Marriage counseling is very beneficial because it can be the difference between a couple staying together, or getting a divorce. Luckily, these trained professionals are ready and willing to do whatever it takes to help save the relationship. Even though sometimes, the reasoning for counseling can be a little wild.
Marriage counselors on Reddit share the weirdest reason a couple visited them. Content has been edited for clarity.
"My ex-wife suggested we go to marriage counseling because she felt we needed to work on communication. I was slightly confused since we never really fought about anything, and I didn't know that much was amiss.
So I went with her and we had several sessions. After a while, it basically turned into just parenting classes since we didn't seem to have any issues to work on.
Then one day she tells me she's bi and is going to go sleep with a married couple she's been friends with for a week because that's the only thing that's going to make her happy.
Would have been nice to know in marriage counseling that that was the real issue she was wanting to work on since I had no idea she was struggling with her identity. Guess there really was a communication issue."
"I was a life coach for a bit before I realized it was more administrative work than I wanted to do. I wanted to help people, and let's just say I was not getting that opportunity. During my brief time, one of my clients was really struggling with the color of the dog that her husband got for her. She wanted a specific breed of dog since she was a kid, and her husband did a bunch of research and got her one from a good line of the breed. However, its coat was darker than the dog she imagined, and she was really struggling with it.
We had a few sessions about expectations clouding your happiness and it turns out the dog was the most explicit example of a much bigger issue she had in her life. But I had to seriously had to work hard to keep my expression on hold when she told me about the shade of her dog is a problem."
"My specialty is children and families, but lately, I have been assigned whatever came in because it has been super busy.
One lady called and spoke with me first about how her husband was horrible at communication and never listened to her. She asked for a couples' session.
As soon as she ambushed her husband with a 'There is a therapist on the line that wants to speak with you,' her husband screamed:
'YOU CALLED A THERAPIST BECAUSE I DON'T WANT TO PAINT THE HOUSE PURPLE?'
She wanted me to convince him to paint the house purple, and like any normal human who sees colors, he refused to listen to her."
"A lot of couples schedule counseling for legitimate reasons like 'communication issues,' but then it will come out that the real reason IS something stupid and they don’t even realize it.
I had a couple who were married for 25 years and were struggling to connect. It turned out they were resentful of each other because they both wanted to spend various holidays with their families of origin. Never talked about it, never mentioned it, just both simmered in silent resentment for 25 years. It was resolved so quickly once it was unearthed.
Another couple came in for parenting challenges. Told me very casually they hadn’t had slept together since their youngest was conceived. How old is your youngest? 13. Both were acting like it was completely normal and fine and unrelated. Turned out it was not normal and not fine and definitely related.
So, I referred for coitus therapy and heard the whole family happily graduated from therapy within months."
"I had a woman come in for couples counseling. Over the phone, she reported that her boyfriend (with the same last name, very confusing) was distant and was refusing to listen to her. When the session started, it was just her that showed up. She went on and on about how absent he was and how he refused to see the progress she had been making in her life.
It turns out the 'boyfriend' was an ex who had a restraining order against her and lived halfway across the country. She was delusional and was receiving treatment for her mental health issues. She just could not get her thinking away from him, and legally changed her last name to his because it would mean they would be together. She figured couples counseling was the way to work out their relationship issues.
I realized things were not adding up when first he didn't show up and then she told me they did not live together, and she had not spoken with him in over eight years. None of her story really made sense. Her sister came to pick her up, and I was given the okay to talk to her. The woman's sister had thought she had come to me for individual therapy and told me about the stalking and restraining order as well as her diagnoses.
I saw her on an individual basis for about a month until I got her enrolled in ACT services. This is a team of case managers that will meet her daily if needed, as well as, psychiatrist, RNs, and individual counseling. She still reaches out every once in a while and is doing well. She is holding down a part-time job and living independently now. She still thinks that that man is her soulmate and that they are spiritually together."
