The Path of Marriage
Marriage is a journey where two individuals have agreed to share the road and their lives together. There is an art of being together. Honesty, trust and a willingness to be vulnerable are all important.
Marriage counseling is designed to be a collaborative type of therapy. As your therapist, I will not take sides, rather we will look at the relationship objectively together. You come to the therapeutic relationship with an open heart and mind and a willingness to be honest.
Having a shared or at least complimentary vision is important. Realistic relationship expectations are essential. Understanding that life can present difficult challenges is important. Sometimes couples can move forward and face these challenges together. Sometimes the challenges are just too difficult and it might be better for you to discuss what it would mean to end the marriage.
When you feel a peaceful joy, that’s when you are near truth.-Rumi
Questions to Consider:
- Do you have a vision of the life you want to build together?
- Do you have the skills to work as a team moving forward?
- What about the motivation to persist, what do you want
Marriage counseling is an opportunity to grow and learn new communication skills. All significant growth comes from disagreements, dissatisfaction with the current status, or a striving to make things better.
Paradoxically, accepting that conflict produces growth and learning to manage inevitable disagreements is the key to more harmonious relationships. Asking good questions of yourself and your partner helps you uncover causes beneath the story of your relationship.
We are all responsible for how we express ourselves, no matter how others treat us. Respectful communication is essential. Time to look at your patterns of behavior and emotional response? Emotional reactions to feeling threatened or high stress usually creates more challenges.
Marriage Counseling Package
8-week package meets once a week and includes the following:
Week 1 — Identity as a couple. Who are you individually and as a couple? What were the reasons you chose to marry? Why are you seeking counseling? Family history and genogram.
Week 2 — Expectations of marriage – What sort of agreements did you make about the following:
- Intimacy and sexuality
- Life goals, including school, careers
- Financial responsibilities
- Security – financial and emotional
Week 3 — Communication Style –
- Do you communicate in a manner that is effective?
- Is there a power dynamic that creates conflict?
- How do you handle conflict?
Week 4 — Stressors on the Relationship –
- Growing apart – leading separate lives.
- Health related issues.
- Aging together gracefully or problematic?
- Being distracted by another person leading to emotional or physical infidelity
- Financial problems.
- Secrets that create walls and distance.
Week 5 — Parenting-
- The impact on your relationship
- Styles of parenting may be different, what to do?
- Changing your mind. What happens if you decided you want children after all?
- Financial responsibilities never end
- Where do you choose to live when you are a family?
Week 6 — To have and to Hold:
- What holds you together? Community? Family? Philosophy about life?
- Spiritual belief systems. Is this something that is important that you share?
- Cultural Diversity. Is your view the same as your spouse or are you very different in your world view on issues as far as language, age difference, beliefs and traditions.
- Do you have shared life goals? Think in terms of authenticity. Is your relationship and goals complimentary or is it vastly different? Did you discuss this before marriage? People change of course, but even with change there can be a complimentary relationship if there is willingness with both partners.
Week 7 — Relationships:
- Impact of the culture on your marriage
- Influences of family on your marriage. What happens if there are challenges of an aging parent or a mentally or physically ill sibling?
- What if career choices cause conflict and stress on the marriage?
- Kindness and respect for one another
- Learning to deal with conflict without tearing each other apart
Week 8 — Where do we go from here?
- Reviewing all that we have covered in our weekly sessions.
- Is there a willingness to move forward as a married couple?
- Decisions about the future of the marriage
All workbooks, handouts and homework material for the workshop is provided to the couple by the therapist. It is understood that the therapist will not hold secrets nor take sides in the sessions.See Pricing