Westborough Marriage Counseling—Counselors and Therapists
Do you lay next to someone every night in bed, but feel like you are worlds away? Do you spend more time arguing with your spouse than laughing? Do you miss the spontaneity and fun that you used to have together? If this describes your marriage, you are not alone. We have all heard the dire statistics on the success of marriage. You may feel like you are headed in that direction with no hope of saving your relationship. The professionals at Thriveworks Westborough Marriage Counseling can help give your marriage a fighting chance.
For some couples, problems arise and they can easily resolve them and move past them. For others, even the slightest disagreements turn into serious issues. Sometimes it is the same fight, just a different day. You keep discussing and arguing over the same issues, possibly even for years. Once couples get into such a negative way of interacting with each, it can be difficult to break the cycle.
When couples are in such a negative pattern, it is very helpful to have an outside perspective to clarify and help move past the issues you are facing. Marriage counseling can inject new life into your relationship, as well as helping to foster better communication and mutual respect. One of the trained therapists at Thriveworks Westborough Marriage Counseling can help both partners feel comfortable sharing their feelings and emotions openly in the safe environment of the counseling office.
Why Pursue Marriage Counseling?
We are all very familiar with the statistic that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. In addition to this, so many couples find themselves in “emotional divorce.” When couples find themselves in this state, you may be physically still with your partner, but you are emotionally completely distant and severed.
Anyone who has been married will tell you; it is not always easy. Living with another human being requires patience and flexibility. There are so many potential areas of disagreement and discord that it is easy to see how so many marriages fail. Relationships and families are complicated.
Do any of these issues sound familiar?
- Communication difficulties
- Problems with in-laws and extended family
- Anger issues, yelling, slamming of doors
- Family planning, to have or not have children
- Parenting issues and disagreements
- Jealousy, lack of trust
- Unresolved issues from past relationships
- Overscheduled lives, “Passing each other in the night”
This is by no means a complete list of issues that marriages face. Perhaps your issue popped out immediately. Alternatively, perhaps you did not see anything familiar on the list, but you know your relationship needs help. This is just the beginning of a list of possibilities of what can be causing difficulties for a relationship.
Feeling miles away from the person that is supposed to be your partner in life can be extremely lonely and frustrating. Laying awake at night, sitting in silence at the dinner table, arguing over silly things day after day; this is no way to live. You both may have a great deal of anger to deal with over the course of counseling. This will not be easy, but it is possible with a trained and experienced Thriveworks counselor.
Marriage Counseling Exercises
“While therapists vary in their clinical styles and the interventions they use, marriage counseling often involves a therapist helping couples identify and understand the sources of their conflicts and working with them to resolve them,” explains Ayala Hamami, a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker at our Westborough office. “The therapist can help partners develop skills that strengthen the relationship in areas like communication, problem-solving, and conflict resolution. The therapist can provide feedback on the interactional patterns they are observing play out in the session and help the couple to practice alternative responses that can break a cycle that is creating tension, distancing, or otherwise hindering the couple’s ability to get on the same page and feel mutually understood and supported.”
A world-renowned researcher, Dr. John Gottman, has developed an effective theory for marriage and couples counseling known as “Love Banking.” When couples put this into practice, love banking is one of many exercises that can help couples develop or define trust and positive energy within their marriage. The caring professionals at Thriveworks Westborough Marriage Counseling can help you employ this in your relationship and establish it as a daily practice in your life.
This exercise establishes that your relationship is a bank account. This account can be very wealthy or very poor. It can be overdrawn or it can have excessive positive energy. In this exercise, you learn to view every interaction with your spouse as a “deposit” or “withdrawal.”
A withdrawal is a request or demand put upon the other partner. This can also include fights, insults, and any negative dialogue.
If your marriage is having trouble, you are most likely having a great deal of withdrawals as well.
- If you say “Pick up your socks.” — That is a withdrawal.
- If you say “I can’t talk now. Don’t bother me at work.” — That is a withdrawal.
- If you say “I don’t understand what you do all day; it’s a disaster in here!” — That is a withdrawal.
Although some of these may sound like simple requests, they are still withdrawals. The more serious types of withdrawals include fights and insults, such as name-calling and swearing.
It is bad to be overdrawn in your bank account. It is also bad to be overdrawn in your marriage. Without deposits, you cannot make withdrawals. If your marriage bank account is empty, you will feel lonely, withdrawn, and resentful. You may feel better alone than with your spouse.
Dr. Gottman’s research reveals that in order for your relationship to stay healthy and not withdrawn, the couple needs to have 5 deposits for every 1 withdrawal. It is a magical 5-to-1 ratio. If your marriage is a very negative place, it can seem very overwhelming to even come up with one deposit per day. But it is possible. You can change the tide of your relationship.
In a marriage, you make deposits by expressing love and care for your spouse. Another researcher, Gary Chapman, has developed what he calls “The Five Love Languages.”
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
Words of Affirmation
This love language is exactly as it sounds. We use our words to encourage and build up our spouse. This can be spoken, in writing, in recognition of something big or small. It is an important and simple was to express love to your partner.
This love style is also quite simple. Tokens of appreciation, even inexpensive ones, can show someone that they are thought of and loved. If you or your spouse have the love language of gifts, it does not mean you are materialistic. Rather, it is simply that some people respond best to being given a tangible reminder of another’s love for them.
Acts of Service
Washing the car, walking the dog, changing the baby’s diaper, doing the laundry; these are the types of jobs that most people do not love. But for someone who really values this type of love language, these acts of service mean a great deal.
Going out to dinner, watching a tv show together, having a long conversation, taking a walk; the love language of “quality time” is about giving undivided attention to another person. The activity that takes place during the quality time is not as important as focusing on the other person.
An embrace, a kiss and holding hands are all expressions of love. As an important love language for many, without having this account full, it is difficult to even appreciate other expressions of affection. Physical contact and touch can relate to intimacy, but it also includes simple acts of affection as well.
Learning how you and your spouse both give and receive love is very helpful for your relationship. Once you know your spouse’s most meaningful expression of love, you can put a great deal of deposits into this type of language.
Thriveworks marriage counselors can help you put this exercise into practice in your marriage immediately. You can use the information on different love languages to fulfill your five to one ratio of deposits and withdrawals.
Why Choose Thriveworks Westborough Marriage Counselors?
“One of the biggest misconceptions about marriage counseling is that couples seeking therapy are broken or incompatible. The truth of the matter is that we were never taught in school ‘how to do relationships well’ and there is no one-size-fits-all manual when it comes to knowing the steps that best suit the relational dance that has developed between two partners,” says Hamami. “When we consider the fact that a partnership is the coming together of two individuals, each with their own unique life experiences, backgrounds, family dynamics, etc., we can reasonably expect that it may be challenging at times to always understand and be equipped to handle differences in areas like communication, conflict resolution, and coping styles.” So, if you and your partner are struggling to get along or work through a given problem, consider talking to a marriage counselor—and don’t feel any shame in doing so.
Thriveworks Counseling has marriage counselors who can help you create the marriage that you both deserve. Whatever the source of the issues in your relationship, both partners deserve to have respect and happiness, whether together or apart. Discovering the best path for the future of your marriage would be our honor. We have the skills to help you develop new, healthy ways to deal with these problems and develop healthy communication.
We do not have a waitlist and we have appointments available immediately. We respect that you have a busy life, and that you may have been trying to find the time to call for quite some time. We respect that making that first call for help is easy. We are ready when you are. Thriveworks marriage counselors can help you and your partner create the healthy, loving, and respectful relationship that you both desire.