Marriage is the grand finale of most romantic comedies. Think about My Best Friend’s Wedding, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, Hitch, Love Actually, Enough Said, 27 Dresses, and countless more. The ups and downs are all in the pursuit, the winning, and the dating. Once that soulmate is found, then their relationship is happily-ever-after, right? Wrong. In real-life, the ups and downs of the relationship continue after a couple says their wedding vows. That is why many vow to love each other “for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, in good times and bad.” It is normal for spouses to experience bad times, poor times, and sick times. Every marriage is a journey—not a destination. More and more spouses are reaching out for help and going to marriage counseling when they hit roadblocks. Marriage therapy can be a place where spouses learn how to navigate the bad times and optimize the good times.
“A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together.
It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.”
– Dave Meurer
Thriveworks Counseling in Fayetteville, NC offers marriage therapy because we know there are no perfect marriages. Marriage therapy is not a magic formula for happiness, but our professionals know that many spouses can work through their problems. We have seen many partners learn to enjoy their differences and learn how to connect on a deeper level.
Is Now the Time for Marriage Counseling?
During tough times, spouses may wonder to themselves if it is time for marriage counseling. They may even verbalize the question to each other: does our marriage need help? No one can answer that question but the spouses who are in the marriage. Often, if one or both spouses are wondering if marriage counseling could help, then it is probably time to reach out for help. There are many reasons partners may seek out marriage counseling. Some of the circumstances that have driven others to marriage therapy include…
1) Someone has cheated: Affairs can destroy trust within a marriage. Sometimes, that trust can be rebuilt. Sometimes, it cannot. In either case, an affair is like a marriage going into cardiac arrest. For the marriage to survive, it will need significant intervention and each partner will have to be open to making significant changes to restore and sustain a healthy relationship. Recovering from an affair is not easy, but it is possible. There are no guarantees, but there is help. Marriage therapists have guided many spouses on how best to move forward after one or both partners have cheated.
2) You are arguing all the time: All spouses differ and disagree and debate. A healthy marriage is between two healthy individuals, so conflicts are inevitable. Healthy relationships, however, have five positive interactions for every negative interaction. When that 5:1 ratios is off-balance, spouses may feel like they are arguing all the time because negative interactions are more powerful than positive ones. Marriage therapists work with many couples, teaching them conflict resolution skills so that those negative interactions can be solved.
3) You have completely stopped arguing: Just as arguing all the time can be a sign of problems, so can never arguing. When spouses never argue, it can be a sign of two unhealthy dynamics. First, one spouse’s opinions, thoughts, feelings, and choices may be dominating so that the other’s are pushed aside. Maybe one spouse has given up advocating for themselves. The second possible unhealthy dynamic is that each spouse has been so worn down by argument that they give up and shift strategies. Instead of coming at each other with fury, they ice each other out. In these two scenarios, a skilled marriage therapist may be able to help spouses work through the underlying issue and jump-start healthy communication and connection.
4) You are trying to change your spouse, or your spouse is trying to change you: An important rule for a healthy marriage (and for all of life, actually) is that people can only change themselves—they cannot change other people. Without question, people try to change each other, but it never works. When one spouse is trying to change the other, the end result is never change. Instead, both spouses often feel shamed, frustrated, and betrayed. Marriage should be a place where people experience love and acceptance. When change needs to happen, it needs to be self-motivated. Marriage therapists can often guide that process.
5) One or both spouses are abusive: Abuse can come in many forms. It can be physical, emotional, or sexual, and it is never acceptable. If your spouse is abusing you, it is ok to be safe and seek out help for yourself.
Scheduling an Appointment for Marriage Therapy at Thriveworks in Fayetteville
This list of reasons why couples may go to marriage therapy is by no means exhaustive. Maybe your recognized an issue within your own marriage. Maybe you did not. For many people, the fact that they are considering going to counseling is a sign that it may be time to reach out for help. Here are a few things that may be important to know about scheduling marriage counseling at Thriveworks Fayetteville. When you contact our office, a real person (our scheduling specialist) will answer your call and help you find an appointment. You will not be put on a waitlist (because we do not have one), but your will probably have your first appointment within 24 hours of your first call to make that appointment. We also offer evening and weekend sessions, and we accept many forms of insurance. Let’s work together. Call Thriveworks Fayetteville today.