Counselors in Montclair, NJ—Marriage Therapy
In one of the most famous movie scenes of all time, Princess Buttercup walks down the aisle to Prince Humperdink. The priest arises and begins his famous homily, “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.” Prince Humperdink then demands, “skip to the end!” It is obvious that Buttercup’s and Humperdink’s forced and fake marriage is not a blessed arrangement or true love. The priest’s homily is one of the best jokes in The Princess Bride, and one of the reasons it is so funny is that ordinary couples can relate. The idea of marriage being a dream within a dream is a sweet ideal, but it is rarely people’s experience. In fact, most marriages struggle. Most spouses find themselves, at one point or another, frustrated, angered, or annoyed at their spouse. That is one of the reasons marriage vows often include a promise to love one another, “in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, in good times and in bad.” When spouses are experiencing those times of sickness, poverty, and difficulty, they are often reaching out for help and going to marriage counseling.
“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
Marriage is a daily activity. Everyday choices can keep the relationship on track. Everyday choices can throw it off track. Spouses often find themselves off the path they envisioned. When they are willing find out how they got off track and course-correct, they may be ready to marriage therapy. Many couples want a better relationship, but they do not know how. Marriage counselors are often trusted guides. Therapy is not a magic formula that makes life instantaneously better, but many couples are able to build a better relationship with the help of a marriage counselor. That is why Thriveworks Montclair offers marriage counseling. We have worked with many spouses who were ready to work at the marriage and make good but hard changes.
When Should We Start Marriage Counseling?
If you and your spouse are having difficulty connecting, you may be asking if marriage counseling may help. Is now the time to start therapy? When spouses reach out for help is a very personal decision. There is no right time to start, but there is also no wrong time. No list could contain all the reasons couples start therapy, but here are a few…
1) Someone committed adultery.
Cheating destroys trust. Sometimes, it destroys the relationship. Sometimes, the trust and the relationship can be repaired. Navigating the marriage after adultery is tricky. Spouses may know exactly how they want their future to look like. Spouses may be putting all the energy toward simply breathing and putting one foot in front of the other. Whatever spouses choose as the goal of recovery, much healing is needed after adultery, and marriage therapists can often guide that process.
2) Your interactions are filled with tension.
Conflict is going to happen within a marriage. Each spouse has a unique perspective, and no two people are exactly the same. In healthy marriage, these differences are handled with respect, and conflict is addressed directly so it can be resolved. Relational experts often believe that healthy couples have one negative interaction for every five positive interactions. Negative interactions have more power to cause harm than positive interactions have to connect. When this ratio is off, the marriage can feel overwhelmed with tension. Marriage therapists often teach conflict resolution skills to spouses so that they can address and resolve the tension in their marriage.
3) Your interactions are filled with apathy.
Too much conflict can be a problem, but so can too little conflict. Fiery tension can destroy the relationship, but so can icy apathy. When spouses are apathetic toward each other, one spouse may be suppressing the other’s feelings, thoughts, needs, and perspectives. Each individual may need more freedom to be themselves. When spouses are apathetic toward each other, they may also be weary of conflict. They may have given up on solving the problem. In either case, marriage therapy may be the right next step to identify the underlying problem.
4) Your lives are parallel, not interconnected.
Calendars fill up quickly, and it is healthy for spouses to have separate careers and hobbies. However, at some point, healthy spouse always find time to connect. When spouses are leading parallel lives that rarely interconnect, that may be a sign that intimacy within their relationship is lacking. Intimacy can be sexual, but it can also be emotional, social, spiritual, and more. Intimacy is simply any way that the couple connects in a meaningful way. When spouses are struggling to connect, it may be time to start marriage therapy.
Scheduling Marriage Therapy at Thriveworks Montclair
As you read through the list, you may or may not have recognized an issue within your own marriage. There are many, many reasons spouses choose to start marriage therapy. If you are wondering if marriage counseling may help, that may be a sign it is time to get started. When you call to schedule therapy at Thriveworks Montclair, you may be meeting with your counselor the following day. We offer evening and weekend sessions. We also accept many insurance plans. Let’s work together. Call today.