Category Archives: Marriage Counseling

Don’t Let Holiday Stress Strain Your Marriage: Michigan Divorce Prevention

holiday divorce prevention

With Christmas coming up, many Michigan homes are filled with financial stress, food stress, family stress – more stress than we could possibly mention. Small fights that would normally be swept under the rug turn into huge altercations with this kind of pressure in the air. You don’t have to let holiday stress put a strain on your marriage. With the tips below, you can let the positive side of the holidays outweigh the negatives.

Make Plans In Advance

A lack of preparation can make minutely stressful situations seem overwhelming. This is what sends people into a frenzy, causing them to be short-tempered and easily flustered. Try to prepare for the holidays as far in advance as possible. Think about what you’re going to get for each person, what food you can prep in advance, when you will have time to decorate, what tasks you can assign to other people, etc. The specific plans you have will depend on what you like to do for the holidays. The more you think about things in advance, the less stress you will feel when the big day finally arrives.

Don’t Go Above Your Means

Everyone wants to have a Christmas-to-end-all-Christmases, but those goals may not realistically fit your time and budget. The most important part of the holidays is spending time with your family, not planning elaborate gifts and surprises. Talk to your spouse about what you can logically do this year in terms of food, gifts, traveling, time off work, etc. Make a plan together that you know you can achieve, and if there is time or money left over, you can come up with a new plan after that.

Talk To Your Spouse About Your Stress

If you are feeling overwhelmed about something, talk to your spouse about it. Tell him or her what you are worried about and see if there is anything he or she can do to relieve that stress. If you are working with a marriage counselor in Michigan, you could go over this during your therapy sessions. Your counselor can provide suggestions on how to get through a tough situation so you do not feel so swamped.

Talking to your spouse about your stress is also a great way to avoid conflict because he or she already knows what frame of mind you are in. If your reactions seem irrational or hasty, your spouse can attribute that to your stress. This may not completely prevent a fight, but it will reduce the risk of an all-out blowout on both sides.

Don’t Put All The Stress On Yourself

YOU don’t have to be the person doing everything for the holidays. Delegate tasks to your family members to take some of the weight off your shoulders. For instance, if your husband is a fast shopper but not a great wrapper, you may have him buy everything on the Christmas list for you to wrap. If your children are old enough to help with the cooking, cleaning, or decorating, let them do that. They will enjoy the extra responsibility, and you will have one less thing to worry about for the holidays.

Spend Some Quality Time As A Couple

The holidays are about far more than presents and food. They’re great opportunities to rekindle your love and bond as a couple. Send your kids to their grandparents’ house one night and drive around Metro Detroit to look at Christmas lights. If you don’t want to get out, have a relaxing night inside watching a Christmas movie together. Put all of the stress to the side for the evening and just focus on your love and your marriage. You deserve it.

Common Reasons Why Young Metro Detroit Couples Fight

young couples fight

Couples face difficulties at all stages of their relationship. No matter how old you are or how long you have been together, chances are you’ve encountered at least a handful of obstacles in your relationship. In this guide, we wanted to take a closer look at why young couples fight and what you can do to avoid those issues in your own relationship. Here are some of the most common sources of conflict we’ve seen and treated in our Metro Detroit couples counseling program.

Too Much Time On The Phone

Do you feel like your partner is constantly on his or her phone? From games to emails to social media – there are a variety of reasons why people find themselves with their eyes glued to their phones throughout the day. With the development of smartphone technology has come a whole new way for couples to disconnect themselves from one another. You may spend several hours a day with your spouse without ever feeling like you’ve had quality bonding experiences.

The Solution: Set up phone-free periods throughout the day when neither of you uses the phone. For instance, you may put your phone on the counter during dinner or while watching TV together. Turn the phones on silent so you aren’t distracted by them, or turn the notifications off so that only the ringer works. This will allow you to focus your energy on one another without being distracted by your devices.

Working Long Hours

Young adults often have to work long hours in order to make ends meet. This is especially true for young couples with children. This has several side effects. Working hard can make a person feel stressed, cranky, tired, unappreciated, etc. It can also make the person who is not working as much feel ignored. Furthermore, the long hours could put a distance between you and your spouse that makes it difficult for you to spend quality time with one another.

