Marriage counseling works by helping couples identify and better navigate their unique challenges. Following an initial assessment of the couple in terms of strengths and needs, the therapist would then discuss their therapeutic goals and any possible approaches or ways of working together as therapist and couple.
Couples attend sessions together, whether they meet in person or by video. In addition to regular marriage counseling sessions, each partner may also be asked to attend a few individual sessions to supplement their progress. This will allow their counselor to get to know each individual better, assess each of their personal needs, and develop the very best treatment plan moving forward.
On average, couples attend marriage counseling for 12 weeks. However, marriage counseling may last longer or shorter, dependent on the couples' needs, the challenges they'd like to work through, and the pace of their progress. Marriage counselors and therapists at Thriveworks in Westminster, CO work with their clients to create goals, decide on ideal timelines, and establish treatment plans.
Conversations have not always been this hard. Emotions have not always flared so quickly. Tension has not always been this high. There used to be patience and kindness and understanding. Where did that go? You want your marriage to get back to the way it was. Or do you? It is hard to tell sometimes. What you do know is that this is not the relationship you envisioned at your wedding. Maybe it is times like this why most spouses vow to love each other, “in sickness and in health, for rich or for poor, in good times and in bad times.” Every marriage has seasons of poverty, sickness, and struggle. No marriage is perfect. More and more, spouses are going to marriage counseling to help them carve out a path forward in their relationship. Sometimes, the way forward is to divorce. Sometimes, the way forward is to work through the challenges. Only those within the marriage can decide the next steps, but they can lean upon a marriage therapist for guidance.
Up to 40 percent of all first-time marriages end in divorce. The percentages rise significantly for second-and third-time marriages. For many spouses, that is the right decision for their relationship. For others, the right decision is to stay together and work toward a better relationship. There is no universal “right decision,” but there are marriage counselors who are often able to help establish a better relationship—whatever form that relationship may take.
There are no guarantees in any relationship, and there are no quick fixes for any marriage. The marriage therapists at Thriveworks in Westminster, CO have worked with many spouses and helped them build a better marriage or walk through an amicable divorce.
How Might Marriage Therapy Help?
While marriage therapy is not a quick fix, there are tangible ways that it may help. marriage therapists are often able to provide…
- A safe space for arguments. Disagreements, arguments, and even fighting are not inherently bad for a marriage. In fact, they can be signs of a healthy relationship where each partner feels free to express their own feelings and thoughts. What makes an argument harmful or helpful is how it is conducted. All too often, disagreements escalate. What may have started as a discussion about what to eat for dinner can turn into a personal attack on how lazy your spouse is. Can you relate? If you can, a marriage therapist may be able to teach you and your spouse conflict resolution skills that can keep arguments safe.
- A reasonable timeline for change. Growth is a process. It takes time. People need to see the behavior they need to change, understand what may be fueling that behavior, create a vision for the future, and practice the change. It can be a long, complicated process with two steps forward and one step backward. And yet, in the meantime, if there are safety concerns, changes can and should be made immediately. No spouse has to tolerate abuse of any kind. Therapists often help couples identify what changes need to be made and how to make them.
- Advocacy for each spouse. Within a marriage, each individual is important. Each spouse’s feelings, thoughts, needs, preferences, and desires should be honored because they make valuable contributions to the relationship. Often, marriages fall off track because one or both spouses’ individuality is not being respected. Marriage therapists often help spouses honor their own uniqueness within the relationship and honor their partner’s uniqueness as well.
- Increased awareness of unhealthy ways of relating. Often, each spouse is completely unaware of the things they are doing to undermine the relationship. Seeing patterns of relationships from within the relationship requires incredible amounts of self-awareness, and it is a difficult process. Many people need help seeing patterns and changing them. Marriage counselors often provide that help.
Do We Need to Talk with a Counselor or Therapist?
Deciding whether or not to talk with one of our providers is a personal decision that you and your spouse or partner will need to make independently. However, we still believe that any couple, regardless of their relationship’s age or situation, can benefit from counseling or therapy services. In fact, couples therapy and marriage counseling at Thriveworks isn’t about being perfect or happy in our relationship all of the time. Instead, it’s about learning to be honest, open, and willing to compromise with our partner.
If you’re in a relationship that’s suffering from unhealthy or negative dynamics, it’s possible that you’re experiencing:
- Arguments that last for hours or days
- Passive-aggressive or abusive behavior
- Inability to respect each other’s boundaries
- Avoiding physical touch or sex
- Lying and other forms of emotional manipulation
Appointments for Marriage Counseling at Thriveworks in Westminster, CO
If you are ready to start marriage therapy, the counselors at Thriveworks Westminster are ready to meet with you. There is no right or wrong time to start therapy. It is a personal decision, but here are a few challenges that have brought other spouses to marriage counseling at Thriveworks Westminster:
- There has been cheating. Affairs are a relational crisis. They decimate trust between spouses. If one or both spouses have cheated, it may be time to go to marriage counseling.
- You are arguing all the time. When tensions run high in a relationship, spouses may not have the relational skills to work through the conflict and move forward. Spouses often become stuck on solvable issues. If you and your spouse are arguing all the time, it may be time to go to marriage therapy.
- You and your spouse feel apathetic toward one another. The fire of arguments can cause harm, but ice can cause just as much harm when spouses ignore each other. When each spouse feels nothing—not even negative emotions about the other, it may be time to go to marriage counseling.
When you reach out to Thriveworks Westminster, you may be meeting with your therapist the following day–call or go online to get started.