Marriage Counseling

Marriage can be challenging. Counseling helps fix communication concerns. It also seeks to reduce conflict. Marriage counseling gives couples tools to listen and talk better. The difficulty of work and children creates stress in the relationship because there is just not enough time for the couple to be alone. Couples time improves feelings of love, thus creating a better bond.  The demands of work and children creates stress thus impacting the marriage. Making specific time for the couple increases love. Couple’s time together improves their bond. Marriage counseling creates a safe place thus ensuring each spouse hears their partner.  

Benefits of Marriage Counseling

  • Reduce conflict
  • Open the flow of communication
  • Work though changes together
  • Solve ongoing problems
  • Decide what is important to the marriage
  • Learn to share feelings
  • Give and receive compassion
  • Restore love and romance
  • Heal past wounds
  • Overcome an affair
  • Teaches couples how to see their partner’s side

Reasons Why Couples Go To Counseling

Communication causes concerns in marriage because missing thoughts can cause anger. Not being heard is the biggest reason why couples seek a counselor. Fighting also causes feelings of unhappiness. Trained Marriage Counselors help couples in coping with all types of hurts, such as anger. Many loving couples need counseling to deal with sexual issues.  It certainly difficult to talk with a stranger about personal details. Counselors provide help because they direct discussions. Issues can become ill wills. Concerns cause on-going conflict, which creates marital unrest.  This type of unrest is unhealthy because it effects the entire family. Fear that the marriage therapist will take sides causes many people to not seek help. Marriage counseling works to better the bond because more talking occurs.

Marriage Stages

Marriages change and grow over time. Couples move through many life stages. There are four major life stages. The first life stage focuses on learning needs. Trying to fit into their partner’s family. The Middle life stage focuses on caring for children. Third stage deals with being just the two of them again. The last stage focuses on life after the job ends. Its important to pay attention to what is happening in the relationship because missing the signs causes anger. Partners in healthy marriages can express all types of emotions, such as joy and sadness. When the marriage becomes unhealthy, couples begin to argue or sweep issues under the rug.

Approach Used

Many skills from several methods are used, such as active listening.  Will start by listing wounds. Then learn new communication types. Couples have communication styles and types. Will explore each person’s style and learn how to speak so our partner can hear us. Tools from the Gottman Method ( are used. This method helps couples strengthen their marriage in the areas of friendship, conflict, and shared meanings. Learning to understand the four-horsemen and how it hurts the relationship is one such tool. It helps couples learn to see the positives in their partner.  Will also explore roles and values.   These tools help Couples also learn ways to connect. Build emotional intimacy. The marriage therapist creates a safe space so each partner can share hopes, fears, and concerns. Together will repair and build a better relationship.

Communication Skills

Healthy communication is key for a good marriage.  Successful couples know how to talk and listen to their partner thus helping their partner see their view.  This is done through the use of I statements. Couples learn to use gentle startups to begin tough conversation because this reduces conflict. Partners are taught how to vent in a healthy way instead of blame.  When a fight begins, couples bring up the past instead of sticking to the present day issue.  These are known as verbal daggers.  Many marriages end because the words used were extremely hurtful.  Marriage counseling teaches couples how to say what they mean and need without harm.

Affair Counseling

When one partner has an affair, the injured partner often feels betrayed. Other emotions, such as loneliness, confusion, angry, or hopelessness can occur.   Many people wonder if it is possible to save the marriage after cheating. Just because an affair occurred does not mean divorce. Many couples overcome this issue thus building better marriages. Affair counseling, also known as infidelity counseling, focuses on understand why the issue began. What was happening in the relationship that led up to the affair. It explores the role each partner played. An important part of affair counseling explores what is missing in the relationship. Learning to overcome feelings of not being good enough is a key piece to the counseling.  One or both partners may feel they are not good enough.  Learning to forgive and providing grace puts the relationship on the path of healing.  This can be hard journey.

Marriage Tips

  • Look at your partner when talking
  •  Sit together as often as possible
  •  Eat meals together
  •  Touch one another three times per day
  • Share something about yourself they don’t know
  • Affirm a positive each day
  • Repair quickly when hurt has occurred
  • Listen before talking
  • Avoid telling your spouse their feelings
  • Use open questions
  • Look for the good deeds

Getting started

Taking the first step in talking with a Marriage Counselor is brave.  How long counseling takes varies from couple to couple.  It may take a few months or several years.  Two appointment lengths are offered. A 50 minute or 90 minute session. Lets take the adventure together! To learn more read my blog  What to expect in couples and marriage counseling?

To get started fill out my Contact form, email me at, or call me at 503-841-2142 to make an appointment.  

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(503) 841-2142