Updated: Sep 10
Be honest, the day you decided you couldn’t live without your wife and you asked her to marry you, did you imagine your marriage would be where it is now? I’m talking emotionally, physically, spiritually, and yes, even sexually?
Be honest, is your marriage what you expected it to be? Is this the life you imagined on your wedding day?
Yes, I know you love your wife, but you may also be feeling dissatisfied, a little frustrated, and need I say, even tired of being married. Your wife thinks you’re the problem, and you think she’s the problem, and you’re each passing blame like a bad game of tag. Is this even remotely true for you?
Lord Byron, the British poet and politician, once wrote,
“It is easier to die for the woman you love than to live with her.”
He wrote that nearly 200 years ago.
Are you kidding me? Yet, many men feel the same way about their wives today and find themselves living lives of what I call, “marriage desperation.”
You know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the man who finds himself asking…
“What happened to the woman I used to talk to on the phone for hours when we were dating, but I can’t seem to talk to for minutes without it leading to an argument?”
“What happened to us sharing our dreams about the things we wanted to do and places we wanted to go, and now we rarely do anything or go anywhere together (without the kids)?”
“What happened to the woman, who once couldn’t keep her hands off of me, but now she doesn’t even want to be touched, let alone have sex?”
“What happened to the excitement I used to feel about coming home and seeing her every day after work?
This man may be asking all the right questions, but he's coming up short on any acceptable answers. He's tried so hard to do everything right in order to have the marriage he always wanted, but he's driving home every day to a woman he loves but is struggling to like and live with.
When did marriage become so hard?
Most men already know that nearly 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce (mostly each initiated by women leaving men devastated and hopeless with no support system to recover).
But did you know:
• 60 percent of second marriages end in divorce.
• 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce.
• In America, there is one divorce approximately every 36 seconds. That’s nearly 2,400 divorces per day, 16,800 divorces per week and 876,000 divorces a year.
• The average length of a marriage that ends in divorce is eight years.
And with men being 3x more likely to become alcohol, porn, and drug dependent – masking their problems rather than facing and solving them, you’d think men would reach out for help with their marriage. But the truth is, men are less likely to reach out for support than women.
Every man wants a happy marriage; but very few men know what they can do to fix a bad one. So, where do you start? What do you do?
Most “experts” would say, grab your wife and get couples counseling quickly. But according to statistics from Psychology Today, most people who go to marriage counseling end up getting divorced anyway. So, instead of living “happily ever after,” it’s more likely to end up, “too little too late.”
In hindsight, many men are now realizing that of all the ways to “fix” their marriage, marriage counseling is probably the least effective and most expensive. But most men think counseling is the only option available; but there is also the option of marriage coaching.
Most men don’t know about it, and very few counselors talk about it publicly, even though they secretly recommend it to clients who can’t afford their fees. And if you’re serious about saving your marriage, you might want to prayerfully consider marriage coaching as a first option before you consider counseling as your last.
Here are seven (7) compelling reasons why every husband needs a marriage coach, not a counselor.
But before we dive into those reasons, let me quickly explain the difference between counseling and coaching:
Simply stated, counselors are paid to listen (without giving advice) to you and help you look backwards at your challenges in order to see how you got to where you are. In your marriage relationship, counselors are there to help you with a short-term issue, and if they can’t help you, they’ll simply refer you to either a therapist (who will dig even deeper) or a psychiatrist (who will prescribe medication to manage your behavior). And each of those options are more expensive than the last.
On the other hand, in relationship coaching, a coach not only listens like a counselor does, he also challenges you like a trusted friend to help move you forward to where you want to go. He’s focused on helping you grow from your challenge. A coach understands where you’re coming from, because he’s felt the pain from his own marital struggles, and he’s successfully resolved those issues for himself and others without the use of drugs, taking years, or paying a fortune in health insurance. That’s why he became a marriage and life coach.
In a coaching session, a marriage coach listens deeply, speaks truthfully, and is more direct, and provides action plans to help you achieve a specific result, so you can move forward and grow. He won’t let you hide from your challenges; instead, he’ll help you face them head on and grow stronger as a result.
So, let’s dive into the 7 reasons why every husband needs a marriage coach, not a counselor:
Reason 1: Marriage counseling assumes you’re the problem in your marriage; a marriage coach assumes you’re the answer to the problem.
Do you want to know why most men really hate marriage counseling? Because it’s a blow to their ego. Think about it, if your wife came to you and said, “Honey, I think we should see a marriage counselor,” who do you think she believes needs to change, you or her?