"I had a college friend post all their marriage and intimate problems on social media, and would routinely post when she and her husband would be going to couples counseling. She even asked that her friends show up beforehand so they could have a prayer circle to help the relationship in the lobby before the session.
I didn’t know the husband but I felt bad for him, the way she was posting all their problems online for all to see. They met through a pen pal with a soldier who was an overseas thing she signed up for at her church. She was a 'wait till marriage' type, and the definition stage five clinger.
When he came back, they had a few dates and got married in six months and quickly had a kid. She would moan on social media about how she didn’t understand why he said he didn’t really know her. She totally misrepresented herself in the letters according to a mutual friend, so did the husband it seemed. The guy wasn’t very religious either, and she’d talk about how if she could only get him to go to church, he’d love god just as much as she did.
She openly posted she wondered if another child would bring him closer to god and save the marriage. I ended up unfriending her because I couldn’t stand the craziness and whining. I’ve since deleted my account, but I often wonder what happened to them."
"My husband and I went way back in the 1990s. A good guy. We still think of his advice.
Our main issues? Communication, of course. We learned that our presumptions of the other person's understanding was based on our own points of view and prior life experiences. That we'd 'translate' what the other said instead of 'hearing' what they'd said, and our translations were usually wrong.
And our individual points of view, based on our prior life experiences were laden with so much emotional baggage (family, friends, expectations, etc), and some needed to be unloaded, or at least understood.
The counselor also said that many people 'fail' counseling because they're not willing to answer the tough questions, let alone ask them. And that, yes, we both tended to overanalyze and beat an issue to death, but that since we were both like that, it likely wouldn't be an issue--and that we likely made the best decision with the available information, at the time of making (but needed confidence in doing so).
He was great."
"My first marriage was a roller coaster of a ride. Married a bipolar woman that refused to take her medication, because in her words 'they made her feel blah.'
She insisted on counseling. We go, and the counselor doesn't take her side and blame me for everything so she blows up on me when we leave. She insists that the counselor is a sham, so we go to another. Same deal but worse because this counselor calls her out on not taking her medication. So she wants to go to another one. We schedule and she makes an excuse to skip but insists I go.
So I go and for several visits, it's just me. The counselor then gets my Effie to come to for one for just her. The next time I go to the counselor she looks me in the eye and says 'I think we need to start preparing for the probability that your marriage could fail.'
Never had more respect for a counselor than her right then. She wouldn't tell me what my ex-wife said, but she cared enough to give as much warning as she could. Without counseling, I would've been blindsided."
"Early in my career, a couple came in with challenges in their relationship. I forget the husband's exact complaint but something in the vein of 'we don’t get out and don’t do enough.'
After getting a brief history of their relationship, it’s clear the wife has significant anxiety issues that have never been addressed. The husband getting upset with her about her anxiety isn’t helping.
I frame this for them accordingly, explaining that yes this is impacting them, but the issue at the core here is the wife’s anxiety. However, if we appropriately deal with that, everyone is more likely to get what they want in the marriage.
The husband got very upset after hearing this and said he was there to work on their issues, not her issues. They never came back for a second session. I wonder if they found a therapist willing to pander to his stupidity."
"I’m a counselor with teenagers and kids. A school staff member dragged these two teens into my office one day, a boy and a girl. Both were clearly upset but definitely didn’t want to talk about it with me. You could have cut the tension with a knife as they sat frozen in their chairs staring at the floor.
I saw them and thought Oh no, she’s pregnant. I’m trying not to panic at how to handle the situation as I finally get them talking and it turns out, they were just fighting because he sent a text to some girl. A text. At least she wasn’t pregnant."
"My friend who is a counselor told me about a young couple has been trying to have kids since their wedding night (yeah, they probably have deeper issues). After a year or two of marriage, the couple is resentful of one another because they can’t get pregnant. Friend asks them about if they’ve seen a doctor or anything.
My friend gets a weird vibe about their intimate relationship based on their answer. My friend probes further and asked them how often they are intimate. The wife indicates that not often due to it being painful for her.
