Ask Yourself These Before Considering Couples Therapy

 Most people find it weird and frightening to bring in someone who can mediate and give your marriage a fix. That was then. Now, the stigma has increasingly been lifted, and a lot of couples have experienced awesome results from their therapy. Even those who have great relationships go into counseling just to look for advice on how to strengthen their bonds. However, not all couples have found it easy to begin with therapy, just as not all have gotten positive outcomes after going to their therapist.

Before you and your partner decide to be mediated with a couple’s therapist, here are some question you can ask yourself to make sure that couples therapy will work for you.

 

When Is The Right Time To Seek Help?

Some couples ask for professional help when the pain has gone overboard, and the argument becomes too difficult to manage. Both parties are overwhelmed with what they might have said or done to each other that they decide to look for someone who can ‘fix’ them.

The wisest time to seek guidance and help from a therapist when you and your spouse can’t find concrete solutions to your marital problems, or if you have decided that your marriage goals are impossible to achieve. Do not wait for the whole misunderstanding to blow up, and violence comes in. When this happens, there might not be any chance for reconciliation at all.

 

What If My Partner Doesn’t Want To Go To Therapy?

It is typical for a husband to be less interested in therapy than the wife. So if you think that you need to see a therapist for your marriage problems, one way to involve your partner is to tell him that he must be there with you, which is true. But just a fair warning: If you are currently seeing your therapist, your partner might be intimidated that you’re all too familiar with the process. In this case, you can let your spouse choose a therapist for both of you, someone that you will see for the first time. Also, your partner will have a hard time arguing with you if you tell him that you want to know how to make good things become the best. Don’t focus on the negative things that you are about to divulge to the therapist!

How Do We Choose The Right Therapist For Us?

Don’t worry. You’re not obliged to sign up immediately. In fact, most of the therapists have free consultation via phone interview, so take advantage of it. Tell him a little about the problem and observe if it is something that he has extensive knowledge in. You can also listen to the voice – if it’s gentle and the talk is not very fast, the therapist may be a patient one. If he talks fast, maybe he’s more interested in getting to the end of the session! Find a sense of connection between you and your therapist.

If you’re lucky to get an initial face-to-face consultation, the better, you can determine if both you and your partner can get honest and unbiased explanations from your therapist. You’ve got to listen to your instincts.

How Do We Know The Therapy Is Working?

The first determinant of whether it’s working or is not if, after a few sessions, you begin to feel warmer and more comfortable with your partner. This means that your therapist has effectively broken into some barriers that you both have for each other, probably due to the constant arguments and misunderstandings.

Finally, if you are not comfortable with your therapist, it is wise to just look for someone that you share warmth with, someone that you and your partner can fully trust. Additionally, if your therapist is a professional one, then he must inform you if therapy is not working.

 

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“Cheaters Always Cheat And Liars Always Lie?”

 

 Many women – and men – have at one point in their lives been victims of infidelity. In fact, surveys say that more than 20% of married men and 15% of married women have had affairs. Does this validate the cliché ‘cheaters always cheat and liars always lie?’

Here are some collected opinions gathered from therapists and psychologists on whether or not a cheating spouse can turn around and never cheat again, or if it strengthens the notion that cheaters and liars never change.

The Cliché Is Biased. Once we expect that because he cheated once, he will always cheat, then we are belittling a person’s capacity to change for the better. Those who say this have perhaps never felt the guilt that comes after a one-night stand or a short-lived affair. The terrible feeling of having hurt your spouse and your kids has left me unable to sleep for weeks, and it’s the worst feeling ever,” said Tom, a husband who once was tempted to date her secretary while her wife was gone for a business trip. He claimed that it was the only time he was unfaithful and will never do it again.

Cheaters Have A Chance To Work On His Issues. Couple’s therapists have witnessed divorces that happen because of illicit affairs. They’ve also seen couples that decide to stay despite infidelity problems because they want to work things out. A therapist told the Huffington Post that a simple method of determining if your spouse will easily cheat again is if he confesses to his fault and takes full responsibility for what he did. This may happen spontaneously or after a few sessions of counseling. If he does this, they probably won’t cheat again. But if he continues to deny what happened and even gets angry if he is confronted, there’s a very slim chance for change from him.

If There Is No Remorse, Change May Not Be Possible. Hats off to spouses who would willingly sit it out in therapy for weeks. Obviously, they want their marriage to work, and they do love their partner. There are still many couples out there that would give anything to rebuild their marriage, and they can do that as long as they feel the remorse and guilt of hurting their partners. However, some simply brush the issue off after a few weeks of committing the infidelity. They want their partners to forget it quickly and may sometimes even blame their partner because they probably needed attention that their partner couldn’t give. When you hear that, you’re in for a serial cheating game. Give it up.

The Cheating Spouse May Be Motivated By The Hurt He Has Caused. This is possible for someone who isn’t used to cheating. He can’t believe that he was able to do that to his partner and his family, and he is very willing to make up for what he’s done. Guilt is an effective motivator for positive change. Perhaps your spouse had to be unfaithful for him to realize that he might lose everything. It is likened to a person who is charged with a DUI. He won’t promise to drink again unless he is detained for a night in jail and is forced to sleep on the floor.

The Betrayed Spouse Needs To Forgive. The cheating spouse maybe 100% sure that he won’t cheat again, but if the betrayed partner can’t forgive, there is no peaceful reconciliation. The mantra that cheaters always cheat and liars always lie alters a person’s capacity to realize that their partner is human, forgivable, and most of all, imperfect. Once the hurt spouse accepts this and opens his or her mind that marriage is precious and needs a second chance, then there is no second chance. But if he or she can move past it, the couple can definitely recover, heal, and be happy again.

