“Relationships can be so hard,” said Bethany Sutton, licensed marriage and family therapist, with The Village Family Service Center in Grand Forks, N.D. “The reality is that marriage is difficult; you’re always working on it.”
The hard work of marriage often needs the combined effort of a committed couple, and their hardworking therapist. Couples counseling can be a welcome support and buffer when things get shaky and unsure, reinforcing the good portions of your marriage, and helping you strengthen weak areas.
When conflicts arise, it’s important that couples realize that hard times are inevitable. Relationships aren’t static; they require care, renegotiation, and maintenance. As with most things in life, preventative care and damage control are part of the deal.
Though it can be a scary thing to make that initial call to a counselor, remember that the goal is to strengthen your union; you are not admitting defeat. You are making a clear, conscious decision to care for your partner, and preserve your love.
Getting help is a decision that puts your relationship in a place of priority, above what other people think or say. The truth is, by the time you reach the point where you need to call a therapist, you’ve probably come to understand the serious nature of your relationship problems. There is no time to waste if you want your marriage to survive.
Chances are, when you walk into your therapist’s office, you and your partner recognize a need to address some communication and conflict resolution issues. Your therapist will provide a safe, trusting environment for open, honest sharing. He or she will help you work through surface anger, or withdrawal to deal with the underlying emotional pain.
The goal of counseling is to get beyond relationship quicksand. Soon the blame game, circular arguments, and unproductive patterns of interaction are highlighted and managed. Counseling can help couples see that change by one person can change a relationship-weakening pattern, and put a marriage back on the path to understanding and a hopeful future.
Read the entire article here: Marriage Counseling: Identify and Change Weakening Relationship Patterns
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