Marriage Counseling by One Individual?

Sometimes marriage counseling is better facilitated by one individual. Generally speaking, marriage therapy requires both spouses be present. However, that is not always possible. On partner may be resistant to counseling. Or possibly travel or proximity is not conducive for both to be present. However, I often see that one individual can make huge progress that benefits the marriage as a whole.

ONE INDIVIDUAL can create change in a marriage relationship!  Some believe that a family system is “locked” in place and cannot move without agreement from both parties.  While this is generally true, it is not absolute.  When one person is dedicated to change – with or without the agreement of others – the system must eventually adapt.  If done in the Lord, there is much hope for the better.

When I work with one individual and marriage is involved, this primary relationship becomes the pinnacle for movement and change.  Scripture reminds us that God’s Word does not come back to Him void, without accomplishing the purpose for which it is sent (Isaiah 55:11).  When an individual lives in God’s truth, good things are allowed to happen in that relationship.  Of course, truth must always be tempered in love.  God’s truth has its greatest effect when it is lived out, rather than shouted out.  Learning about grace and mercy is paramount to affect any relationship – especially in marriage where two are so closely bonded.

So … can one individual have an affect on marriage?

Yes indeed!  One individual can have a great impact on his or her marriage.  In fact, I have seen incredible changes occur and lives completely transformed when God is at the center of the relationship.  I recall a time when a spouse called me and exclaimed, “I don’t know what you’re doing with my husband, Tom.  But whatever it is keep doing it!”  Of course, I immediately asked if she would like to pray for her husband, and give glory to God for what He is doing in her husband.  When the Lord goes home with you, it is bound to make a difference.

Not that it is always easy.  Sometimes circumstances get “worse” before they get better.  Systems don’t necessarily like to change!  They may (at least initially) reject new ideas and prefer to remain stuck.  To some, familiar misery is more comfortable than new change – the unknown can be scary, or too much work.  Nevertheless, as one individual perseveres in the Lord, things can never be the same.

We have an adversary called the devil who is vested in the destruction of God’s children.  The Apostle Paul says,

“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12)

We must persevere and grow in character.  Then, as James the brother of Jesus wrote,
…    “We will be lacking in nothing!” 

I pray your marriage be everything God intends, and lack nothing. God bless!

Thomas Isaac Berscheid, MA, LMFT, LPC
Ordained Minister & Certified Life Coach
700 Twelve Oaks Center Drive, Suite 264 – Wayzata, MN 55391
Phone: 763-227-3431

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