Staying married in this society is tough. There are so many demands on our time and energy that we have to fight to have enough of either to work on our relationship.
Factors that nourish a good marriage:
- Firmly stated intention of staying together and building a good life
- Shared values (be sure to talk about these!)
- Positive shared handling of daily pressures
- United approach to finances
- Recognition of addictions as dividing factors
- Mutually understood sexual expectations
- Supportive relationships with in-laws (you are each other’s best fan)
- Creative strategies to attack problems quickly as they arise
Dangers to face together:
- Media-encouraged fantasies which don’t match reality
- Unfair expectations or unrealistic goals
- Other relationships that can nudge aside loyalty to each other
- Physical or emotional problems that put stress on each other
Freebie for the day:
Love is a decision. Of course, there are many stories and songs about “falling in love,” but the truth is that while one can fall in or out of temporary physical desire for another, the kind of relationship that is going to last for decades cannot be achieved without hard work and many good decisions. One of those good decisions is to forgive and be forgiven – again and again and again. Another is a daily commitment to make the decision to love each other (which is no small task some days!).
Usually, the person who is hurting the most is the one who is most willing to try some new strategies. It still takes a lot of courage to make the call to ask for help. When a couple comes into treatment, I usually want to see both together for the first session. I then ask to see each in an individual session. The fourth session is another joint session during which I share with you my assessment and plan. The best time to get help is right now.
I have been married for 49 years and have made enough mistakes to have tremendous compassion for couples trying to make it work. Give me a call and let’s see what we can do together.