I have found in my marriage counseling practice in Longmont, Colorado, that it is very common for marriages to start out on a high note. Yours was probably no different. The love and joy you experienced just by being together was most likely still very present in those early stages of your relationship. However, it is not uncommon for that initial attraction you felt for each other at the beginning to diminish over time. Why would that be so? You would think that love would only grow over time. What would cause this love that was so strong at the beginning to start to fade more and more with time?
Well, that is a very good question and one that you may not be able to answer that easily or quickly. Marriage counseling provides a safe place and space for the two of you to explore and find the answers to questions such as these.
The Romantic Ideal
The romantic ideal is alive and well in our society. We have all been affected by it. You may have entered into your relationship with strong expectations about how married life would be, only to find out that “reality” had other ideas. And you may not be liking what reality is now presenting to you in your relationship.
How Marriage Counseling Can Help You Work Through Your Issues
Couples counseling provides strong support for you in facing the reality of what is happening now in your relationship and work with it; not against it. Many couples today are fighting each other over what is happening in their relationship. Many times partners blame each other for the problems they are experiencing. You may have reached the place where you see little, if any, value in the two of you being together.
Couples counseling can allow you the time and space to see your relationship through new eyes. You may actually even discover that you have been brought to this time and place for the purpose of learning and growing in your loving for yourself and your partner. However, you may need help in seeing and taking advantage of the opportunities that await your embrace.
Moving To The Next Phase of Your Relationship
Thank God for the “romantic ideal”, for without it, few people would marry. That attraction to each other is what motivates us in the beginning to want to be together. But, again, what happens when that romantic ideal fades? Then what? You may find that you choose to move to the learning and growing phase of your relationship or to embracing the real reason you are together in the first place. Marriage counseling can help you and your partner know individually and collectively your purpose and give you the tools you need to work your process. This can be a very interesting and fulfilling process as the two of you start to more consciously work with yourself and with each other. A whole new phase of your relationship can open up and you may find this new phase even more fulfilling than that initial phase you went through.
Marriage Counseling and Making Decisions From That Place of Loving
This is not to say that successful marriage counseling always leads to the two of you staying together and continuing your marriage. It is possible that you may decide that the two of you are better off alone or with someone else. But wouldn’t it be nice if you were able to make that decision in your loving for each other rather than in anger or resentment? Marriage counseling can help you work through the issues you are facing while maintaining the love you have for yourself and each other. You can expect the best outcomes from decisions that are based in loving.
Truly Knowing What You Are Working With
When you are in the middle of a conflict, it can be extremely difficult to actually hear what your partner is attempting to say to you. You may not be able to hear them over the clamoring of your own pain and suffering going on inside of you. And your partner may not be able to directly express what is truly happening inside of them. For instance, you may experience your partner being short with you and angry. You may never realize that what they are really feeling deep down inside are feelings of fear and hurt. If you knew that was how they felt, it would be easier for you to have a little more compassion for them.
Good marriage counseling will help you sort out how each of you are really feeling. It will also help you to communicate to each other what is really going on inside. Simply knowing your partner’s process and what they are working with (not what you think they are working with) allows for more empathy and compassion for your partner and for yourself.
These are just a few of the benefits you can expect from participating in marriage counseling. Much of it is just common sense. But common sense can sometimes be a rare commodity when trouble sits on the doorstep of a marriage. If conflict is visiting your household and you are not sure what to do about it, you may want to think about giving couples therapy a try.
About Dan Kendrick
Dan Kendrick at Dan Kendrick Counseling in Longmont, Colorado, specializes in depression treatment, couples counseling, self esteem counseling, grief counseling and more. He also conducts workshops and does public speaking engagements. You can reach Dan at (303) 485-9086 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.