The Solution: Do what you can to reduce your financial stress. Avoid taking out loans or making monthly commitments that are beyond your means. Create a balance in the relationship so neither of you feels like it is one-sided. Schedule some alone time as a couple, like a weekly date night or a morning wake-up routine. Don’t let work get in the way of your happiness, and remember that the struggles you’re currently experiencing are just temporary.

Mess And Clutter In the House

Let’s face it – most 20-somethings aren’t exactly clean freaks. Having a messy dorm room or a messy section of the apartment is one thing, but when the entire house is messy, it can put both of you on edge. According to a recent study, 9.2% of 18-29 year olds who are in relationships but not married now live together, and 22% of Millennials are married and living together. If you have ever found yourself getting easily agitated or stressed recently, it may be the result of your living environment.

The Solution: This one seems fairly simple. Clean up the mess and you clean up the stress. Applying that idea is a lot harder than it sounds though. As always, there needs to be a balance of responsibilities in the relationship. You should each have chores that you can be held responsible for. If one of you works more than the other, the one who is not working as much may need to take on more of the household duties. If you find it difficult to make time for thorough cleaning (vacuuming, dusting, etc.), make an effort to at least tidy up your home once a day. If the house feels cleaner, you will naturally feel less stressed.

Jealousy

Jealousy is a natural emotion to experience. The problem is that many young couple do not know how to channel, control, react to, or avoid jealous feelings. You may get jealous when someone from a former relationship likes something your spouse posts on social media. You may get jealous when your spouse talks to someone of the opposite sex at work or in public. You may even get jealous when someone looks at your spouse in a certain way.

The problem with jealousy is that it can come across as a lack of trust. Your spouse may be offended because you do not trust him or her with another person. It may come to the point where you do something to intentionally make your spouse jealous out of spite or revenge. The results of any or all of these experiences can be devastating.

The Solution: Working through jealousy is a complex task that may require individual or couples counseling. The person feeling the jealous emotions may suffer from low self-esteem, or he or she may need to work through leftover emotions from a previous relationship. The person who is making the other jealous may also need to work on how he or she interacts with other people, or how much attention he or she gives to the jealous partner. The overall goal here is to identify the root cause of the jealousy and find ways to overcome that in the relationship.

Reduced Sexual Attraction

Over time, most people experience a decrease in their sex drive. Financial stress, work, body image issues, and the like can cause you and your spouse to have less intercourse than you once had. This may cause one or both of you to feel less attractive than you used to be, or it may make you feel disconnected from your spouse.

The Solution: It’s important to keep in mind that having a lower sex drive is normal with age. Sex is not the only way to feel close with your spouse, and it shouldn’t be the glue that holds your relationship together. With that said, you could work with a sex therapist in Metro Detroit to learn new ways to connect with your significant other. You could work with a couples counselor to strengthen other areas of your relationship as well. Be the powerful team you have always dreamed of being no matter what life throws your way.

 

Michigan Couples Can Improve Their Relationships With Sex Therapy

sex therapy

No matter how much we try to deny it, sex is an important part of maintaining a happy, healthy relationship. It does not matter how long a couple has been married – a bad sex life can put a tremendous strain on a relationship. An average of 57,071 couples get married in Michigan every year, but 29,708 end in divorce. You can avoid being on the bad side of those statistics with the help of professional sex therapy in Michigan.

Let’s take a closer look at how sex therapy works so you can see how you can benefit from this program.

The Purpose Of Sex Therapy

Sex therapy is designed to identify sexual problems in a relationship and come up with creative solutions for them. There are a number of issues that you may tackle during intimacy therapy, including:

  • Correcting Problems With Impotence, Erectile Dysfunction, And Infertility
  • Boosting Low Self-Esteem Levels
  • Identifying Underlying Causes Of Sexual Dissatisfaction, Such As Stress, Lacking Self-Confidence, Low Sex Drives, And More
  • Opening The Floor For Open, Honest Communication In A Relationship
  • Finding New Ways For Couples To Improve Their Intimacy
  • Rebuilding A Sex Life After An Affair Or Other Traumatic Event

Couples benefit from sex therapy in different ways depending on their unique situations. Regardless of the circumstances though, you will find yourself closer to your spouse than ever before after working with a sex therapist.

