A Helpful Message from Your Westborough Massachusetts Marriage Counselors…
What would you give to have your marriage changed overnight?
What if you woke up in the morning and the challenges that you and your spouse experience had disappeared? Debt problems. Parenting disputes. In-law issues. Communication blocks. Possibly even infidelity and cheating. Can you even imagine what your life would be like? While this is not possible to accomplish overnight, it is a very useful question.
Think about these things:
What would your life be like?
Where would you and your spouse be when you woke up?
How would you feel about your spouse?
How would your spouse feel about you?
What would be the first thing you would do?
Have you come up with your answers? Is it even possible to do so? These are very important questions. They are part of a helpful exercise that is called “The Miracle Question,” which is part of solution-focused therapy. It can be very helpful with new marriage or couples counseling clients to help determine your new reality and goals. You can determine, with the help of a skilled counselor, what you and your partner need and want to change in your life and marriage.
Do you feel like it is impossible to even answer these questions because you cannot imagine a life without tears, shouting, and slammed doors? You are not alone. Many couples feel the same way and live their lives behind closed doors in strife as well.
We know this all too well as experienced marriage counselors. We have helped many, many couples work through and identify their issues and sources of stress. It is not always an easy process, but it is possible. The first step in improving your relationship is identifying what causes the most stress for you and your partner. After doing this, we can then help you determine what you would like to change about your marriage and what you would like to keep in your relationship.
Although it may be difficult to imagine, many of our clients have found that change in their marriage is more possible than they could have ever dreamed.
Why Choose Thriveworks Westborough Marriage Counseling?
The marriage and couples therapists at Thriveworks Westborough (MA) are leaders in the mental health field. They are licensed and trained to deal specifically with your anxiety issues. They are respected leaders in their community and have been published in leading publications, such as the Chicago Tribune, Prevention, Psychiatric Times, Atlanta Journal Constitution, and the Journal of Mental Health Counseling. We are ready to put our expertise to work for your relationship.
We have all heard the statistics that today nearly 50% of marriages end in divorce. In addition to this, so many couples find themselves in “emotional divorce.” In this state of marriage, you and your partner are still technically together, but emotionally you are entirely separate.
Marriage is not easy. When we consider all of the issues that couples face, it is simple to see how complicated relationships can be.
Do any of these issues sound familiar?
Problems with in-laws and extended family
Anger issues, yelling, slamming of doors
Dependency / Co-dependency
Family planning, to have or not have children
Parenting issues and disagreements
Jealousy, lack of trust
Unresolved issues from past relationships
Adultery / Infidelity
Over-scheduled lives, “Passing each other in the night”
This is just a partial list of issues that couples can face. Perhaps you saw your issue immediately, or identified with several topics. Alternatively, you and your spouse’s issue may not have been listed, but you are still in need of help. This is just a partial list of a few of the common things that can cause serious marital problems.
Marriage Counseling Exercise
Dr. John Gottman, a world-renowned researcher, has developed a practical and effective theory known as “Love Banking.” When put into practice, love banking is one of many exercises that can help couples regain or develop trust and positive energy within their relationships. Thriveworks counselors can help you work through this and put it into practice in your daily life.
Your relationship with your spouse can be thought of as a bank account. That account can be wealthy, or it could be overdrawn. You learn to see every interaction you with your spouse as either a “deposit” or a “withdrawal.”
A withdrawal is a request or demand given to one partner. This can also include fights, insults, and any negative talk. Couples experiencing relationship challenges often make a great deal of withdrawals.
If you say “Take the trash out.” – That is a withdrawal.
If you say “I’ll call you back in a minute.” – That is a withdrawal.
If you say “You always leave things in such a mess.” – That is a withdrawal.
These may sound like simple requests, and they are, but they are still withdrawals. They do not even include the most serious types of withdrawals that include fights and possibly use of name-calling and vulgarity.
No one wants to bounce checks. This is true also in your marriage bank account. Without deposits, withdrawals mean the same thing for your “marriage account” as they do for your bank account. When your emotional bank account is empty you feel angry, lonely, resentful, and you feel better alone that you feel with your spouse.
Dr. Gottman’s research reveals that in order for your relationship to stay healthy and not withdrawn, the couple needs to have 5 deposits for every 1 withdrawal. It is a 5 to 1 ratio. This may sound overwhelming for couples that rarely have positive interactions, but if you can change your bad habits in your relationship, it is possible. The ratio works.
In order to make deposits, you need to express love and affection for your spouse. Another researcher, Gary Chapman, has developed what he calls “The Five Love Languages.”
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
WORDS OF AFFIRMATION
This love language is exactly as it sounds. We are able to use our words to encourage and build up our spouse. This can be spoken, in writing, in recognition of something large or small. It is an important and simple was to express love to your partner.
This love style is also quite simple to fulfill. Tokens of appreciation, even inexpensive ones, can show someone that they are thought of and cherished. It does not reflect the quality of being materialistic or selfish; rather, it is simply that some people respond best to being given a tangible reminder of another’s love for them.
WORKS OF SERVICE
Emptying the dishwasher, changing the dirty diaper, running out for groceries; these are tasks most people do not love. But for someone who really values this type of love language, these acts of service mean a great deal.
Going to breakfast, sitting on the couch together, having a conversation, and taking a walk; the love style “quality time” is about giving undivided attention to another person. The activity that takes place during the quality time is really unimportant-focusing on the other person is what counts.
KIND PHYSICAL TOUCH
An embrace, a kiss, holding hands, and a hand on the shoulder are all expressions of love. As an important love language for many, without having this account full, it is difficult to even appreciate other expressions of affection. Physical contact and touch can relate to intimacy, but it is also regarding simple human contact.
It is very helpful to learn how both yourself and your spouse best receive and give love. Once you know your spouse’s most meaningful expression of love, you can put a great deal of deposits in this type of language.
We can help you put this exercise into practice in your marriage immediately. You can use the information on different love languages to fulfill your five to one ration of deposits and withdrawals.
Thriveworks Westborough Marriage Counselors: We Are Ready to Help
We respect that it may be very difficult to finally make the decision to call us or send us a message. For that reason, unlike many counseling offices, we do not operate with a waiting list. We want to be ready when you are. In most cases, we have appointments available for new clients within 24 hours. We want to help you create the marriage you need.
There is a lot of information available on counseling and mental health care. It can be difficult to sift through all of it and make an informed decision. You do not need to look any further. We are ready to work with you to improve your relationship.
Call Thriveworks Westborough and reach a Marital Therapist who can help you improve your relationship: 774-377-4939, and let’s get started.