Because of this, a marriage counselor puts most men on the defensive. You’re already, subconsciously, starting from a weakened position, asking yourself, “What’s wrong with me?” "I don't have any mental health issues, do I?"
For instance, the last time your wife criticized you, did it make you want to give her a big hug and kiss, and say, “Thank you Sweetheart for pointing out my faults and for recommending we go to marriage counseling three to four times a week to see what’s wrong with me”? Of course not.
Assuming you are (or she’s) the problem doesn’t build intimacy between you; it can actually create an emotional barrier. What "real married couple" have you ever seen get happier by one person criticizing the other for not meeting his or her emotional needs?
On the other hand, a marriage coach assumes you’re the answer, not the problem. A marriage coach’s job isn’t to point the finger of blame, and put you on the defensive, but rather to put you on the offensive by pointing you in the right direction, empowering and equipping you to get past your hurts, habits, and hang ups.
A great marriage coach won’t allow you to play the victim, lose hope, throw in the towel, and bale out on your marriage. A coach’s job is to help you become the best version of yourself, period.
Think about it, what gets you more excited and makes you feel more hopeful, “I’m going to see my coach, so I can work on a game plan for improving my marriage” or “My wife told me I need to get counseling or else she’s leaving me?”
Reason 2: Marriage counseling focuses on the problems; a marriage coach focuses on the solutions.
Any fool can complain, and that’s exactly what most couples do when they go to marriage counseling. It goes back to reason #1, it assumes one of you is the problem, and more than likely, neither one you think it’s you.
Couples typically find themselves arguing right after a counseling session, because focusing on each other’s faults makes one feel more resentful, helpless, and hopeless.
If you want to destroy any relationship faster than the Cleveland Cavaliers getting swept in the playoffs, just focus on what’s wrong with your partner. Dwelling on her faults, or she dwelling on yours, is just the opposite of what you did when you fell in love. You each assumed you were the answer to each other’s problems, not the cause of them.
Remember when you admired her witty sense of humor when you first got married, and now you think she’s “always” being sarcastic and disrespectful.
And remember when she admired your ambition and work ethic, and now she claims you work too much and won’t make time for her. What changed? Nothing, but your perspectives.
A marriage coach intentionally changes your perspective. He gets you to focus on the possibilities in your marriage, not the obstacles; the opportunities, not the difficulties; the solutions, not the problems.
Based on his own success and the successes of his past clients, he works with you to design a strategic action plan to make the necessary changes in your life, and he’s willing to help you every step of the way.
Reason 3: Marriage counselors are only required to have credentials; but a marriage coach must also have credibility and experience.
Some marriage counselors are highly qualified, but many aren’t happily married (or even married at all). Is this who you want to pay ($90 – $125/hr.) for marital advice? Would you take fitness tips from a 350-pound personal trainer who just had bypass surgery?
If your marriage counselor doesn’t have the kind of relationship you want, he simply can’t tell you how to build one.
On the other hand, a successful marriage coach may not be perfect, but he attracts new clients and is hired because of his credibility, not just his credentials. A marriage coach with credentials, but no credibility, is a marriage coach with no coaching clients. Men hire coaches base on the coach’s success, not their list of multiple degrees.
A marriage coach with great credentials is just icing on the cake, not the entire cake. So, instead of looking for someone with an impressive diploma, seek a coach who’s in a happy, healthy, intimate relationship.
Reason 4: Marriage counseling allows a man to hide; a marriage coach won’t let you.
Let’s be honest, lots of men go into marriage counseling secretly believing they’re just there to be supportive while the counselor “fixes” their wife’s problems. A marriage counselor will tell you that the only thing you have to do to “fix” your marriage is to come in for a dozen or more sessions. But counseling struggles to work because it focuses on someone you can’t change: the other person.
Trying to “change” someone else not only wears you out, it gives you the illusion that you’re working really hard on your relationship while the other person isn’t doing anything at all. It also steals energy away from improving the only person you can change: yourself.
On the other hand, a marriage coach gives you your power back, by helping you focus on taking responsibility for the things you can change and holding you accountable for doing those things.
A coach gives you a sense of control and empowers you. He won’t let you hide behind polite nods, fake smiles, and canned responses, because the focus is on you, not your wife. In other words, because he’s been where you are, a coach knows how to spot your B.S. from a mile away.
Reason 5: Most marriage counseling is geared towards the way women communicate, not the way a man communicates.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, because most marriage counseling is initiated by women. And men usually agree to go reluctantly. Most people think of the format of counseling as being gender neutral, but it’s really not.