How Michigan Couples Can Improve Their Relationships Through Sex Therapy

If you have an unsatisfying sex life, working with a sex therapist in Michigan can help you overcome the obstacles in your relationship that have led you to this state. Did something happen in your life to cause your intimacy to decline? Are there other problems in your relationship that are making sex difficult or impossible to engage in? Your sex therapist will talk to you about your relationship as a whole to figure out what you can do to improve your sex life/sex drive and bond with your partner on an intimate level.

Don’t be afraid to talk about your sex life. This may be a private matter, but that does not mean that you cannot benefit from professional help. It is better to work with a counselor to solve your sexual frustrations than it is to let them build up and explode in the future. Prevent further problems in your marriage and reconnect with the person you love with a little help from a Michigan sex therapist.

Contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers At (248) 244-8644 To Learn More About Our Sex Therapy Program In Michigan

Common Causes Of Infidelity

causes of infidelity

Why do people cheat? What would make someone want to stray from their marriage and seek comfort in another person? There are a number of answers to these questions, many of which we will discuss below. Understanding the common causes of infidelity is one of the first steps in rebuilding a relationship after an affair, because identifying the source of the issue allows you to find a solution for it. Read on to learn about the many reasons why people cheat in relationships.

Feeling Like The Relationship Is One Sided

One of the biggest problems that couples face shortly before infidelity is the feeling of imbalance in the relationship. One-sided relationships come in many different forms: one spouse feels underappreciated, the other spouse feels more financial pressure than the other, etc. As long as one person in the relationship feels like he or she is pulling more weight than the other person, it’s one sided. When a person is weighed down by the pressures of a relationship, he or she may seek out relief in another person’s companionship. In other words, if your spouse feels like he or she is not getting enough attention from you, he or she may look for it elsewhere. Does this justify the behavior? No. But it does give you a good starting point for infidelity couples therapy in the future.

A Lack Of Communication

Communication is one of the most fundamental components of a successful relationship. If you cannot talk to your spouse and listen to what he or she has to say, you will have a hard time making it through the difficult hurdles in your marriage. This is particularly true for people who cheat. Not being able to share secrets, stories, and feelings with their spouses can lead some people to open up to others emotionally. This may or may not lead to a physical relationship, but emotional cheating is still a form of cheating. If you are struggling to work through problems in your marriage, it may be time to seek the help of a professional marriage counselor.

An Unsatisfying Sex Life

Unfortunately, many people cheat because they are not satisfied with their sex lives at home. This doesn’t just apply to men. Members of both genders can stray from their marriages because of unfulfilled sexual desires. A study published in The Normal Bar showed that 52% of people who were unsatisfied with their sex lives would be tempted to physically engage with someone they were attracted to, compared to just 17% of those who were sexually satisfied. That means that people who do not have a good sex life are three times as likely to cheat on their partners as those with satisfying intimacy levels. 71% of men from the study who had cheated in the past said they did so out of sexual boredom, compared to 49% of women. Regardless of the gender though, having a drab sex life could put your relationship at risk of infidelity.

If you are worried about infidelity because of your sex life, you may explore the option of sex therapy. In this case, you and your spouse will work with a sex therapist to improve your intimacy and strengthen your marital bonds as a whole. Learn new ways to connect with your spouse, and correct underlying issues that may have hurt your sex life over time. For more information, feel free to contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan at (248) 244-8644.

An Unfulfilled Sex Drive

You’ve probably heard this excuse before: “My sex drive is too high for one person to handle.” This is most common in men, but women can have high sex drives also. If there are in fact issues with sexual satisfaction in your marriage, correcting those issues may help you avoid this cause of infidelity altogether. If you have an active, healthy sex life and your partner still decides to cheat on you, there may be some underlying personal issues that he or she needs to address. Having a high sex drive is not an excuse to cheat on your spouse, yet 46% of men and 19% of women who cheated in the above study cited that as one of the reasons for their affair. If you feel that your current sex life is not enough to meet your needs, talk to a couples counselor about other ways to fulfill your desires.

Revenge For Past Infidelity

Believe it or not, some people choose to cheat on their spouses because they have been cheated on before. If the non-cheater is unable to forgive the cheater for his or her actions, he or she may look for a revenge affair. This is a tumultuous cycle that causes far more pain than comfort, but it is one of the most common causes of infidelity.

If you and your spouse are at risk of infidelity or you are trying to improve your relationship after an affair, contact a marriage counselor who can help you overcome this obstacle and move forward with your lives.

