 

Marriage counseling is meant to help you, so it shouldn’t be sessions that make you feel anxious. If you have social anxiety, which is more common than you might think. Mental Health America reports that 15 million Americans have social anxiety disorder. Therapy sessions can be through video chat, but emails and chat can be useful if being on camera keeps you from wanting to seek help.

You need to tell your therapist about the things that cause panic and stress. There are always solutions that ensure you get the help you need.

Online marriage therapy isn’t a one-and-done type of therapy. It can take months of sessions to start seeing improvements. Not everyone will be helped, though the goal is always for therapy to be as effective as possible. It can take baby steps, and both parties need to participate. Marriage is a two-person union, so it takes two to fix any issues. 

You might not feel that you shoulder any of the blame. Your spouse feels differently, and you need to respect that. Listen openly and without judgment, which can be tough, and learn valuable skills from your therapist to better understand how to make the necessary changes.

Tips for Making Marriage Counseling Work For You

What are the best ways to make the most of online marriage counseling? Follow these tips.

Ask Questions – If you hear something and have a question, jot the question down and ask it after the other speaker has completed his or her thought. No question is too silly to ask. 

Avoid Negativity – It’s hard but try to avoid blame, shame, and attacks. Instead, point out the things that bother you with “I” statements, meaning rephrasing statements to state why something makes you upset rather than a “you upset me because” approach.

Be Honest – If you have complaints and frustrations, share them. Don’t hold back due to embarrassment or an attempt to not hurt your spouse’s feelings.

Don’t Hog the Floor Time – When it’s your spouse’s turn to speak, remember it’s your turn to listen. Don’t cut in and take over. When you’re speaking, be mindful of how much time you’re taking. Ideally, you and your spouse should get equal time.

Focus on Your Needs – Are you a people pleaser who is always doing things for others and not focusing on yourself? It’s time to stop. Talk about what you need from the marriage, not what you think you should be contributing. Don’t focus on what your spouse needs to change. Work on what you need and let your spouse work on what they need.

Show Respect – Be respectful of your therapist and spouse. Don’t cut people off. Wait your turn. Watch your language and avoid negativity, profanity, and insults.

Consider This

Once divorced, people said if they’d had a better understanding of marital commitment, their marriage may have survived. A lot of couples also said waiting longer to start a family, better understanding the partner’s values, and seeking marriage counseling would have made a difference.

If the only thing keeping you from marriage counseling is your busy schedule, you need to look at online marriage therapy. You attend sessions online in the most comfortable setting and when it’s convenient for you.

You no longer have to leave work early or arrive late. You don’t have to find a babysitter or bring your kids to a friend or family member’s home. You don’t have to drive hours to the therapist’s office and then make the long trip back home. 

The Relationship Expert works with your schedule so that both you and your spouse enjoy the least stressful experience possible. You’re in a setting that you find comfortable, which makes you more likely to open up and talk about the things you like and the problems you have. From there, work on open communication and being completely honest with each other.