Have you said to yourself or to your partner any of the following?
I know you’d prefer to fix your relationship
without involving a counselor.
I imagine you’ve already tried.
The truth is that marriage—the most important relationship of our lives – is also the most challenging to keep healthy. In fact, sometimes it seems like work just to keep it alive.
Sometimes you ask yourself if it’s worth it—worth the stress, the disappointment, and the frustration. And sometimes there has been such a wounding to the relationship that you wonder if it can stay alive, if it can recover, heal, and grow.
And maybe you try reading a marriage book…or several marriage books…and maybe try to get your partner to read the book but…
…things don’t change. Or maybe it improves for a brief time and then falls back to status-quo. Both of you are tired of the cycle, tired of feeling stuck, tired of re-hashing the same arguments as if you are in some version of Groundhog Day.
Does any of this sound familiar?
You know you’re probably ready for counseling if…
You’ve reached a point where just maintaining the status quo is no longer an option
You’ve tried unsuccessfully to untangle the knots on your own.
You’re now ready to enlist some outside help.
You’re motivated and willing to do the hard work of counseling.
You believe that your relationship is worth it.
Regardless of what a couple’s presenting problem is, communication problems always seem to come up in the first session as a core issue. Good communication is foundational to marital success; and marital communication must work on three levels: Sharing, Negotiation, and Conflict Resolution. How a couple communicates will either facilitate or will undermine their ability to effectively address their relationship issues. Couples may often dread or even avoid communicating because doing so doesn’t feel emotionally safe and has often proved to be unproductive…or even make things worse. Good marital therapy can help equip couples to feel safe and to communicate in productive ways.
While marriage is to be a commitment to one another as Friends and Lovers many couples report that their marriage has slipped into more of an arrangement as Roommates & Co-Managers. Many of these marriages don’t necessarily have a lot of conflict; instead they are suffering in a silent but growing dissatisfaction with the marriage, resulting in a gradual drifting and disconnection. There are 3 intertwining threads in the cord of connection: Conversation, Shared Activities, and Touch. Good marital therapy can help couples to re-connect in all three, becoming friends and lovers once again.
Just like we’ve seen tornadoes in Tennessee reduce 2-story brick homes to rubble within seconds, trust can be leveled in a moment. And just as a storm-stricken home or neighborhood cannot be rebuilt instantly, so the rebuilding of trust is an intentional and gradual process, requiring patience and perseverance from both partners. But it’s worth the effort. Sometimes trust is not demolished in a single moment or by a single sin but is eroded consistently over time. This too requires wise guidance and dedicated work by the couple.
But it’s worth it.