Overcoming Infidelity: Couples Therapy After An Affair

couples therapy after affair

Infidelity can put an incredible strain on a relationship. It is one of the most common causes of divorce, affecting thousands of couples throughout the world every year. Approximately 41% of marriages experience infidelity from one or both spouses, and many of them reach their bitter ends as a result of that. Fortunately, there are some techniques you can use to repair your relationship and move forward after an affair. Listed below are some different ways to overcome infidelity so you can rebuild your marriage.

You CAN Make A Relationship Work After An Affair

Before we go on, we need to point out something very important: it is possible to make a relationship work after an affair. Do not assume that your marriage is destroyed because of infidelity. There are many couples in the world who are able to work through their problems, identify the cause of infidelity, and come up with a solution for their relationship. Put yourself in a success-driven mindset, with hope that things can get better. If you set yourself up for victory, you are much more likely to triumph in couples therapy after an affair.

Participate In Professional Couples Therapy

One of the best ways to heal after cheating is to participate in infidelity couples therapy. This process allows you to work with a counselor to pinpoint the reasons for the affair and find ways to avoid a similar occurrence in the future. You can learn how to better communicate with your spouse and what you can do to prevent divorce in your marriage. Getting through life after an affair is going to be hard no matter what, but it can be a lot easier if you have a good person to guide you along the way. Your marriage counselor can be just that.

Find The Cause Of The Affair (And Work Through That Problem)

What caused the affair in the first place? Did you feel unappreciated? Was your spouse unsatisfied with your sex life? Was the stress of day to day life too overwhelming for you both? You cannot overcome infidelity if you do not know what caused it. Talk to your spouse in depth about the reasons he or she cheated, and then work together to eliminate that trigger in the future. This is something your marriage counselor can help you through, but you may want to work on it on your own as well. Maintain a steady flow of communication throughout the process, and you will be able to prevent cheating in your relationship.

Avoid Discussing The Affair With Friends And Family Members

If you truly want to make your relationship work, you need to avoid talking to friends and family members about the affair. These people will inevitably sway your opinion about your spouse and the situation as a whole, even if they seem understanding and nonjudgmental. The only people working on your conflict resolution should be you, your spouse, and your couples therapist. There is no need for other opinions to be thrown into the mix.

Remember that just because you forgive your spouse for cheating, it doesn’t mean that your family will. In fact, they may be even more upset about the matter than you are because they want to protect you. Keeping this information to yourself will save you from judgment in the future if you do stay together, and it will ensure that your spouse is welcomed to family and friend get-togethers.

Be Willing To Work Together

Do not assume that the person who cheated is the only one who has work to do. Both of you have to work together in order to heal and grow. If you are not willing to put in the effort it takes to save your marriage, you will likely find yourself in the same situation later on. Show your partner that you are committed to working things out just like he or she is. There is always room for improvement in a relationship, regardless of the circumstances.

Learn To Forgive Your Spouse And Yourself

No matter which end of the affair you may be on, you need to learn the value of forgiveness. If you were the victim of the affair, you must be able to let go of your aggression and forgive your spouse for what he or she did. This is the first step toward healing and rebuilding trust in your relationship. If you are the person who committed infidelity, you need to forgive yourself for what you’ve done. You still need to hold yourself accountable for your actions, but not to the point that it drives you mad. People make mistakes – then they learn from them. As long as you commit to improving your marriage, you can get through couples therapy after an affair and rekindle the love you once had.

Do Men Cheat More Often Than Women?

men cheat

When most people hear the word “cheater,” they picture a man in their head. Men and women are both capable of having an affair, but men are roped into the stereotype a lot more often than women. This begs the question: do men cheat more often than women? Is there some merit to this long-accepted myth? Let’s take a look at some statistics to see which gender is more likely to commit infidelity.

Infidelity Statistics: Cheating Men vs. Cheating Women

The easiest way to figure out if men cheat more often than women is to look at current infidelity statistics, courtesy of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy:

  • 57% of men overall admit to committing infidelity at some point in their lives
  • 54% of women overall admit to committing infidelity in one or more of their relationships
  • 22% of married men admit to having an affair at least once during their marriages
  • 14% of married women admit to having an affair at least once during their marriages

As you can see, the percentages of men and women who have cheated in a relationship are very similar. However, when you look into the lives of married couples, men do have a higher rate of infidelity than women. These numbers may be skewed based on the amount of people who were willing to tell the truth about their infidelity, but it is safe to say that as a whole, both genders have the ability to cheat on one another.

