One of the limitations of marriage counselling is that couples are not likely to say the whole truth. They may deliberately tell lies, or withhold some aspects of the truth.
Funny enough, fighting couples can jointly hide some things deliberately from their counsellor with the intention of not washing their “dirty linen” in public.
This makes counselling work difficult for many counsellors and other people who want to help these couples.
Here are some things couples may never tell you when they are with you in the counselling room, but if you know them you can easily ask questions in that direction to help them to open up.
1. “Sex is the issue”. Most couples are experiencing problems in their bedrooms which adversely affect the totality of their homes. But, hardly will you find any couple blunts enough to hit the nail on the head”. A couple once came to me for counseling. The wife refused to talk while the husband kept on calling his wife wicked. I asked him, “can you please be more detailed in your explanations?” He said, “Pastor, she is just wicked, wicked in everything”.
I quickly understood what he meant by that because only a bedroom fight can make a wife so wicked. By the time I delved into their bedroom life, the man was very happy. and said, “Pastor, you are a genuine man of God, you have the spirit of God”. I was able to help them because of the knowledge that most couples fight about sex in their marriage.
2. “I have sexual fantasy”. Most men have sexual fantasy either right or wrong. Most of these fantasies are never revealed to their wives but they kept on looking to fulfill their fantasy without which they are not sexually fulfilled at home. When a man says, he is not sexually fulfilled at home, ask him what does he expect in the bedroom that the wife is not doing. If the thing is biblical, you then go ahead to counsel the wife to begin to do them. If it is the wife that complains, you need to counsel the husband also.
3. “Absence of the fear of God”. Backsliding and an absence of the fear of the Lord is a major reason marriages are crashing all over the world. You must deduce this point from their conversation with you, then minister Christ to them.
4. “Absence of leaving and cleaving”. This they will not say expressly but when you discover that one or both of them is too close to his/her family members more than his/her spouse. you should know that their marriage has failed the test of Genesis 2:24-25.
5. “Communication is the problem”.
Most couples you will talk to may not really have money, sex, children, in-law problem in the real sense of it, their problem is communication problem. You will not be able to help your counselee until you are able to teach them how to communicate, how to talk to each other without talking at each other.
6. “I am in love with someone else”. Hardly will anybody tell you this in the counseling room. But when you discover that there is a lot of criticism and condemnation going on between couples, you need to see them individually to know the truth. Men most especially become unnecessarily critical as soon as their mind wanders away from their wife to other women. If you discover the truth, deal with it in prayers and through the word of God.
7. “I have lost respect for my husband”. Many women lose respect for their husbands for one reason or the other but they will not likely say this in the counseling room. You can detect it from the way they refer to their husbands. Go ahead and correct this using Ephesians 5:33, 1 Peter 3:1-7.
8. “Ignorance is our problem”. Most marriage problems emanated from lack of knowledge but have you ever seen any couple in the counseling room admit that ignorance is their problems? They won’t say so, but they are. So, go ahead and help them out, recommend books to them, train them, encourage them to go to marriage school, mentor them and counsel them using Proverbs 24:3-7, Proverbs 14:1, Proverbs 9:9-12.
9. “I have soul-ties with my parent or siblings”. Absence of leaving and cleaving may be so strong that it will involve soul-tie with people outside the marriage, but they won’t say this to you in the counseling room. The onus is on you to discover this and counsel them accordingly using Genesis 2:24-25.
10. “Infertility is the issue”. Waiting couples have more pressure on their marriages which they may not announce in the counseling room. Get to know the state of your counselee. As soon as they sit before you, ask after the welfare of their children. They will open up to you, which may lead you to their problem.
11. “We lack vision”. Couple will never tell you that absence of vision is their problem. The truth is couples without vision will definitely fight each other. If they are not ‘fighting’ a project, they become a project of fighting. Ask them about their vision; an idle hand is a devil’s workshop.
12. “We are under spiritual attack”.
Atimes fighting couples may be under spiritual attack without knowing it. If you discover that their fighting is baseless, you may need to check if it was a direct attack from the devil and teach them how to fight it. Counsel them with Ephesians 6:10-17.
13. “Pride is the issue”. When two proud people stay together as husband and wife, the problem is always terrible. When a proud and cocky man marries a stubborn woman, the fire work is always there to destroy the house and set the family ablaze. You need to discover whether pride is the issue as they talk to you.
14.“Insecurity is the issue”. Many men are having problems with insecurity but they may never know or acknowledge this. When a man begins to say “is it because you are richer than me?” Is it because you are taller, older, etc than me”. These are signs of insecurity. Sort out issues of insecurity if you want to do a successful counseling work
Source: Handling Marriage Counselling by Bisi Adewale