In most romantic comedies, the hardest part of a relationship is finding each other. Think about some of the best rom-coms of all time: Sleepless in Seattle, While You Were Sleeping, When Harry Met Sally, Hitch, You’ve Got Mail, Silver Linings Playbook, and more. Each couple overcame unhappy relationships, grief, different locations, their own stubbornness to be together. Now that they are married, they have their happily-ever-after, and the movie ends. If only real-life relationships were so easy, but marriage vows usually include a promise to love “in good times and bad” for a reason. Most marriages will have times when they struggle. The struggle may be over communication or intimacy or trust or something entirely different, but challenges in a marriage are normal. It is also normal for spouses to reach out for help during those challenges. More and more, spouses are going to marriage therapy.
“A great marriage isn’t something that just happens;
it’s something that must be created.” —Fawn Weaver
Many people love their spouse and they want a great marriage, but they may not know how to create it. Marriage therapy is often a safe place where spouses learn how to build the marriage they want. Sometimes, that marriage looks like a deeper connection. Sometimes, a better relationship means an amicable parting of ways. There are no guarantees, and marriage counseling is not a silver bullet.
Thriveworks in Wilmington offers marriage therapy. We have been a safe place for many couples as they create a better relationship, whatever that relationship may look like.
Could Marriage Therapy Help?
There are a number of reasons to go to marriage therapy, and in reality, there is no right time or right reasons to start counseling. There is also no wrong time or wrong reason to start either. Often, if people think marriage therapy can help, then it probably can. Here are just a few of the reasons clients have decided to pursue marriage counseling at Thriveworks Wilmington:
1) Escalating or Constant Arguments. It is normal and even healthy for couples to argue. Even intense fights can be good if they are done respectfully. After all, a marriage is comprised of two individuals, and no one agrees perfectly with their spouse on every issue. The problem comes when spouses cannot resolve the disagreement and move forward. Conflict can then linger, and spouses may feel as if they are arguing all the time. Another big problem is when disagreements escalate. One minute, spouses can be discussing what groceries to buy, and the next moment, they are calling each other lazy. This is escalation. Instead of tackling the problem, they attack each other.
2) Never Disagreeing or Arguing. Just as arguing too much can be harmful to a marriage, so can never arguing. Fire is destructive, but so is ice. Lack of arguments can signal several problems. It may mean that one or both spouses are so tired of arguing that they have given up. Instead of continuing to be frustrated and never making progress, they are withdrawing completely. Another possibility is that one spouse’s thoughts and feelings and opinions so dominate the relationship that there is no room for disagreement. The lack of argument is not grounded in respect but in domination.
3) One or both spouses have cheated. Adultery can rock a relationship. It is often a crisis point, and at the very least, each spouse has some serious decisions to make. Some know they want to try and repair the relationship. Others know that they want out of the marriage. Many have no idea what they want. Affairs decimate trust, and without trust, it can be difficult to move forward in the relationship—even if forward means divorce.
4) Each spouse is trying to fix the other. In healthy relationships, each individual takes responsibility for their own growth, thoughts, responsibilities, feelings, attitudes, and choices. This is particularly true within a marriage. When spouses are trying to change each other, they rarely succeed. Instead, they often introduce shame, frustration, and tension into the marriage. It is appropriate to hold each other accountable and responsible, but this is very different than trying to control or change a spouse.
5) The marriage is abusive. Personal safety is the most important part of any relationship. If one spouse is physically, emotionally, or sexually abusing the other, seek help. Abuse is always wrong, and in many cases, it is illegal.
Appointments for Marriage Counseling at Thriveworks in Wilmington, NC
Maybe you recognized something on this list that is a part of your own marriage. Maybe you did not. The issues that can cause tension in a marriage could never be held in a comprehensive list. If you and your spouse are having trouble, consider reaching out for help. Marriage therapy is often the guidance spouses need to find clarity and a path forward for their relationship. The marriage therapists at Thriveworks in Wilmington have helped many couples, and we want to help you.
We know that fighting for a marriage is challenging—scheduling therapy should not be. When you call our office, know that one of our scheduling specialists will answer the phone and help you make an appointment. New clients often meet with their counselor the following day. We offer evening and weekend sessions. We also accept many different forms of insurance. Let’s work together for a better relationship. Call Thriveworks in Wilmington today.