What Is Classified As “Cheating”?

It’s important to note that cheating can come in many different forms. Most people associate this term with physical acts of infidelity, but it is possible to cheat on someone emotionally. Emotional cheating involves sharing your deepest, most private thoughts with someone other than your spouse, breaking the fundamental bonds that keep a marriage together. Whether you physically interact with another person or you just give yourself over to them mentally, you can still do tremendous damage by straying from your relationship.

How To Rebuild A Relationship After Cheating

Regardless of who cheated in your relationship, there is hope for the future. With the help of couples counseling after an affair, you can rebuild your trust and save yourself from divorce. This is not an easy process, but it is worth the victory that comes from it. As long as you are willing to put in the effort it takes, you can find happiness in your marriage once again.

Couples Therapy Tips For Long Distance Relationships

long distance relationships

Long distance relationships are never easy, but thousands of people get through this setup each and every day. Whether you fell in love online or your jobs keep you apart, you and your significant other can find a way to make your relationship work despite the distance. In the guide below, we provide some helpful couples therapy tips for long distance relationships so you can make the most of your situation.

Use Video Chatting Services (Snapchat, Face Time, Skype, Etc.)

The internet is a powerful tool for long distance couples. It can keep you in contact with your partner no matter where he or she may be in the world. Make the most of tools like Snapchat, Face Time, and Skype to communicate with your spouse while he or she is away. You can send videos to one another or have face-to-face chats throughout the day. You will of course need to check with one another’s schedules to find the appropriate times to talk, but make an effort to do so as often as possible. Even something as simple as sending a picture message to your spouse during your lunch break will go a long way in keeping you two connected.

Work Through Your Trust Issues

Some of the biggest problems we see in long distance couples counseling is trust. It’s a lot easier to trust that your partner will not cheat on you when you get to see him or her every day. If your husband is on a business trip with a group of women from work, it’s logical for you to be a little worried about his whereabouts. He may feel the same way about you. Trust issues like this are going to lead to stress, arguments, and bad experiences for both parties. It’s best to avoid them as much as possible. Speak openly with your spouse about your concerns, and accept any reassurance he or she provides. The more trust you put in your spouse, the more likely he or she will trust you in return.

Send Thoughtful Text Messages Throughout The Day

One of the best ways to work through trust issues in a relationship is to show your spouse that you are in fact thinking about him or her throughout the day. Send a thoughtful text message at an unexpected time to show that you care. Something as simple as, “Hey baby, just wanted to say I love and miss you” can go a long way. That little message couple quickly brighten up your spouse’s day. If you don’t have a chance to send a text message, an email or voicemail will provide the same effect.

“Hang Out” Together Whenever You Can

Perhaps the biggest thing you miss in a long distance relationship is the ability to just spend casual time with the other person in your relationship. You don’t get to watch TV with your husband when he gets home from work or watch your wife make you breakfast in the morning. With that in mind, you can create the feeling of hanging out with your spouse by watching a show together on Netflix or setting up a Skype chat while you eat your meals. Even if one person is eating breakfast while the other is eating dinner, you can still feel like you’re in the same room.

Keep Each Other Informed About Daily Operations

It may seem silly to tell your spouse about each and every thing you do throughout the day, but this is another opportunity for you to communicate and stay connected. You could make this part of your morning routine: breaking down a list of what the day has in store for you. Send this to your partner and he or she can send the same in return. You can update one another about your progress throughout the day and share in each other’s successes and missteps. This information would be boring to most people, but not to the one you love. He or she will revel in the idea of being a part of your life.

Make Sure You’re On The Same Page About The Relationship

It’s important to set rules and boundaries for your long distance relationship. These will prevent one person from feeling like he or she is in a one-sided relationship. Understand what each of your expectations are. Do you plan to remain monogamous? Are there limits to the activities you can do while your loved one is away? If you are not married, are you allowed to date other people? Is your partner allowed to do the same? These are all points of discussion you should go over as a couple so no one ends up hurt because of a miscommunication.

