Marriage Counseling in Oakland, MI—Marriage Counselors, Therapists
The main source of tension within most romantic comedies is whether the main characters will finally overcome all the barriers keeping them apart so that they can live happily-ever-after together. Think about Sleepless in Seattle, While You Were Sleeping, You’ve Got Mail, Hitch, Silver Linings Playbook. These couples overcame geography, grief, past relationships, mental illness, physical illness, and more. In one of the most romantic lines ever spoken, Harry finds Sally at the end of the movie and proclaims his love, “I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” There is an underlying assumption all their problems are now solved, but anyone in a marriage knows better. Every marriage has difficulties—it is normal to struggle. That is why most wedding vows include a promise to love one another “in good times and bad, in sickness and health, for rich or poor.” Even happily-ever-afters include difficulty, sickness, and poverty at times. Even the most committed spouses may need help, and more and more, people are reach out and going to marriage therapy.
“A great marriage isn’t something that just happens;
it’s something that must be created.” —Fawn Weaver
The marriage counselors at Thriveworks Oakland Counseling have worked with many spouses who are stuck. Often, they want to have a great relationship, but they do not know how to get there. Maybe life is become too stressful. Maybe trust has been lost. Often, marriage counselors can restart the process of creating a great marriage.
Should We Go to Marriage Counseling?
Sometimes, couples want to know if the issue that is affecting their marriage means they should go to therapy. Is this a problem that therapy can solve? It is a common question. There are no simple answers. On the one hand, there is no right or wrong reason to start marriage counseling. If you or your spouse is wondering whether marriage therapy might help, this could be a sign that you are ready to get started. On the other hand, marriage therapy is not a quick-fix or a panacea. There are no guarantees in relationships. Sometimes, spouses work through their problems and build a stronger marriage. Sometimes, spouses decide that the best path forward is to divorce amicably. In both cases, a marriage therapist may be able to guide the process. What are some of the reasons spouses begin marriage therapy?
1) They are fighting constantly: Debates. Disagreements. Differences. These are all normal within a marriage. Healthy marriages have fights, but these spouses fight fairly and respectfully. Then, they move on. Relational experts talk about how healthy couples only have one negative interaction for every five positive interactions. Negative interactions are powerful and can cause significant harm. If these issues of disagreement turn into personal attacks or if they are never resolve, spouses can easily feel as if they are drowning in conflict. Often, marriage counselors teach their clients conflict resolution skills so they can have their disagreements and then move onto more positive interactions.
2) They never fight: Just as fighting too much can be a sign that a marriage is in trouble, so can never fighting. Spouses need to maintain their individuality within the marriage. Never disagreeing or fighting could mean that one spouse’s perspective, feelings, or opinions are not being honored. When someone has their unique perspective brushed aside repeatedly, they may give up on advocating for their own individuality. When spouses have iced each other out, it may also signal that tension has risen so much that each spouse is overwhelmed. Marriage counselors can often help spouses identify the underlying problem and work toward a resolution.
3) A spouse cheated: When one or both spouses have an affair, the marriage essentially goes into cardiac arrest. Major intervention is needed to restore the relationship to health. Recovery from an affair is not an easy process—it takes time and it requires that trust be rebuilt. Spouses do not always know what steps to take, even if they want to stay in the marriage. A marriage therapist can often guide that process. Sometimes, spouses know they do not want to continue the marriage. In that case, a marriage therapist may be able to facilitate amicable parting of ways.
4) One spouse wants to change the other: A basic but important principle for life is that people cannot change others—not even their spouse. People can only change themselves. When we try to change others, we introduce shame, frustration, and disappointment into the relationship. We may be trying to do a good thing, but ultimately, it is harmful. Within a marriage, each spouse needs to take responsibility for their own personal growth. Marriage therapists often teach spouses how to set up appropriate boundaries so that this can take place.
Thriveworks Oakland Offers Appointments for Marriage Counseling
You may have recognized a reason to go to marriage therapy. You may not have. The decision to start therapy is personal, and every spouse has their own reasons. If you are ready, know that the marriage counselors at Thriveworks Oakland Counseling are ready, too. When you contact our office, you may have your first appointment within 24 hours. We work with many insurance companies and are able to accept a variety of insurance plans. We also offer evening and weekend sessions. Call today.