Getting married is easy. You fill out a marriage license application form and appear before a justice of the peace. No one asks if you’re in love or even if you hate how your partner squeezes the toothpaste tube in the middle. You pay a fee and sign on the dotted line, and the world says you’re married.
Building a lifelong relationship with your spouse is hard. That’s why 38% of all Canadian marriages end in divorce. That said, a healthy marriage is one of life’s most rewarding relationships and will fill your days with laughter and love. This is worth fighting for.
The Truth About Good Marriages
Have you ever seen an elderly couple strolling in the park? She’s stooped with age. He’s bald as an egg. They’re holding hands and smiling. After fifty years, four children, eight grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and hardships most of us can’t begin to imagine, they are more in love today than they were on their wedding day.
If you stop one of these couples and ask them their secret to a happy marriage, you’ll hear things like “never go to bed angry,” “we always find a reason to laugh,” and “we talk about everything.”
In other words, the difference between a marriage that ends after five years and one that lasts for fifty, and counting, isn’t that one couple faced more hardship. It’s their foundation and positive communication skills.
A healthy marriage isn’t something you get. It’s something you create with love, respect, honesty, commitment, trust, and positive communication. These are your foundation.
It takes two. From your wedding day to your fiftieth wedding anniversary and beyond, you will both work for your relationship every day through the good times and the bad. Most days, it won’t feel like work. Some days, it will. With a strong foundation, you as a couple can weather any storm.
What is Marriage Counseling: From Pre Marriage to Post Marital
Marriage counseling helps you acquire the communications skills you need to love your marriage.
As a marriage counselor, I teach couples here in Edmonton, Alberta the arts of listening, positive communication, and compromise. Call me to start learning these essential marriage skills today.
Whether you need pre-marriage counseling, marriage counseling, or even post-marriage counseling, it’s never too late or too early to build a better relationship.
Will we talk about our feelings?
Most marriages start and end with feelings. If you or your partner feel unloved, ignored, or lonely, I can help you learn how to talk about these difficult emotions with your partner and move past them before they damage your relationship.
What if we argue?
In my experience, most marital arguments begin with a betrayal. Sometimes, it’s an affair. Others, it’s a thousand little things like not speaking up when your parents criticize your spouse. These negative feelings can and will turn an argument over how to sort the laundry into blaming each other for financial debts.
During marriage counseling at my Edmonton office, you’ll learn how to de-escalate these arguments. This starts with being a good communicator.
Tip: It never hurts to apologize for shrinking your significant other’s favorite wool sweater.
Even couples who rarely argue benefit from learning these skills because we all say hurtful things in the heat of the moment. Learning when and how to step back helps you protect your loved ones.
What’s the difference between marriage counseling and couples therapy?
Marriage counseling focuses on now. It asks how is your relationship today and what issues you currently face. Then it helps you both learn how to communicate with each other better and compromise so that you can build a stronger marriage. Couples therapy asks why you have certain problems and helps you work on areas of your relationship affected by these problems. For example, if your or your spouse suffers from a chronic illness, couples therapy may help you cope with the psychological impact.
Marriage counseling and couples therapy address different concerns. Give me a call to schedule your evaluation. After our first meeting, I’ll recommend which approach best suits your needs and your relationship.
As a licensed therapist, I can also help you address any underlying psychological issues like PTSD that may harm your relationship.