Make The Most Of The Time You Get Together

Whenever you do get to see one another, make the most of it. Keep your cell phones at home and spend a day just enjoying each other’s company – free of distractions. Try new activities together, and practice other couples therapy exercises whenever you can. This will give you a sense of closure when it’s time to separate again.

Hopefully there will come a time when you no longer have to live in a long distance relationship. Look for a way to live closer to your spouse so you can enjoy even more time together. Until then, the tips above will help keep your relationship running strong.

Top 10 At Home Couples Therapy Exercises

couples therapy exercises

Couples at any stage of their relationship can benefit from counseling and therapy. While most people consider couples counseling as a last resort before a divorce or breakup, the fact is that happy, healthy couples can also learn valuable lessons from these sessions. If you’re trying to get closer to your partner, the techniques below may help you establish better communication and bonding in the future. Here are the top 10 at-home couples therapy exercises.

1 – Make A List Of Fun Activities To Try Together

One of the best ways to bond with your significant other is by trying new experiences together. This could be as simple as visiting a museum in town, or it could be as complex as going on a cruise to a dream location. Create a list of fun activities to try as a couple, and make an effort to do at least one thing from the list every month. You can make a separate list for family activities, if you desire, but this should be a list just for you and your spouse. Spending some quality time together in an unfamiliar environment will help you connect in a whole new way.

2 – Resolve All Arguments Before You Go To Bed

By now, you’ve probably heard the phrase “don’t go to bed angry.” What may seem like a simple concept is actually a crucial part of at home couples therapy exercises. By going to bed angry, you leave issues unresolved, and you allow yourselves to dwell on the matter throughout the night. If you simply cannot come to terms before bed, make a note to contact your couples counselor in the morning so you can schedule an appointment as soon as possible. The longer you let the issue sit, the more bitter you will both become about it. Fix the problem quickly, and you can move forward to a better quality of life.

3 – Have An “Honesty Hour” At Least Once A Month (Preferably Once A Week)

Honesty should always be a goal in a relationship, but sometime you may find yourself biting your tongue because you don’t want to upset your partner. That’s what the “honesty hour” is for. At least once a month, set aside a full hour of a day where you and your spouse talk about things that bother you – judgment free. You must both agree not to get offended or hold a grudge over anything that is said during this hour. This is set up to give both of you a chance to speak out and truly be heard. When your spouse is talking, LISTEN. He or she will hopefully give you the same courtesy when you have something to say.

If you do not feel comfortable doing this on your own at first, you could practice with your couples counselor to see how the process goes. He or she will tell you if either of you are being defensive so you end up with positive results when you try it on your own.

4 – Set Aside A Special Date Night Every Week

Date nights are great for couples of all ages, no matter how long they have been together. It’s easy to forget about going out on a date when you live with someone and see him or her on a regular basis. Date nights are designed to get you out of the house and allow you to reconnect with your spouse in a fresh environment. If you cannot leave home, send the kids to spend the night with a family member and cook dinner for just the two of you. As long as you make the night special and just about you as a couple, you can fall in love with each other all over again.

5 – Spend Intimate Time Together As Often As Possible

Intimacy is a fundamental component of a thriving relationship. However, it’s important to note that “intimacy” is about more than just sex. It’s about connecting with a person on a deep emotional level, more so than you do with any other person in your life. Every night before you go to sleep, spend some time talking to your spouse in bed – without the TV on, without your cell phone in hand, and without any other distractions that could take you away from this moment. Cuddle, hold each other’s hands, or look into each other’s eyes and take a moment to appreciate the amazing person you’ve chosen to be with. It’s these quiet moments that keep long-lasting relationships going for decades at a time.

6 – Unplug Yourselves For A Night

It’s amazing how much of a distraction electronics can be. As part of your at-home couples therapy techniques, try spending a night completely unplugged from the rest of the world. No phones, no televisions, no computers, and no tablets. Just you and your spouse spending quality time together. You may play board games, give each other a massage, take a relaxing bath or do anything else that does not require electronics. This will allow both of you to focus 100% of your energy on the other person, and it will ultimately make you stronger as a unit.

7 – “Leave It ‘Til Sunday”

The “leave it ’til Sunday” technique can help you see which fights truly matter and which ones are trivial and unnecessary. Any time you have an argument that you can’t seem to come to terms about, put it to the side and talk about it on Sunday. If it is still an issue by then, you can re-open the argument and move forward. In many cases though, you will both forget about the problem by the end of the week. Anything that gets forgotten clearly isn’t a priority, like a discussion about chores or a television show.

