How to have a Healthy Marriage – Counselors and Therapists in Peachtree City
What if your marriage could be different? What if you did not fight every night? What if you did not sleep in separate rooms? What if you weren’t so distant from your spouse? What if you actually connected? What if you felt that excitement to see your partner that you once did? What if it could all be different?
These are often called the “Miracle Questions” and they are used in therapy to help clients define what they would like to be different about their lives. It can be difficult to even answer these questions. Helping couples and individuals create a new reality is not easy. But at Thriveworks, we have the skills and experience to help you make this happen. You and your spouse do not need to suffer in silence any more.
Marriage is not always easy. When we walk down the aisle, we may expect long talks at night, falling asleep in each other’s arms, flowers, and laughter for years to come. However, this is not reality for every day of our lives together. Life throws us all unexpected challenges and hardships. Financial struggles, illness, adultery, the list goes on and on of the difficulties that couples may face in their time together.
We all know the statistics. Marriages are crumbling at an alarming rate. You and your spouse do not have to be simply another figure. Thriveworks marriage counselors can help you and your spouse clearly define the problems that you face, help determine goals for success and change, and then walk on the journey of healing and establishing a new, happier normal for you both in your marriage.
Why Pursue Marriage Counseling at Thriveworks Peachtree?
There are many reasons that couples choose to seek counseling. Some couples are looking for a “check-up” because they feel some distance or unhappiness that did not used to be present. Things are not totally broken, just need some assistance. Other couples are already separated, one partner may feel completely done with the relationship, and may not even see the point of counseling. Whatever the reason that you have sought out this page, you are not alone. With marriage statistics in the abysmal way that we find them, many couples have not yet gone through with a divorce, but are living with an “emotional divorce” where they are simply ships passing in the night.
Problems in a marriage can be caused by many things. Some of these may include:
- Financial trouble
- Health problems
- Jealousy and lack of trust
- Problems with children or extended family
- Loss of employment
- Anger issues
- Lack of communication
- Psychological problems
Do these sound familiar? Perhaps you and your spouse are facing several challenges on this list. Or perhaps you cannot even pinpoint the cause of your distance, but you know it’s there. You know that you and your partner could be closer, have more of a connection, know each other better. We are ready to help you discover if that is true. We are ready to explore your marriage and help you and your spouse establish realistic goals for the future of your relationship.
Marriage Counseling Exercise
“Love banking” is a practical and useful theory developed by world-renowned researchers, Dr. John Gottman. When used in marriage, this exercise is one of many that can help couples establish trust and positive energy in their marriage. Thriveworks counselors are trained to put this exercise, as well as many others, into use in your daily life.
The “love banking” theory can be thought of in a simple analogy. Imagine that your relationship is a bank account. Your bank account can be extremely full and wealthy, or it can be overdrawn. Thriveworks counselors can help you learn to see each and every interaction with your spouse as either a “deposit” or a “withdrawal.”
Withdrawals are any negative talk, fight, insult, request or demand made of your partner. Couples that are experiencing difficulties in their marriage can have a great number of withdrawals in one day.
- If you say “Don’t leave your junk on the floor” — that is a withdrawal
- If you say “Just leave me alone” — that is a withdrawal
- If you say “Take the trash out” — that is a withdrawal
- If you slam the door and walk away — that is a withdrawal
These may sound like simple actions and requests, and some or many may even be innocent and not intended to harm, but they are still withdrawals. Name calling, swearing, eye rolling, yelling; these are all even more serious withdrawals.
When our emotional or relational bank account is empty or overdrawn, we feel lonely, angry, resentful, and bitter. None of us wants to bounce checks. This is true for our marriage bank account, as it is true for our real bank accounts. Without making any deposits, even the simplest requests can feel hurtful to your partner because they are not balanced with love and respect.
The magic number, as formulated by Dr. Gottman’s research, appears to be a five to one ratio. We need to have five deposits for every one withdrawal. This may sound impossible for couples that are struggling to get through a day without a slammed door or an argument. But by slowing building up your deposits, and making small changes that make a difference in your overall communication style, real change is possible. Deposits can be anything that builds up your spouse. A hug, an encouraging word, emptying the dishwasher; these are all ways to make deposits in your marriage bank account.
In order to make deposits effectively, you need to know how to best express love and affection for your spouse. “The Five Love Languages,” as developed by researcher and author Gary Chapman, addresses the different ways that we give and receive love.
The five love languages are:
- Words of affirmation
- Acts of service
- Quality time
- Physical touch
Words of Affirmation
This love language is exactly as it sounds. We all know that it is possible to use our words to hearten and encourage our spouse. This can be spoken, in writing, in recognition of something large or small. It is an important and simple was to express love to your partner.
This love language can also be quite simple to express. Tokens of appreciation, even inexpensive ones, can show someone that they are thought of and cherished. It does not reflect the quality of being materialistic or selfish; rather, it is simply that some people feel love most by being given a tangible reminder of another’s love for them.
Acts of Service
Taking the trash out, getting the oil changed in the car, emptying the dishwasher, making school lunches, these are jobs that most people do not look forward to doing. But for someone who really values this type of love language, these acts of service mean a great deal when they are completed without prodding by their spouse.
Getting coffee, watching a favorite show together, taking a walk, having a long conversation; the love style “quality time” is about giving your undivided attention to your spouse. The activity that takes place during the quality time is really unimportant. Being fully present and focusing on the other person is what matters.
An embrace, a kiss, holding hands, or leaning your head on your spouse’s shoulder can all be expressions of physical love. This is an important love language for many. Physical contact and touch can relate to intimacy, but it also refers to simple human contact.
It is very beneficial to learn how both yourself and your spouse best receive and give love. Once you know your spouse’s most significant expression of love, you can put a great deal of deposits into this type of love language.
Thriveworks marriage counselors can help you put these exercises and theories, as well as others, into practice in your relationship. These can work quickly to help establish new patterns of interaction and communication in your relationship. We want to help you create a very wealthy “love bank.”
Why Choose Thriveworks Peachtree City Marriage Counselors?
At Thriveworks Peachtree City, our trained and licensed marriage counselors are experts in their field. Thriveworks counselors have been featured in many reputable news outlets and publications, such as The Boston Globe, CNN, The Journal of Mental Health Counseling, Prevention, Psychiatric Times, Counseling Today, and many others. We are ready to put our knowledge to work for your marriage.
We respect that it may be very difficult for you to contact us. Perhaps you have been begging and pleading your spouse to agree to see a counselor for a long time. Many people have fear and anxiety associated with even seeing a counselor. For all of these reasons, we want to be available when you need us. Out of respect for your life and situation, we maintain a “no waiting list” policy. In most cases, we have appointments available within 24 hours for new clients.
Perhaps you are still wondering if you should call. Wonder no longer. You deserve to determine whether you can be happy in this relationship. Your marriage deserves a fighting chance. Let us, the Thriveworks marriage therapist in Peachtree City, help you create the marriage you have always dreamed about, or maybe find the relationship that you used to have. It would be our pleasure to walk with you on this journey of healing and change.