Women, in general, tend to be more comfortable with face-to-face communication. Men, in general, are usually more comfortable with side-by-side and informal channels of communication. Women are more comfortable with words, while men are more comfortable with actions. These are basic concepts that most counselors know already; however, the counseling format is one that favors women’s comfort level, not men.
On the other hand, a men’s marriage coach communicates with men the way most men like to communicate: “Keep it simple, tell me what to do, teach me how to do it (if necessary), hold me accountable to doing it, and give me feedback on how I’m doing.” This is the total opposite of what counselors do with men.
In counseling, the result is a setting that creates discomfort and conflict for the man. Counselors may conclude that the conflict is because the couple is just not compatible. But the real problem may be that the context of the counseling isn’t compatible with the needs of both the woman and the man.
And when it comes to marriage coaching, most men appreciate that they can get what they need through phone calls or video conferencing, rather than sitting in a cold and sterile office.
Reason 6: Marriage counseling usually requires two people to succeed; a marriage coach only needs one person to succeed:
Yes, it takes two people to succeed in any relationship, but what if your wife refuses to go to counseling, refuses to listen – thinking you’re the only one who needs counseling (see Reason #1), not her. Let’s face it, you can’t help someone who doesn’t think they’re in need of help.
Marriage counseling usually requires two people to commit to the process in order to achieve success. But what if your wife isn’t on board and doesn’t “play along”?
There’s nothing that will make you feel more helpless, frustrated, resentful, and hopeless than a wife you have to beg to go to marriage counseling who doesn’t want to go and doesn’t see the need. Women already know this feeling, because they’re typically the ones who suggest marriage counseling, and we’re the ones who refuse to go.
However, the good news is that a marriage coach only requires one person (You) to be committed to the process, and in turn, empowering you to take responsibility for making changes with or without the cooperation of your wife. Yes, your wife’s cooperation would make things a lot easier, but thank goodness it’s not absolutely necessary to get to the root causes of your marital struggles and save your marriage.
Reason 7: Marriage counseling is one of the most expensive ways to try to save your marriage; whereas, a marriage coach is one of the most effective and efficient ways to strengthen it.
As I mentioned earlier, the average marriage counselor can cost between $90-$125 an hour; and according to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, couples undergoing counseling meet on average for 12 sessions (that’s approx. $1,080 – $1,500/per month); and it’s reported that 20% of couples schedule between 20 and 50 sessions. You can do the math on your own on that one.
And considering that most marriages still end in divorce after marriage counseling, it’s easy to see that marriage counseling could potentially be a waste of money, diverting funds from something that really could help you in your marriage: like new strategies, ideas to achieve personal objectives, best practices, a support system, encouragement, and accountability – things that a marriage coach provides for 75%-90% less than the cost of the average counselor.
Counselors admit that they can’t put a number on how many sessions it’ll take to resolve a problem when a couple comes in; it could take a few weeks or a year or two if the issues are complex or deep. But one thing we know for sure, it will be expensive.
And the truth is, a marriage counselor will keep seeing you as long as you keep showing up. However, a marriage coach will let you stop seeing him whenever you feel his coaching is ineffective, it’s no longer necessary, or it’s not working for you. It's about quality time, not quantity meetings.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying marriage counseling is bad for married couples. Personally, I highly recommend marriage counseling for ALL marriages, but just not the way most couples use it.
Unfortunately, most women believe marriage counseling is their only option, while most men only consider it when they’ve run out of options. And in both cases, counseling is usually the option that couples choose when their married life is on life support. But most couples never even consider coaching as an option, because very little is known about it.
Based on the data, counseling shouldn’t be used to “fix” or “save” a bad marriage, but rather as a tool to “maintain” a good one – because that’s when both parties are open and most receptive. But most men won’t even agree to counseling unless it’s court-ordered or their wives threaten divorce. But even marriage counselors agree that the best way to respond to a crisis is to prevent it.
So, are you ready to see how coaching can possibly save your marriage and re-ignite the passion in your relationship, and do it easier, faster, cheaper, and more effectively than traditional counseling?
I’m on a mission to help 300 committed men become great husbands, one marriage at a time through the power of coaching, community, and connection.
Why only 300? Because the great John Wesley once said, “Give me just 300 men who love God, hate sin, and fear nothing, we could set the world on fire.” And I don’t believe anything could potentially impact the world more than an army of great husbands with thriving marriages and families.
To learn more about the men’s coaching services Real Men Connect offers, just check out the link below: