Wanda and I have been married a total of 72 years. That is 3 plus years together and 69 years total in our previous marriages. That gives us 72 plus years total. That is lots of opportunities to learn and grow and work at marriage. It is a daily commitment. No one is immune in marriage from the continual give and take of sharing, compromising, pleasing, and adjusting. It is inevitable for all of us.
I don't promote that I do counseling, but every pastor does some. It is Biblical to train, teach, and mentor. Older men should train the younger ones, and the older ladies should train the younger ones. That is the Biblical way. Of course the older ones doing the training need to be those with spiritual maturity and who live a godly example for others to follow.
Yet, I find myself doing pre and post martial counseling. Does counseling work? Sometimes it works, but certainly not all of the time. The primary issue is not always lack of skill or knowledge, but simply a lack of "want too". It is a lack of "want to" to do what you know to do.
Men need respect. Women need love.
Men need sex. Women need tenderness.
Well, I'll stop there. The list of needs go on, but again the real issue is "want to". Why don't men or women "want to"? Therein lies the great question. It is not easily answered.
Too often men "want to" after it is too late. Too often women don't feel compelled to "want to" because they don't feel their needs are being met. Of course that is vice versa.
Why do some couples poke each other in the eye and twist noses over and over? Why can't they learn that there is a better way? Why do they quit on their marriage only to go to another one and far to often face they same issues? Why not stick it out and work it out without the pain, hardship, cost, and rancor of a divorce?
Marriage counseling only works when couples are willing to put effort into their marriages. They have to develop that "want to". My greatest prayer in counseling is that God will help me to inspire couples who I counsel to "want to" do what they already know to do.