In one of the most famous wedding scenes of all time, Princess Buttercup approaches the altar with Prince Humperdink. The priest begins, “Marriage. Marriage is what brings us together today. Marriage, that blessed arrangement, that dream within a dream… and love, true love, will follow you forever… so treasure your love.” The Princess Bride has entertained audiences for decades with its absurdity, and perhaps, nowhere else in the movie is it more on display than in this scene. Anyone who has been in a marriage knows that many times, marriage is no blessed arrangement and is often not a dream. In fact, it is normal for spouses to disagree, annoy each other, and even argue. That is one of the many reasons that marriage vows generally include a promise to love “in good times and bad.” All marriages will face some bad times, and more and more, spouses are going to marriage counseling to help them get back to the good times.
“Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do. It’s the way you love your partner every day.”
—Barbara De Angelis
The little things add up within a marriage. Everyday interactions are the foundation to a healthy relationship, and when life gets busy or when tension goes unresolved, it is easy for the relationship to lose its way. Spouses can find their way back to each other, and while marriage therapy is not an easy-fix, it is often helpful. Marriage counselors are relational experts, and they are often trusted guides for spouses as they are seeking to improve their marriage.
The professionals at Thriveworks Long Beach have worked with many spouses who are ready to improve their relationship. Sometimes, the marriage is under pressure from stressful circumstances. Sometimes, each spouse needs to make personal changes for the sake of the relationship. The marriage therapists at Thriveworks Long Beach have worked with many different couples who are facing many different challenges.
When Should Spouses Start Marriage Therapy?
When spouses have facing difficulty, they may wonder, Is this the kind of issue we should go to marriage therapy for? There is no right answer to this question. In many ways, if one or both spouses are wondering if marriage counseling may help, it probably would. There are not specific criteria or signs that a couple should to go to therapy, but here are a few of the reasons spouses have reach out to Thriveworks Long Beach for marriage counseling…
1) Someone has committed adultery.
- If one or both spouses have cheated, it may be time to reach out for help. You or your spouse may want to reconcile. Putting a marriage back together after an affair is a difficult process, but many have done so. You or your spouse may be ready to end the marriage. This is also a normal outcome after adultery. In either case, a skilled marriage therapist can usually guide you through the process in way that is healthy and respectful.
2) One or both spouses are trying to change each other.
In a healthy marriage, spouses accept each other for who they are and do not focus upon who they are not. Each partner takes responsibility for their own personal growth and improvement. Tension can rise when this process gets out of order. When one spouse tries to change the other or when both spouses are trying to change each other, they are most likely experiencing frustration, shame, and disappointment. The truth is that many times the spouse does need to change, but there are better ways to go about it. Marriage therapists often work with spouses, helping them take responsibility for their own growth process and letting go of control over their significant other’s growth.
3) Arguments occur constantly.
Healthy couples disagree. Happy spouses often differ. These arguments can even become intense, but happy, healthy spouses also know how to conflict about a problem without attacking each other. They also know when to let an issue go. Relational experts say that healthy marriage have five positive interactions for every negative one. When this ratio is off balance, spouses may feel like they are arguing all the time because negative interactions are more potent than positive ones. Marriage counselors often teach spouses how to argue well.
4) Arguments never happen.
Just as arguing too much can be a problem, so can never disagreeing. This can signal two serious relational problems. First, it may mean that spouses have argued so much that they have given up. They are weary of disagreeing so they avoid the conflict and avoid each other. Second, it may mean that one spouse is dominating the other. If one person’s opinions, thoughts, and feelings are always primary, then the other can easily give up their own personal opinions, thoughts, and feelings. Both are difficulties that can harm a marriage, and both are issues that marriage therapists see often.
Appointments for Marriage Counseling at Thriveworks Long Beach
If you are ready to start marriage counseling, consider reaching out to Thriveworks Long Beach. When you contact our office, you may be meeting with your therapist the following day. We do not keep a waitlist, but we do offer weekend and evening appointments. We also work with many different insurance companies and accept many different insurance plans. Let’s work together for a healthier relationship. Call Thriveworks Long Beach today.