At some point, every marriage has difficulty. It is normal to be annoyed, frustrated, or even angry with your spouse. The divorce rates are staggering. Up to 40% of first marriages end in divorce, and the rate goes up for second and third marriages (60% and 73% respectively). However, not every marriage that goes through trouble has to end. Some work through their challenges, and their best years are ahead of them.
There are no guarantees in any relationship, but there is help and support. When spouses go through challenges, they are often going to marriage counseling.
The marriage therapists at Thriveworks San Diego regularly work with couples who have lost their spark. They may be fighting constantly. They may be ignoring each other. Whatever specific challenge they are facing, our relational experts can often help spouses find the heart of the problem and find a path forward—whatever a healthy way forward looks like to them. Thriveworks San Diego offers both in-person and online therapy options, so that you can have the most convenient access to your mental health care as possible.
What Is Couples Therapy? What Is Marriage Counseling?
Marriage therapy is not a quick fix. There are no magic potions that can magically transform a relationship, but there are tangible ways that skilled counselors may be able to provide guidance and support. For example, many times marriage therapist can help spouses establish:
- A calm tone for discussion. Has this ever happened to you and your spouse? You are discussing some challenge when before you know what has happened, the tone changes. Instead of attacking the problem, you are attacking each other with raised voices or name calling or worse. Escalation happens. It is normal, but it is not healthy. A marriage therapist can often teach couples healthy conflict resolution skills.
- Practical expectations for change. Change almost never happens on a dime. It can be difficult to know if spouses are experiencing slow growth or avoiding growth. Skilled marriage counselors can often help spouses know the difference and set up reasonable expectations for changes in the relationship.
- Advocacy for each spouse. Each spouse’s needs, preferences, thoughts, feelings, and desires should have value within the relationship. When couples are struggling, often one or both spouse’s perspective has been minimized or ignored. Experienced marriage therapists often help each individual find their voice within the relationship.
- An awareness of toxic relational patterns. Certain ways of relating are terribly harmful to a relationship. Dr. John Gottman identified four that can sink a relationship: defensiveness, contempt, criticism, and stonewalling. When spouses become aware of these toxic behaviors, they can change them. A marriage counselor can often help spouses become aware of these patterns and how to alter their behavior.
Do I Need Marriage Counseling?
There is no right time to start marriage counseling, but there is also no wrong time either. Each marriage is unique. Each marriage has particular strengths and weaknesses. While spouses have to decide for themselves if they are willing to work on their relationship, here are a few reasons some couples have started marriage therapy:
- Someone has cheated. Affairs are a moment of crisis for many marriages. Some marriages recover and rebuild trust and intimacy. Some spouses decide that the best decision for them is to part ways. There is no right answer, but there is guidance for these difficult decisions. Many couples go to marriage therapy after the revelation that one or both spouses have had an affair.
- There is constant tension within the relationship. It is normal and even healthy for spouses to disagree. Relational experts say that for every negative interaction, the marriage needs five positive interactions to recover. If this ratio is off balance, many spouses seek out help to restore harmony.
- There is no tension within the relationship. Sometimes, spouses give up and they feel apathetic toward the relationship. They do not care enough to fight or feel negative emotions. They may feel nothing at all. Often, there is an underlying issue that is fueling the apathy. Many spouses work with a marriage counselor to identify and resolve any root issue.
Is There Marriage Counseling Near Me? Appointments at Thriveworks San Diego, CA
If you and your spouse are ready to work with a marriage therapist, the professionals at Thriveworks San Diego are ready to work with you. To book an appointment, you can go online and use our online booking tool, or you can call our offices. When you contact our office, you can talk to one of our friendly scheduling specialists.
We know that our clients are busy, so we offer evening and weekend sessions. We also accept many different insurance plans. Let’s work together for your marriage. Book a session with Thriveworks San Diego today.