Of course, there is some controversy behind this practice because leaving it until Sunday could mean leaving issues unresolved for days at a time. You don’t want to do that. You still need to talk through issues that have a major impact on your relationship so you do not dwell on them for too long. If you find yourself in a “tiff” with your partner about something minor, that could be pushed off until the end of the week. You’ll learn how to prioritize your arguments as time progresses.

8 – Identify And Eliminate Stress Triggers

Stress is not healthy for your mind or your body. In a relationship, stress often leads to major conflicts because one person is irritable, emotional, depressed, etc. One of your goals for couple counseling should be to identify sources of stress in your life and your spouse’s life, and then figure out ways to get rid of the stress for good. For instance, if one spouse is stressed about paying the bills for the household, the other person may decide to take on another job to provide additional support. If you are worried about your personal health, talk to a doctor and see what treatments you can explore. Every stress trigger has a solution, even if it is not obvious at first. You can discuss all of this as a couple and come up with the best solutions for your situations.

9 – Use Trust Falls To Build Trust In Your Relationship

Trust falls are used in a number of team-building exercises. They are designed to help you trust the person you are with no matter what. To conduct a trust fall, all you have to do is stand behind your partner with your face toward his or her back. The person in front will fall backwards onto the person in back, and the person in back is supposed to catch the person in front. The person in front must blindly assume that their partner will in fact “have their back.” Once you can learn to trust someone with this basic responsibility, you can open yourself to trusting him or her in all areas of life.

10 – Write An Appreciation List For One Another

Spend some time writing down all the things you appreciate about your spouse. One of the main reasons why people feel like they are in a one-sided relationship is because they do not feel appreciated by their partners. By clearly expressing what you appreciate about your spouse, you can help him or her feel a sense of value in the relationship. You can build confidence about yourself along the way as you read about all the things you do to make your partner happy.

PRO TIP: Turn your appreciation list into a compliment jar! Write down the various things you appreciate about your spouse on strips of paper, and have him or her do the same. Every day before you leave for work, you can take out one of the strips and remind yourself that you’re doing something right in the relationship. This is particularly helpful for couples who spend a great deal of time apart from one another. Short notes back and forth will keep the romance strong and remind you of the love that burns deep inside you.

Top 10 Marriage Counseling Questions

marriage counseling questions

In order to make the most of your marriage counseling sessions, it may be helpful to have questions prepared to ask your spouse when the time comes. Having a professional counselor present will allow both of you to be more open about how you feel, and it will also provide a mediator to walk you through an argument that may develop. The more answers you get, the better you can communicate with your spouse in the future.

Here are the top 10 marriage counseling questions to ask your spouse during your therapy sessions.

1 – What Are The Biggest Problems In Our Marriage?

You and your spouse may have different perspectives on the status of your marriage. Ask your husband or wife what he or she thinks are the biggest issues in your relationship. You may be worried about financial stress and infidelity, while your spouse is worried about trust issues and lacking communication. Do not combat your spouse’s answers. Listen to them closely so you can learn from them and grow as a couple.

2 – When Did The Problems Start?

See if you can pinpoint the moment when your relationship took a wrong turn. Was it a trip you took, a decision you made, a person you let into your life…? If you can determine the triggers for your arguments and discordance as a whole, you may be able to reverse the issues and get back onto a successful path.

If you cannot pick a time when problems started, try to think back to the last time you both were truly happy. You may be able to use that as a building block for happiness in the future.

3 – What Do I Do That Gets On Your Nerves?

No matter how happy you may be in your marriage, you will both eventually learn how to push each other’s buttons – often without even realizing that’s what you’re doing. Ask your spouse what you do to get on his or her nerves, and see if that is something you can correct. Hopefully your spouse will reciprocate by not doing something that gets on your nerves. The goal in every part of marriage counseling is to come to a compromise that benefits the both of you.

4 – What Do You Love Most About Me?

It’s easy to focus on the negatives during your marriage counseling sessions, but it’s also important to look at the positives. Think about the features that made you fall in love with your spouse, and reflect on the ones that still make you swoon to this day. Ask your spouse what he or she loves most about you in return. If you struggle with low self-esteem, this could quickly give you a confidence boost and remind you just how valuable you are to the people around you.

