Marriage counseling is a variant of couples therapy. However, there are some issues which can be more specific to marriage counseling. For some couples, the internal models of what it means to be married can ‘click’ and they find themselves unconsciously emulating unhealthy relationships they witnessed in their childhood. For some people, this becomes more pronounced once they are married.
Additionally, issues of money management, time management, division of labor and roles in relation to children can become more pronounced in married couples. For some people, the ‘officialness’ of being married can become burdensome, when being in a committed dating relationship seems less onerous.
For same sex couples, the newly acquired ability to marry can bring a number of different issues. What does it mean to be married? What models can we rely upon? For some, internalized homophobia can cause problems in the relationship, in ways which might not immediately seem clear.
In either case, there are a number of ways in which the institution of marriage can raise unique problems, even in couples in which there is a strong desire to be together. This is compounded by the changing norms and high pressure of living in the San Francisco Bay Area.