 

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Does An Open Marriage Really Work?

 

What is the concept of marriage? As far as I can remember, when I married my husband, the vow was to be united and become one with him, to be true and to be intimate only to him. However, it seems some couples want to make their vows AFTER their marriage because they think it will make things better. To stop the arguments and infidelity issues, they decide to go into an open marriage. But can it possibly resolve anything? Can it save a distressed marriage?

In actuality, the idea of an open marriage is not as new as we think it is. This type of relationship has been seen years back, although not as prevalent as now. The increasing number of couples who want to try an open marriage maybe because as infidelity heightens, couples want to justify their actions and would rather find a reason to save the marriage than resolve the matter. If the intimacy is gone between the couples, then perhaps an open relationship would solve it, as this is only a sex issue. But would it work?

The most deafening answer is NO. It won’t help strengthen a marriage, nor does it encourage honesty in the relationship. Here are a few reasons why.

  • Rules Don’t Equal Real Emotions. When a spouse cheats and tells his partner that he loves her no matter what, they think that their love and trust for each other sill encompass anything, which is why some of them are willing to permit others to ‘join’ the union temporarily, just to fill in what’s lacking in the marriage. But we all know it’s easier said than done. Remember that emotions don’t mind the rules. If a spouse sees another to fill in the gaps, the rule here is, of course, to not get emotionally involved. Eventually, he gets attracted at a deeper level; the rules will be so much harder to follow. Instead of helping the marriage, the only thing it will do is to worsen it.

 

  • Jealousy Is Inevitable. Envy is one of the things that an open relationship wants to avoid. If the couple says, they truly love each other, letting another person in the relationship will not cause any jealousy – or at least that’s the rule. But humans are innately possessive, especially when it comes to things and people we love. No matter how modern or open-minded you think you are, it won’t be easy to acknowledge that you are sharing your spouse to another – your lifetime partner and father of your kids. If you are not at all affected by it, though, you might want to assess your feelings towards your spouse. Perhaps they’ve gotten cold because of what you’ve been through.

 

  • Self-esteem Will Absolutely Suffer. Having friends and significant others is an important part of one’s life simply because you can’t find everything in one person. But when your spouse talks you out of wanting to connect with another physically or intimately apparently to ‘save the marriage,’ and you reluctantly agree, it will slowly devour you and your self-esteem. You start to wonder why he asked for it in the first place, and then you think that you are not enough for your spouse. To solve this, you may seek attention from others and will push you to see others as well. The vicious cycle continues and will ultimately destroy the marriage.

Final Thoughts

If you and your partner are considering open marriage, perhaps you should think twice or thrice before doing so. It might look like a promising solution to your marriage problems, but then again, it may only be a temporary mask to the real issue at hand. It might even add more insult to the injury that your marriage has already gone through.

 

 

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Surviving A Long Distance Marriage

 

You may not have chosen to be in a long-distance marriage when you exchanged vows with your spouse, for others living apart but together is indeed a reality. It can be because of a family emergency, an inevitable move of your spouse’s company, or any valid reason. Whatever it is, you have got to try and make an effort to make your relationships thrive and survive.

Below are some tips that we have gathered from various marriage therapists on how to navigate a long-distance marriage and make it last.

 

  • Take Advantage Of Technology. There are times when you need to step back from social media and smartphones, especially when you’ve had too much of it for a day, but for long-distance couples, you can use it to your advantage. Skype and Face Time are free mobile apps that you can always use during your free time. Schedule your talks when you’re done with work, or when you’re at home cooking dinner so the kids can join in the conversation. When you miss each other while working, maybe you can slip your phone and send a sweet message with love emoticons that will assure your partner of your love for him. Stay connected, so you’ll never feel as though you’re miles away.

 

  • Post Photos Of You And Your Spouse. If you’re living in a remote area for work reasons, clip some great photos of you and your spouse in the edge of your mirror, or put them in an album and display them by your bedside table. Don’t let the cliché ‘out of sight, out of mind’ beat you. Though it takes more than photos to strengthen your marriage, it does help in reminding you that someone’s waiting for you and trusting that you are keeping the love alive.
  • Play The Role Of Couples Living Together. Talk about pretending that you lived together so that when you are in your corresponding places, it won’t seem like you’re very far from each other. The distance will create different lives for you, and if you allow it to destroy your marriage, it probably can. This task is simple, and if you are ready to do anything for the marriage, this you can do.

 

  • Do Not Assume. Don’t make any assumptions just from your spouse’s tone of voice, emails, or text messages. A lot of these are easily mistaken, depending on the way you read them. For instance, you’re trying to call, but he’s not answering. He might be in a meeting, and suddenly you receive this automatic message that says, “I can’t talk right now.” Don’t overreact and think that he’s rejecting you or he’s not interested. Wait for him to call you or ask him when you do your usual video calls. You mustn’t get your insecurities in the way of your relationship. Agree that both of you will mend misunderstandings not through texts but through video conversations where things are clearer.
  • Make A Commitment To End The Distance. Work and family are important, and partners must try their best to understand that as much as they can. But in the end, there must be an expiration date to the long-distance contract. Although you think you can do it, it isn’t right to be away from each other forever. Do what you can. Save up while you’re away for your future. Finally, live together as a family because you ought to.

 

 

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