5 – Do You Trust Me?

Trust is a vital component of any successful relationship. Ask your spouse if he or she trusts you, and speak out if you are no longer able to trust your spouse. If either of you have problems trusting the other, go over those issues with the counselor present. Whether it’s lying, infidelity, suspicious actions, or anything else along those lines, your counselor can help you work out your troubles and hopefully regain your mutual trust for one another.

6 – What Made You Come To Marriage Counseling?

This is a question you can ask whether you were the one who signed up for marriage counseling or you were the one who agreed to come. Find out why your spouse decided to seek professional help, and ask what his or her goals are in this process. Does your spouse want to save your marriage? Is he or she worried about divorce? Is addiction, financial stress, anger management, or anything else putting a wedge between the two of you? By understanding why your spouse came to counseling, you may gain a better feel for his or her perspective on your marriage as a whole.

7 – What Can I Do To Make Our Marriage Better?

As much as you may want to push all the blame onto your spouse, the fact is that it takes two people to make a marriage work. Even if you feel that you are in a one-sided relationship, you should ask your spouse what you can do to make your marriage better. Of course, your spouse should be willing to ask you the same thing. If not, your marriage counselor will likely point out the imbalance in accountability and ask the question on your spouse’s behalf. Answer honestly, but show respect for your spouse in the process.

8 – Are You Satisfied Sexually?

Sex may not be the cornerstone of a good marriage, but it can be a key component in the overall success of a relationship. Do not be embarrassed to talk about sex in front of your counselor, especially if it is one of the main issues in your marriage. You can learn how to improve your intimacy and strengthen your marital bonds if you talk about your feelings in an open, honest setting.

9 – Where Do You See Our Marriage In “X” Years?

Talk to your spouse about the future. Where do you see us in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, etc.? If we continue with the way we are right now, will we even be together in that frame of time? If not, what can we do to fix our problems and get our marriage off on the right foot again? Set goals together as a couple (or as a family), and come to an agreement on where you should be as time progresses.

10 – Do You Know How Much I Love And Appreciate You?

At the end of the day, it’s important to let your spouse know just how much you love him or her and how much you want the relationship to work out. If your spouse feels underappreciated or unloved, you need to be aware of that. Then you can work to show your love more freely moving forward. Express your feelings on the matter as well, if you feel under-recognized for your actions. You may soon learn how truly special you are to your spouse, and how much love is still left in your marriage.

Does Marriage Counseling Work?

marriage counseling

Perhaps the biggest question we get from couples calling our counseling centers is: “Does marriage counseling work?” Can you really benefit from talking to your spouse with a professional marriage counselor or therapist? Before you spend money on marriage counseling, you may want to know if it is the right decision for you. The information below will help you decide if marriage counseling is a fitting choice for your relationship.

You Determine The Success Of Your Marriage Counseling

Marriage counseling is an investment – you only get out of it what you put into it. Couples who are willing to openly discuss their troubles and learn from their marriage counselors have a much higher success rate than those who fight against the help. No matter what has happened in your relationship, you are the one who determines how successful your marriage counseling program is.

Couples Counseling vs. Individual Counseling

If you have decided that you need counseling to improve your marriage, you may question whether to go through couples counseling or individual counseling. Some people feel better talking about their marital issues in private with a therapist, while others prefer talking about their feelings with their spouse’s present. As a whole, married couples tend to reach success at a faster rate when they go through counseling together. The counselor is able to see both sides of the issue and help the spouses come to a mutual understanding with one another. You can still go through individual counseling in addition to your couples counseling, but you will probably resolve your problems faster if you go through therapy together.

Work Through Your Problems With A Helpful, Unbiased Mediator

Sometimes all it takes is an extra set of eyes and ears to help you get over major hurdles in your marriage. You and your spouse each have a unique perspective on the dynamic of your relationship. Your counselor will help you understand your spouse’s perspective better while simultaneously helping you express yourself better. As you learn to communicate with your spouse, you can develop tools and tricks to help you avoid similar situations in the future.

So, Does Marriage Counseling Work?

Only you can determine if marriage counseling is right for you. As a whole, there is a great potential for success if you are open to the suggestions laid out by your marriage counselor. Talk about your options with your spouse and decide which course of action is best for your marriage.