Friend probes further about their intimacy. Results? They can’t get pregnant because they were trying to make love in the wife’s belly button their entire marriage (a year or so), because they thought that how you actually get someone pregnant. It also explained why sleeping together was so painful, and why they were unable to have kids."
"I knew a young couple who had just gotten engaged, and they immediately went to couples counseling not because they were having problems, but because they wanted to prevent any sort of problem from the start. I didn’t counsel them, my pastor did.
Needless to say, about 15 years later, their marriage almost fell apart because the wife was going through major postpartum depression. She could barely function and moved back home with her parents and her kids for about six months while her husband was going on as if nothing was wrong. The wife kept blaming herself for not being subordinate to her husband according to how 'Christ would have wanted.'
All she wanted was a little help with wrangling three kids, one of which was a newborn, the middle kid was in diapers, and the oldest was just finishing potty training. The wife lost a lot of weight, and when I saw her suffering, I wanted to reach out but I didn’t feel like it was my place to put my nose into their business, so I didn’t say anything.
They eventually got back together and they act like nothing ever happened. Of course, the kids are all now in school, so the wife does housewife things and her husband works at the university as a professor of theology.
"Many years ago, I had a woman ask to schedule an appointment for her husband. She said he treated everyone except for her very poorly, and he had agreed to work on it for her sake. He was an attorney. He shows up and immediately starts berating and demeaning me.
It became obvious that his intent was to tell her that he tried and it wouldn't work. After fifteen minutes of him abusing me I told him to leave since he obviously was not there to get help.
I've never done that to anyone before or since. I never heard from either of them again."
"I worked as an intern for a secretary position in our community rehabilitation facility that offered couples and marriage counseling. So I often overheard the problems of different couples who came for marriage counseling.
There was this one husband and wife who been raising these crabs for about four years. They had found a hobby they both enjoyed and could do together. The problem was that over time they had formed different views, and began fighting over how to raise the crabs. They also argued over what designs to paint on the shells of said crabs.
They nearly got into a physical fight on their first visit with us over the husband painting the 'Dukes of Hazzard' car colors on one of the bigger crab shells. Ten visits later, they finally called it quits. Now the custody battle of these hermit crabs began. Yes, they went to court, filed their divorce, and had custody papers drawn over these crabs.
I don't know how long court lasted. But I do know that their lawyers came to an agreement of splitting the crab collection between the couple. And visitation times were made for the crabs that they had spent money on together. I will never forget that smell though. Every time they came into our office, they smelled so bad! It reminds me of how a backed-up septic tank smells."
"My anger management group facilitator told us a funny story about a couple that came in for counseling. The husband wanted to write a book. The wife said she would work and do everything around the house for a year while he worked on his book.
So he quit his job and wrote his book while she did everything. The book got published and was a hit. The publisher asked him to do a book signing tour. The wife was furious. She had supported him writing the book and she was done. They came to the appointment and explained the situation.
The therapist asked the wife, 'So what would it take for you to be ok with the book tour?'
She said, 'A trip to Hawaii with my sister.'
The husband was like, 'Really? Done.'
The appointment was over in five minutes."
"My ex-boyfriend made an appointment for us when he got his side girl pregnant. I was 26 and in grad school, lonely, stressed, and horribly gas lit, and went along. At the time the therapist would say 'If he hasn’t changed by now he’s not going to. Usually, I’m trying to keep people together but I’m not sure I can now,' and I would get mad. Now I look back and things come on girl, run
We broke up about three or four months later. It hurt unbelievably for a bit at first, but after some time, distraction, and actual effort to move forward coupled with a year of deciding to just be single, I am now doing phenomenally. It’s so easy to want to keep something even if it’s disgusting and poisonous because you don’t see all the lying and cheating, you see the cute falling asleep together and hand-holding.
But staying is worse than leaving sometimes, and I am just so happy to be out of that and as far away from that dumpster fire of his life as possible."
