How to Have a Healthy Marriage – Counselors and Therapists in Marietta, GA
Relationships are not always easy. Bringing two adults together is filled with necessary compromise, patience and selflessness. Joining two lives into one can be nearly an impossible task. Each person is set in his or her ways. You may have a particular method that you like the coffee made in the morning. Your partner does it differently. You may enjoy going out every weekend. Your partner prefers to stay in. The list can go on and on. And these are just the logistics! This does not even begin to address the emotional and psychological issues each person brings to the relationship.
The professional therapists at Thriveworks Marietta Marriage Counseling can help you and your partner navigate these difficult waters. Perhaps your marriage has gotten to such a negative place that you are questioning staying together at all. Perhaps you are already separated, but still hold out hope for reconciliation. We have walked through this journey with many other couples. We can help you identify what the primary problems are in your relationship, and then work to see if there is a common goal. If both partners in a relationship are willing to work hard, real change is possible.
Why Try Marriage Counseling?
The best answer to this question may be, “Why not?”
If you and your partner are at the place where you have separated or are planning to separate, you have nothing to lose. If you are both frustrated and saddened by the idea of not spending your life together, your relationship deserves a second chance.
The desire to make the relationship work is one of the best predictors for whether is actually will or not.”
Perhaps you and your partner have simply lost a lot of the joy that you used to have in your relationship. You feel misunderstood, maybe distant and possibly bored. You fear that initial spark has disappeared and you are left with the mundane reality of daily life together.
We can help you understand how joyful a peaceful, contended life together can really be.
Maybe you and your spouse cannot imagine breaking up, but your relationship has always been wrought with fighting and disagreements. You passionately fight and passionately make up. You spend many days and hours apart, after slammed doors and screaming matches. You desire some stability and peace in your relationship.
Problems in a marriage (or any relationship) can develop from many different causes. Some may include:
- Financial problems
- Loss of job
- Selling a home
- Life transition such as retirement or unemployment
- Difficulty with children
- Serious medical problems
- Psychological problems
- Death of a loved one
- Emotional or psychological problems
- Lack of trust
- Lack of communication
Whatever the cause of the difficulties in your marriage, a skilled counselor can help you identify these, develop an agreed upon plan of action and work through the steps of healing together. Both partners in the relationship have valid thoughts and feelings that deserve to be heard. Oftentimes, in a relationship, one person’s voice is heard much louder. We can give both members the respect and time they need.
Making the decision to pursue marriage counseling indicates a level of commitment to the relationship that is an excellent sign for it’s future prospects for success.
Couples Counseling Methods
A skilled counselor can employ various methods to engage both partners in a relationship and create change. At Thriveworks, we are skilled and educated in this area, and have helped many couples just like you. We will not be shocked or overwhelmed by whatever issues you and your partner bring to the counseling room. Many times, past issues from a person’s life are causing strife in a new relationship. We are ready and able to deal with these types of issues as well. Changing long-lasting patterns of unhealthy behavior is not easy, but it is possible with real commitment. At Thriveworks, we make use of many couples counseling methods to make this a reality.
Some of these methods of change may include:
- Identifying problems
- Recognizing the most important problems for each partner
- Creating safe boundaries for discussion
- Teaching active listening
- Establishing honest and clear communication
- Creating trust
- Healing painful hurts from the past
- Establishing or fostering intimacy
You may read this list and think it seems wildly unrealistic. You and your spouse have lived through so much anger and resentment, that achieving these calm goals seems nearly impossible. We know that it can be very difficult to see a light at the end of the tunnel. We can be that light. Thriveworks Marietta Marriage Counseling can guide you and your partner to a more healthy, happy place as a couple. We have helped many couples, just like you, create a better reality in their relationship.
Dr. John Gottman, a well-known researcher on relationships, has developed a useful theory known as “Love Banking,” which Thriveworks Marietta, GA counselors can help you use in your relationship. When put into practice in a relationship, love banking is one of many exercises that can help couples reestablish or develop trust and positive energy within their relationships.
Your relationship can be considered similar to a bank account. That account can be wealthy, or it could be very poor. You may be able to relate immediately with this concept and know intuitively that your relationship seems poor, complete with yelling and slammed doors. We can help you learn to see every interaction in your relationship as either a “deposit” or a “withdrawal.”
A withdrawal is a request or demand given to one partner. This can also include actions such as slammed doors, insulting words, and any other negativity.
Couples experiencing relationship difficulties often make a great deal of withdrawals:
- If you say “You left the house a mess.” — That is a withdrawal.
- If you say “I don’t have time for dinner. I have to work in my office.” — That is a withdrawal.
- If you say “Take the trash out!” — That is a withdrawal.
While some of these things may be simple and honest requests, they are still withdrawals. We have not even discussed some of the most serious types of withdrawals that include fights and possibly the use of name-calling and vulgarity.
In the financial world, no one wants to bounce checks. This is true also in your relationship bank account. Without deposits, withdrawals mean the same thing for your “relationship account” as they do for your bank account.
When your emotional bank account is empty you feel sad, lonely, angry and you may prefer to be alone than with your spouse.”
Just as in a traditional bank account, deposits are the opposite of withdrawals. They are positive entries into your relationship. These include kind words, a gentle rub on the back, saying, “I love you,” or doing a dreaded chore for the other.
Dr. Gottman’s research reveals that in order for your relationship to stay healthy, the couple needs to have 5 deposits for every 1 withdrawal. It is a simple 5 to 1 ratio.
This may seem completely impossible for couples that rarely have positive interactions. With the help of a skilled counselor, you can make this a reality. You and your spouse can change your bad habits. The ratio works.
Why Choose Thriveworks Marietta, GA Marriage Counseling?
When you go to a marriage counselor, you are trusting one of the most important things in your lives to this person. You want to be sure that you are receiving educated, sound advice. The person that you choose will be a major partner in helping your relationship recover. The caring professionals at Thriveworks Marietta Marriage Counseling are leaders in the mental health field. They are licensed and trained to deal specifically with your marital issues. They are respected leaders in their community and have been published in leading publications, such as the Chicago Tribune, Prevention, Psychiatric Times, Atlanta Journal Constitution, and the Journal of Mental Health Counseling.
We are ready to put our expertise to work for your relationship.”
At Thriveworks, we understand that it may be very difficult to make that first phone call to us. You may have been asking your partner for years, or even decades, to engage in couples counseling. They have finally agreed! Now you call a counseling office, and their first available appointment is in two weeks. In that time, you fear that your partner will change their mind. This is a very valid fear and one that we do not believe should occur. We respect your decision to seek counseling and know that it is time-sensitive. For that reason, in most cases, we have appointments available for new clients within 24 hours.
We do not believe in operating with a waiting list. We want to be ready when you are ready to seek help.
When you conducted the search that brought you to this page, you were most likely inundated with choices. There is a great deal of information available on this topic. It can be difficult to make a choice. You need not look any further. Thriveworks counselors can be your trusted partner in creating the relationship that you know is possible.