Marriage Counseling in Wilkes-Barre, PA
Things are different. Your marriage has shifted. Maybe it started a few months ago… or maybe it has been coming for a few years. It is hard to say, but change is very real. Conversations that used to last for hours now cover the bare minimum and then stop. Greetings that were once warm and affectionate are now cold. Problems that used to be solved quickly now linger. Love and affection have been replaced with hostility or apathy. Now, you are wondering if this is the new normal… if so, what is next? This relationship is not what you envisioned at your wedding when your vowed to love each other forever. Many spouses find themselves frustrated, disappointed, and even angered at some point in their marriage. Difficulties are normal—that is why many marriage vows include the pledge to love “in good times and bad.” It is also normal for spouses to reach out for help when times are hard. Many spouses are going to marriage therapy.
“Couples counseling gets many couples back together. But not all, and not always. For your own sake and that of your children, however, I recommend it – I almost insist on it – as the first step for anyone unhappy in a relationship.”
—Laura Wasser, divorce attorney
As many as 40 percent of spouses in their first marriage eventually decide to part ways, and the percent rises substantially for second and third marriages. If there is trouble in your marriage, divorce may be the right option, but it may not be the right option. Only you can decide what is best for you, but if you want help making that decision, help is available. Marriage therapists are relational experts that often help spouses grow personally. Sometimes, that growth leads to a better marriage. Sometimes, that growth leads to a parting of ways. Most of the time, that grows leads to a better future, whatever that future may look like.
A better future and a better relationship—that is why Thriveworks Wilkes-Barre offers marriage therapy. There are never guarantees, and spouses have to decide how they define “better.” However, you are not alone. Help is available.
Marriage therapy is not a magic potion that fixes relational dynamics, but there are tangible ways that it often helps spouses relate in a healthier way. What are some of those ways? Marriage therapists often help spouses by…
- Providing a safe place for disagreements. Can you relate to this experience? One moment, you and your spouse are discussing something (an errand that needs to be run, what to have for dinner, who is going to fold the laundry, et cetera), and the next moment, your voices are raised. You are attacking each other instead of the problem. This is called conflict escalation. It happens all the time, but it is not helpful to you or your spouse. Marriage therapists work hard to create a space where spouses can talk openly and honestly about problems in their lives without the tension escalating. They also often work with spouses on their conflict resolution skills.
- Setting up reasonable expectations for change. Relational growth takes time. People do not see patterns and change behaviors on a dime. Even sincere effort looks like taking two steps forward and one step backward. Yet, there are some changes that need to take place sooner rather than later. Certain ways of relating are more harmful than others. Marriage therapists often help spouses envision what changes they want to make and a plan for how to make them.
- Promote the interests of each spouse. Healthy relationships require healthy individuals, and this is especially true for a marriage. The preferences, feelings, needs, thoughts, and desires of each spouse add value to the relationship, and they should be received with respect. Marriages often struggle when each spouse’s individuality is minimized. Counselors often work with couples to help them maintain their uniqueness within the relationship.
- Cultivate each spouse’s awareness of toxic relational patterns. When spouses are in the midst of conflict, it is very difficult for them to see any bigger patterns of relating that may be a problem. However, an outside perspective is often helpful to see what is truly happening in the relationship. When these patterns are known, they can be changed. Marriage counselors often teach spouses healthier ways of relating.
Marriage Therapy at Thriveworks Wilkes-Barre
Deciding to start counseling is a personal decision. There is no right or wrong time to go to therapy. If you feel like counseling may help, then it probably will. Here are a few reasons others have decided to start marriage therapy:
- One or both spouses have cheated. Adultery usually throws the marriage into crisis. It is often the reason spouses start therapy—whether they want to continue in the marriage or not.
- You and your spouse are fighting all the time. It is normal for spouses to disagree and argue, but when these interactions are occurring often, it may be time to seek help.
- You and your spouse never fight. When spouses are apathetic toward each other, this is a red flag that the relationship is in trouble. Icing out a spouse can be just as painful as fighting with them.
If you are ready to reach out for help, Thriveworks Wilkes-Barre offers marriage therapy. When you contact our office, you may be meeting with your therapist the following day. We accept many forms of insurance, and we offer evening and weekend sessions. Call today.