6 Greatest Hurdles to Improving Your Marriage

Have you felt stuck, unfulfilled or unhappy in your marriage? Do you feel like you’ve tried everything and it’s just hopeless.

You still love your spouse, you want to stay together for the kids’ sake…but you’re not sure how much longer you can go on in a relationship that doesn’t meet your needs.

You’re not alone. Studies show that most couples struggle in their relationships for 6 years before seeking help.

Wow! 6 years of spinning your wheels, reading self-help books and hoping something will magically change.

The good news is there are special people out there, that have received decades of training, have all the tools to improve your marriage, and have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars just so they can HELP YOU!

Marriage therapist, couples coaches, pastors, marriage mentors and professional counselors are available and ready to help, but you’re not reaching out.

The truth is that the 6 Greatest Hurdles to Improving Your Marriage start before even stepping into a counselor’s office. Let’s break it down…

Hurdle #1: We’re Smart Enough To Fix Our Marriage Ourselves.

Yes, yes you are smart enough – but you are too close to the problem to see all the possible solutions. Often, when I work with clients I will help them to quickly see the problem that was lying way under the surface. Something they may have never gotten to on their own. But once they know this problem, it’s much easier and quicker to fix.

Change comes from action. Change comes from perception shift. Change comes from accountability. Self-help tools can help you if you take action, but sometimes a third person can ask you the right questions and give you the exact tools to fix YOUR challenges.

Hurdle #2: I Can’t Find The Right Therapist or Coach.

You’ve heard the horror stories about the couple who went to see a therapist and their marriage became worse than ever. Sure, it happens. Just like any other profession – there are good therapist and there are bad therapist. However, if you chose the right therapist or coach – your relationship and life will improve.

Here’s a couple of things to look for in a therapist or couples coach:

(1)   Ensure they are licensed or certified in their field.

(2)   Check for testimonials or references of past clients. (Note: Due to confidentiality clauses this may be harder to find for therapist.)

(3)   Look for a counselor that is educated in Emotionally Focused Therapy or Gottman Therapy as these are the most respected and researched marriage theories.

(4)   Interview your therapist or coach. Most coaches or therapist offer a FREE CONSULTATION. Take your time to talk to a couple therapists or coaches and go with the one you feel most comfortable with. Ultimately, if you don’t like the therapist, the therapy will NOT work.

Hurdle #3: I’m afraid that [FILL IN THE BLANK]

Fear is one of the biggest hurdles in improving your marriage. You may be afraid to ask your spouse to attend with you. You may be afraid that the therapist will make you dig all of the skeletons out of your closet. You may be afraid that it won’t work.

Fear is what holds us back from change in our lives. It blocks us from what we really need or want. Ask yourself what you are really scared of and then kick it out of the way. Take advantage of the FREE CONSULTATION.  with a therapist or coach to help them understand your fears. Just don’t let your fears block you from getting the life you deserve.

Hurdle #4: My spouse won’t go to counseling with me.

Have you ever tried to start a new eating plan or exercise plan and then quit because it was too hard if your spouse wasn’t on board? I have! What I realized was that I was just using my spouse as an excuse to not start my new diet. If I really, really wanted it – I would have done it on my own, because I knew it would make me healthier.

Of course couples counseling is optimal if both spouses attend, BUT you can and will see results if you start counseling by yourself. The caveat is that you MUST see a counselor who has experience with couples or family systems – otherwise, the focus may become growing away from your spouse instead of growing towards your spouse.

In fact, one of my specialties is working with individuals who want to improve their marriages and lives even if their spouse doesn’t participate. My clients focus on changing their marriage from the inside out and not only are they successful – but they also see profound personal growth.

Hurdle #5: We don’t have time to get a babysitter and drive to therapy every week.

Who does! I want to make two points here though – (1) you’ll always find time for things that are a priority, and (2) there are other options. There are tons of therapist and coaches who offer counseling and coaching sessions over the phone or confidential video conferencing software.

You and your spouse don’t even have to be in the same building. You can schedule during your lunch hour, after your kids go to sleep or while a friend watches your kids for an hour. For example, I offer in person therapy in my office in Urbana, Maryland, confidential video conferencing services in Maryland and phone coaching nationwide. I have sessions available as late as 9pm EST.

Hurdle #6: It costs too much!

Therapy and coaching can range in cost from $110 - $250/hour. However, the average divorce can cost upwards of $30,000 – not to mention of the years of agony, stress on your children and yourself and splitting of assets. Therapy and coaching is an investment in yourself. It’s an investment in your family and in your future.

On average, couples see major shifts and changes in approximately 12-sessions. On the high-end this would costs about $3,000. I did a quick search on google and found out that for $3,000 you could eat 100k of shrimp, buy a couch, or get a power lunch every day at Starbucks. Or…you could save your marriage.


The success of your relationships is the greatest predictor of happiness in your life. Invest time and energy into your marriage every day. I send you great tips each week to help with this, but if you are ready to take the next step and need some accountability and expertise – I’m here for you.

Just schedule your FREE CONSULTATION here.

Remember, ACTION CREATES CHANGE.  I would love to hear what action you are taking to create change, comment below and I’ll make sure to reply back to personally!

Valerie Kolick, therapist and relationship expert has created this blog to help couples and individuals create happiness and joy in their marriages and lives. If this is your first time here, LEARN MORE here and don’t forget to Download Your FREE Extraordinary Relationship Workbook.