IS YOUR MARRIAGE IN CRISIS?
Are you having difficulty communicating with your spouse?
Do your attempts to communicate just turn into arguments?
Have you lost the close connection you once felt towards each other?
Do you feel you’ve become more roommates than romantic partners?
Has taking care of the kids taken priority over cultivating your marriage?
Is your husband or wife looking at porn?
Have you discovered your spouse is having an affair?
Has it been months or years since you’ve been sexually intimate?
Or, are you simply wanting to make your already good marriage an even better one?
If you’re experiencing any of the above challenges, you are not alone. Marriage can be one of the most rewarding aspects of your life. It is also one of the most challenging. And that is not just true of your marriage, it is true of all marriages. It’s been said that marriage is God’s ultimate sanctification process, and I believe it.
We typically get married because we are feeling close to our significant other and we want to continue that closeness. For some, the first few months of marriage, and maybe even, the first few years, go fairly well. For others, marriage is challenging right from the start. They quickly become aware of how very different they are from one another. And for most marriages, no matter how well the first few years may have gone, once children arrive on the scene, marital intimacy and closeness inevitably take a back burner to the needs of the kids. Without even realizing it, you inadvertently quit making time for each other and find yourselves growing apart. With little time together as a couple, along with the pressures of raising kids, marital arguments can easily become the rule, instead of the exception.
Some may be dealing with marital challenges that are more daunting such as affair recovery. Others may have discovered that their spouse has been looking at pornography. Either of these can make you feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you. Marital trust has been shattered and at this point, you have no idea how it can ever be restored. This is truly understandable. Just know that I’ve seen couples come from both places and reach a better place in their marriage than they were before the discovery. It is a difficult journey for sure. But real transformation of the marriage is possible.
"THERE JUST ISN’T ENOUGH TIME IN THE DAY
FOR MARRIAGE COUNSELING!"
Every married couple with kids can relate to this one! Life really does get busy with all the kids’ activities, helping them with homework, trying to get household chores done, and having to juggle all of this with work demands. But, when you think about it, this may be a major contributing factor to where the marriage is today: simply not making time for each other. There may never be a convenient time to start focusing on your marriage. If you’re waiting for that to happen, it may never come. And then, what state will your marriage be in? Isn’t now the best time to begin making your marriage a priority?
"WE’VE WAITED TOO LONG.
THE MARRIAGE IS TOO FAR GONE NOW."
It’s never too late! I sincerely believe that if both parties are willing to take a look at themselves and ask, “What is my part in this?”, and then begin taking steps to address their own individual contribution to the negative relational dynamics, we can make progress. Real change is possible when both parties are willing to do this! It takes time and effort to improve your relationship. Your marriage didn’t get to this place overnight, nor will it become what you hope for overnight. But, isn’t it worth the effort? I believe it is!
HOW DOES MARRIAGE COUNSELING WORK?
A major part of Marriage Counseling is learning better communication skills. Hands down, that is the number one challenge I hear from couples seeking marriage counseling: “We just don’t know how to communicate.” The good news is that better communication skills really can be learned. We’ll work on learning to communicate in ways that, with practice, can really help you hear each other, empathize with one another, and learn to give each other the validation that you both need. Once each of your feelings and individual perspectives are heard and validated, you’ll then be in a better place to negotiate a compromise you both can live with.
We’ll also establish a baseline of marital satisfaction when you begin therapy. We’ll identify the contributing factors that are leading to the felt distance between you. And we’ll then begin working on changing negative interaction patterns. More importantly perhaps, we’ll start identifying what made you feel connected to one another in the past and then start being purposeful about making them a priority today. It turns out that the same things that once drew you to one another while dating, turn out to be the very same things that help maintain closeness once you’re married. On some level, we all know that. However, we sometimes need the accountability that Marriage Counseling offers in order to help us reach those goals.
If you happen to be dealing with challenges of broken trust and betrayal such as experienced in extra-marital affairs, we can take a two-pronged approach. In affair recovery, we’ll work on rebuilding trust, as well as, identifying what left the relationship vulnerable to experiencing an affair in the first place. We can then work on shoring up the relationship and working towards creating a relational space where both of your needs can be met. With commitment and patience, marriages have the potential to become even stronger and more fulfilling than they were before the affair. Obviously, as a therapist, I can’t guarantee positive results. That being said, if both parties reach a place of greater transparency and openness with one another, the possibility exists of having a much more fulfilling relationship.
WHAT IS MY FIRST STEP IN GETTING
MARRIAGE COUNSELING STARTED?
The first step is to talk with your spouse. Tell them that you would like to work on your marriage. Share with them that they, and your marriage, are important to you. Let them know that you realize you’re a part of the problem as well, and that you’re willing to look at your part and work on making improvements. Ask them if they’re willing to do the same. Then give me a call at 817-320-4619 or email me at email@example.com. We’ll set up a time for a free 10-15 minute phone conversation to answer any questions you might have. Then, if we believe we’re a good fit for one another, we’ll discuss logistics and set up a time to meet.
I want to encourage you today. Remember, you are not in this alone. When you pray to strengthen your marriage, you are praying for something that is near to God’s heart. Marriage is God’s idea. This reminds me of the following verse: “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4: 12, English Standard Version). God is the third strand in the threefold chord. There is hope!
Looking forward to hearing from you!