Marriage counseling can help couples in all types of intimate relationships — heterosexual or homosexual, married or not.

Some couples seek marriage counseling to strengthen their bonds and gain a better understanding of each other. Marriage counseling can also help couples who plan to get married. Premarital counseling can help couples achieve a deeper understanding of each other and iron out differences before marriage.

In other cases, couples seek marriage counseling to improve a troubled relationship. You can use marriage counseling to address many specific issues, including:

  • Communication problems
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Conflicts about child rearing or blended families
  • Substance abuse
  • Financial problems
  • Anger
  • Infidelity

Marriage counseling might also be helpful in cases of domestic abuse. If violence has escalated to the point that you're afraid, however, counseling alone isn't adequate. Contact the police or a local shelter or crisis center for emergency support.

Nov. 21, 2014