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MARRIAGE COUNSELING

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What is marriage counseling?

Couples counseling is a service that will allow you and your spouse to share any concerns or troubles in a safe environment. As counselors, we are trained to remain neutral and to prioritize the health of the marriage – as opposed to siding with one person. The counselor will ask questions about the relationship to identify and assess any areas which are causing conflict. They may give tools to help them work with problems in the relationship. The
strategies vary and depend on the couple’s particular situation. It’s important to note that the aim of marriage counseling is not to locate an ‘antagonist’ in the relationship. It’s not about finding someone to blame. The aim of marriage counseling is to identify unhealthy dynamics and help the relationship to flourish again.

Do we need marriage counseling?

Sometimes it can be difficult to know if you need marriage counseling. Every marriage goes through periods where problems show up or where one or the other person struggles with the relationship. This doesn’t mean that marriage counseling is needed every time there’s a problem or challenge. However, if you find that you as a couple are avoiding issues, not communicating about differences, and/or are ‘stuck in an unhealthy dynamic, it would be worthwhile investing in marriage counseling. The sooner you do it, the earlier you can catch problems and repair them before resentment builds.

Signs to watch:

  • You’re feeling unloved, lonely, or disconnected in your relationship.

  • There is a lack of communication in the relationship; perhaps one or both of you feel like you the other doesn’t really ‘hear’ you.

  • There’s a lack of affection, admiration, lack of sexual intimacy .

  • There are repetitive issues that cause conflict which are never really resolved.

  • You or your spouse may have had an affair, or may be considering it. 

  • You and your spouse are struggling to agree on how to raise children, or perhaps having issues with in-laws.

  • You are considering a separation, but you are not sure it is the right thing to do.

  • You feel your expectations are never met.

Expectations play a significant role in your overall relationship satisfaction.

Unfortunately, many couple problems arise from unmet expectations that leave them feeling wounded, hurt, unloved, or uncared for. The following are some examples of expectations that reveal poor communication and connection between the spouses.

“You didn’t call to say you would be late.”
“He doesnt care about me; if he did, he would answer my texts when he is at work.”

“I can't believe that he hasn't said anything about our  anniversary tomorrow. Im sure she forgot!”

“Why do you always have to be in such a mood'when I come from work?" 

“When I told you that I might lose my job, you had nothing nice to say.”

 

Through a skilled counselor, you can open the lines of communication and implement new avenues of problem-solving. In a relationship, communication and understanding are key but sometimes they do not come easy. Through therapy, we can collaborately create a plan of action to restore relationships to happier and healthy levels.

How does Virtual Marriage counseling work?

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In virtual couples therapy, the couple is ideally physically together. Having the couple together, but separate from the therapist, can make them feel more united and like a team. Marriage therapy becomes something they are truly doing together. If this is not always possible, they will join from where they are. In the session, you will be guided through exercises and communication practices. The goal is to help you improve the quality of your relationship, increase, or renew the friendship factor, enhance your intimacy through deeper emotional connection, and navigate and resolve conflicts effectively. In terms of structure, usually, each person is given a chance to speak so they can share  their concerns and complaints while the other person actively listens.

The therapist facilitates these sessions guiding the conversation by asking questions and helping the couple reach an agreement and understanding. To ensure your session goes well, being open-minded and accepting is the first step. It also helps to write out your individual and shared goals, as well as your complaints or worries, so you don’t spend your time being sidetracked and later feeling you never got to say the important things. When everyone’s committed to doing the work, being open about the ways the relationship has been hurtful (the hurt that has been received and the hurt that has  been given), there’s room for tremendous growth.

"Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never ends."
Corinthians 13:4-8

Source: verywellmind.com
Sydneycoupleandfamily.com

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