Seeking professional help is one of the best ways a couple can improve their relationship. Although many people seek this kind of service only when they are experiencing marital difficulties, it can also enhance relationships that are not necessarily troubled.

While Filipinos tend to seek help as a last-ditch effort to save their marriage, marriage counseling or couples therapy is actually intended to provide a structured opportunity for couples, married or otherwise, to understand themselves and improve their relationship with the help of an experienced, skilled, and unbiased professional. Depending on the training and exposure of the professional you see, a marital therapist might speak with you and your husband individually or together at different times of a particular session or across various sessions. The first meeting is often used for understanding your general situation. It is also the time to get to know your history and background, both as individuals and as a couple.

If you aren't sure what to make of couples counseling yet, then these four reasons may help you make a decision.

(First published as "Relationship Referee" in the "Good Family" section of Good Housekeeping Philippines' October 2011 issue. Screencap from License to Wed courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.)

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