Marriage Counseling

Let's talk about Marriage Counseling. While I am available for individual and family counseling, marriage counseling can be the most challenging and rewarding.

First, yes, I am married. It amazes me that some counselors say they are marriage counselors and yet have never been married. Theoretically, you don't have to, but when counseling others, especially in marriage, I think it helps to have an understanding first hand.

Secondly, I am in my second marriage. We just celebrated 17 years in January 2018. My first marriage of 10 years ended in divorce about 19 years ago. I also understand how marital problems can affect your children. My parents divorced when I was 9. 

Finally, I have been blessed to have a wonderful wife who has taught me more than I thought possible about what a woman needs in a marriage. I only thought I knew what she needed and actually believed at one time that I was meeting those needs. Thankfully, she had the patience and love to teach me just how wrong I was.

Before I go, let me say this. If you come see me for marriage counseling, you both need to be committed to making it work. I say both, because one person cannot receive marriage counseling. Two people working on themselves as both individuals and as a couple.

It will not be easy. You both have to be ready to be Honest, Open-minded and Willing to Change. Most likely, we will have to submerge into some painful areas.  Wounds cannot heal until you clean out all of the infection.

While parenting is the hardest job in the world, being in a healthy relationship with another person is a close second! If you don't have children, it is definitely number 1!

If you are committed to your marriage, be prepared to work. In the end, it can lead to great rewards "til death do you part".

5 communication strategies to improve any relationship

How to handle an argument with your partner.

8 Ways Husbands Hurt Their Wives

  • He Frequently Criticizes Her – Since a woman is not hard and calloused by nature, hurtful criticism rarely provides motivation to change. It usually brings deep despair, which results in a diminished desire to please her husband.
  • He Doesn’t Pay Attention to Her Words and Ideas – This may be shown by focusing his eyes on something else, picking up a newspaper or watching TV when she wants to talk. But, he demands she look at him and remember what he says. A Woman can be deeply hurt by her husband’s inattentiveness because it tells her that he considers her concerns insignificant and unimportant.
  • He Doesn’t Assume Enough of the Household Responsibilities – Many men think their responsibility to their family ends when they leave the office.
  • Her Needs and Desires Are Always Secondary to His Activities – When a husband finds time for what he wants to do, but not for her, he sends the message that she is not important.
  • He Tries to Explain Her Hurts Instead of Just Trying to Empathize and Understand Her Feelings – Men tend to be great lecturers, but need to learn to give a shoulder to lean on while quietly and gently comforting her.
  • He Acts as if He is Superior and She is Inferior – His actions and words show a lack of respect for her qualities, strengths and talents.
  • He Shows Preference to Others Over Her – A best friend, his family, work or even the family pet. A man’s word, actions and attitudes shows that he prefers many other people/things over her.
  • He Doesn’t Go Out of His Way to Add Romance to the Relationship – The unexpected “little things” are gone.

Excerpt from “For Better or For Best” by Gary Smalley

 

#1 Way to Increase Your Husband’s Desire

to Spend More Time with You

ADMIRE HIM

Have you ever shown more appreciation or admiration for other men than for your husband? Any statement of comparison, whether direct or implied can tell your husband that you admire someone else more than him.

Have you belittled or criticized your husband, his abilities, his character or his activities? This is especially demoralizing if done in front of his friends or children.

Have you ever had a tendency to exert pressure on him to get something done until it gets done? Also known as “nagging” makes a husband feel incompetent and irresponsible. He will seek the company of others who don’t constantly remind him of his inadequacies. Beware of facial expressions and tone of voice that belittle and devalue a person.

Do you ever find yourself questioning his explanations of his behavior? When his judgment is questioned you are saying you don’t trust his judgment. Are you a suspicious judge?

Can you think of three or more things about him that you have complained about in the last week? Same effect as nagging. It repulses him.

Have you ever compared your level of relationship awareness with his? Women by their very nature are more aware of feelings and relationships. Men by their very nature are not. Man’s basic drive is to conquer and find his identity in his vocations or activities. The best way to begin helping a man indirectly is to accept him as a man and value him for what he is today and for what he will be through your loving and patient help.

Practical Ways to Express Admiration to Him

Seek his advice or opinions on decisions. When you carefully evaluate his ideas, he sees you consider him valuable.

Make an effort to remember your husband’s past requests or desires and begin to fulfill them when possible. If you make your husband feel special, you increase his desire to do the same for you.

Look for opportunities to draw attention to your husband’s positive qualities when you are with other people. Praise him to your children as well as friends and family. He will be thrilled when he hears from others that you have been speaking highly of him.

Make an effort to gain an appreciation for your husband’s occupation, trying to understand he feels his activities and responsibilities are. When you appreciate what your husband does, you may become his only hope for achieving genuine self-worth.

Carefully consider what your husband says without a hasty negative reaction. Basically what is needed is open minded listening. Listening without “shooting him down” lets him know that he is valued.

Don’t let two days pass without expressing appreciation for at least one thing your husband has said or done during the last 48 hours.

Use your sensitivity to detect your husband’s personal goals and lend your support as he pursues those goals.

Genuinely desire and seek your husband’s forgiveness whenever you offend him. “I was wrong in what I said or did. Can you forgive me?

Excerpt from “For Better or For Best” by Gary Smalley


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