A woman holding her hands out in front of her

Deciding to seek out a Christian marriage counselor’s advice can be an excellent first step in addressing and working on the issues that continue to be detrimental to your relationship with your spouse. But while many know that Christian relationship counseling is the right move for them, there still may be some uncertainty regarding the process and what you need to do or say to heal and move forward effectively. As you’re driving past Butler Metro Park on your way to counseling, you might find yourself dealing with anxiety regarding marriage counseling and what not to say.

The good news? Christian marriage counseling is a source of healing and guidance. You don’t need to feel hesitant or stressed about the process. A little bit of research can go a long way. Let’s take a look at a few things you should not say during marriage counseling and why it’s important to reframe these comments or concerns before you step foot into the office.

1. “I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This, But…”

There are some secrets in a relationship that can be fun or even exciting. For example, if you’re planning on getting your spouse a gift that they’ve been talking about for a long time, withholding this information is not going to damage your relationship. On the other hand, some secrets can damage a relationship significantly. Whether this is infidelity, financial irresponsibility, or something else you’re not being honest about, withholding this information does more harm than good.

When it comes to marriage counseling and what not to say, one of the top things to avoid is trying to keep secrets with your therapist while simultaneously asking for your marriage counselor’s advice. These secrets need to be brought to light and discussed openly with your spouse. Otherwise, you continue to engage in the same habits and keep the same secrets that are actively hindering your relationship today.

2. “I’m Not Going to Do That.”

In many marriages with significant issues, both spouses tend to think that they’re “right” and struggle to compromise. When you refuse to reconsider your position or change your behavior, you deny your relationship the opportunity to grow. When it comes to what not to say in marriage counseling, you should never refuse to do something that the therapist asks you to try to help improve your relationship with your spouse.

Many exercises and conversational topics are designed to help you dive deeper into the issues taking place in your marriage so that you can work through them and strengthen your bond with your spouse. Therapy can’t help you improve your relationship if you refuse to do the necessary work to make a significant change in behavior and thinking. If your spouse is showing up, making changes, and compromising but you’re not, you’ll find that the time that you spend in Christian couples counseling won’t do you any good. Remember, therapy only works when you do. If you’re not ready to put in the effort when you schedule a therapy session, you’re not ready or willing to fix your marriage.

3. “If They Do This, I’ll Do This.”

Sometimes, learning more about marriage counseling and what not to say means actively changing the way you approach your spouse before you even reach the office. One example of this is the language you use to get your spouse to do something that you want them to do. Some spouses will resort to empty threats to coerce the other into taking certain desired actions. At this point in the marriage, one might be threatening to file for divorce if things don’t go their way.

If you ask any marriage counselor’s advice, you’ll quickly discover that this type of toxic communication and manipulation needs to end — fast. Think of your relationship as a flower. Some people seek to control the entire situation, which can cause a marriage that was once beautiful and functional to wilt over time. Your spouse and your relationship will not thrive while being controlled. Instead, you need to give them the freedom, space, and attention that they need to flourish. If you have to result to control and domination, something is wrong.

If you’re trying to learn more about what not to say during marriage counseling, you should cultivate a greater awareness of how you speak to your spouse and how you treat them both inside and outside of the therapist’s office. Empty threats and manipulative language are not conducive to growth and healing.

4. “That Isn’t True!” or “That’s True, But…”

A man and a woman arguing

Counseling is supposed to offer a safe space where you can discuss your feelings openly and receive guidance and insight to cultivate real change in your life. However, some people approach Christian couples counseling as if it were a battle between them in their spouse. This can turn into arguing against their spouse’s point of view or trying to tell their side of the story to refute their spouse’s statement. When it comes to marriage counseling and what not to say, these types of argumentative statements should all be avoided.

Why? Christian marriage counseling is designed to be a space where the two of you can speak about things that are troubling you and work together to find solutions to them so that you can repair your marriage. Just as you wouldn’t ask for your marriage counselor’s advice, then argue against it because you don’t believe that it’s true, you shouldn’t give your spouse space to talk about how they feel and then shut them down because you believe it paints you in a bad light or because it hurts your feelings. This only makes it more difficult to solve underlying issues or resentment that are hurting the relationship between you and your spouse.

When you set foot into the office, it’s time to let your spouse speak without restraint, listen to what they have to say, process it, and work to understand their perspective as well as develop solutions for these issues.

5. “Remember That Time When You Did This?”

Discussing behaviors and situations and how they make you feel is an important part of the healing process. Our spouses may not be aware that they’re doing something that’s hurting us if we don’t speak up about it. However, one of the biggest factors in marriage counseling when it comes to what not to say is to avoid holding certain past events over your spouse’s head.

During any conflict, the issue that needs to be remedied is the problem at hand. This may be a result of behavioral patterns that need to be addressed, and this can be achieved with a marriage counselor’s advice. Talking only about what’s bothering you now and working to fix that is what’s going to help you move forward. The problem? Some couples may not want to talk about only what’s going on now. Some spouses may want to go back 10 years ago to what their spouse said or did to them then. These types of situations may appear in each fight, in which one spouse or both spouses blame the other for certain things and bring up situations that were never resolved and they still haven’t gotten over.

Dwelling on the past is never an effective way to solve current issues or move forward in the relationship. Start here and now to let go of things in the past (or work on getting healing in therapy) so that you can get a fresh start in your marriage and rekindle your love for your spouse.

Begin Your Journey With Christian Counseling Austin

Once you’ve taken the time to learn more about marriage counseling and what not to say, you and your spouse will be better equipped to approach Christian relationship counseling with an open mind and heart. But when you’re ready to start your journey and seek out a marriage counselor’s advice, where do you begin? For those seeking marriage counseling in Austin or the surrounding areas, Christian Counseling Austin is here to help!

Christian Counseling Austin is run by Joseph Bordelon, an experienced licensed counselor with a Master of Arts in Counseling and a Master of Divinity. Couples counseling at Christian Counseling Austin means receiving straightforward and honest advice to simplify overly complex situations as well as access to other types of therapy that you might need along your journey. No matter where you might be in your journey, you can rely on Christian Counseling Austin for the support you need to work through difficult times and start to mend your relationship.

Are you and your spouse ready to begin your marriage counseling journey? Book an appointment with us now to get started!