"I remember my mom telling me about my parents going to marriage counseling. The root of everything was my dad felt unfulfilled in his life; he is a drummer and spent most of his life playing in bands, but he gave that up when my mom got pregnant with my sister. He still had a kit in the garage but barely ever played it. It took them three sessions to understand my dad just wanted to play in bands again, and he didn’t know how to tell her because he thought she would be opposed. My mom loves live music and going out, and she and I have NO idea why he thought she wouldn’t approve.
That was about 12 years ago, and my dad is now pursuing music full-time in a three-piece instrumental progressive rock band with his best friends, and my mom is his biggest supporter.
They were both going out to his gigs multiple days a week, they have a whole new set of friends that they love, and they’re happier than I’ve ever seen them."
"I'm in school to be a mental health counselor, and one of my professors has worked in the field for over 30 years. One day, we asked him the silliest reason a couple has come in for counseling. He answered something like this:
'There is no stupid reason to seek out counseling. What may seem trivial to one person can completely consume another person. What may seem insignificant to you might just be the last straw for a client. It's our job to figure out why that stupid reason caused them to land in your care. Sometimes it's a lot of minor things that built up because they don't have any good coping mechanisms. Sometimes it's a major problem that they don't want to talk about, so they start small. Sometimes it's something they don't even realize is a problem, but is causing them distress regardless. There's a lot of reasons why clients might present you with something that seems completely insignificant, but the fact is, they are in front of you, paying you money so that you can help them improve their mental health. About 99% of the time, that means that they believe getting help is worth their time and money.
He then proceeded to tell us a story about a woman who believed that Ashton Kutcher was her baby's daddy, and she wanted a psychiatric professional to verify her mental health so she could file for child support and reconnect with him. As far as he could tell, she had never met Ashton Kutcher, or even seen him in person. So like. Sometimes people are crazy. But not usually.
The point he was trying to make is that there's always a deeper reason. It's never just 'My husband lost a frying pan,' it's the constant pattern of carelessness or a lack of taking responsibility on the husband's part. It's never just 'We couldn't decide on what type of chicken to get for our farm,' it's the inability to come to an agreement on any decisions, minor or major. These little things are a symptom of the bigger problem. In the case of the woman in the end, the bigger problem was schizophrenia."
"I don't specifically do marriage counseling but I did do a couple's session. The reason wasn't stupid and obviously impacted the relationship greatly, but it was silly how long it took to finally understand what was going on.
At first, they kept talking about the husband having a job and then 'another online job' which kept him from spending quality time with his wife. It was difficult to understand because she didn't know how to describe it and he was being extremely vague.
It slowly became clear to me that he was spending 3-4 hours a weekday and most of his weekends posting memes. This was the time that he needed uninterrupted on top of his 'regular job,' and it was driving her crazy. So, that was interesting."
"Got a friend who does marriage counseling. We were getting a drink one night after a long week, and I noticed that he was hitting it a little too hard that evening. I asked him what was going on, he pretty much told me this.
'I spent the entire week with these two pod people. Not a single one of the pair expressed emotion during the counseling at all, and every session they just kept beating around the bush. I swear they were trying to mess with me. Finally, it's the end of the week and the last session of it.
'Thank you for your time, but there is no need to keep up the counseling now. He moved the table so it's parallel to the wall without me saying it,' the wife said during the final session.
They wasted all of that time and money just because the husband did not move a table the wife wanted him to."
"I had a guy friend whose now ex-wife dragged him to couples counseling because he was 'too nurturing,' and she wanted him to be 'more of a real man.'
She actually complained about how when her female friends sat around complaining about their husbands, she couldn't join in because my friend wasn't an emotionally stunted man-child.
Halfway through their first session, he told her he wanted a divorce and walked out. That was right after she'd been telling the therapist about how she'd known he wasn't an archetypal 'man's man' when they got together, but that she'd always thought she could change him into 'a real man.'
My goodness, she was insufferable."