Marriage Counseling for those who need it but won’t go

One of the main things I’d like to blog about is marriage counseling.
If you read or follow this blog you’ll learn about what marriage counseling is like in general and counseling with me specifically.
Not everyone would want or be able to do counseling or coaching with me in person but I want to share the things that I’ve seen that is helpful to the clints I’ve worked with.
If I write enough perhaps there will be enough for a book someday:
Marriage Counseling for those who won’t go but need it.
Even if that doesn’t ever happen, I hope these posts will encourage you in the meantime.

One thing about coming to marriage counseling is you don’t really go for answers as much as the questions.
You can get a ton of helpful info on the Internet and in books about marriage, communication, resolving conflict, parenting; I’ll be sharing my favorite resources here in fact.
What counseling does beyond passing along information and advice is help you process the info in a helpful, relevant way by making it personal to you.
One way is by bringing up questions like,
“What’s one thing that you wish your spouse understood about your right now?”
“What’s one thing your spouse could do or say that would help you trust them better?”

The insight you get from the questions isn’t what really produces change either,
it’s the choices you make.

The choices you make together by going through the process of exploring what’s really going on inside, untangling all the things that are influencing your present experience and getting more clarity on who you really are or what to become.
There’s a lot of things that get in the way of doing what we could or should for our spouse, counseling explores what’s getting in the way, getting in the way of choosing to try or start again

I recently rewatched the movie Unbreakable. It had a scene I hadn’t really remembered or took note of before but demonstrates the power of choice.
Robin Wright plays Megan, wife to David played by Bruce Willis’.
They’ve been married twelve years but estranged.
His survived a recent train crash.

One night, she asks him,
“Have you been with with anyone?
Since we started having problems?
The answer won’t affect me…it won’t affect me either way.”

He shakes his head “No”
And she sobs with relief.

She tells him,
“My decision is…
I’d like to start again.
Pretend we’re at the beginning.

It’s a big deal you walked away from that train.
It’s a second chance.

If you want to ask me out sometime, that would be okay.”

I loved that. I try my best to help couples find their way back, to start again, like at the beginning.
Marriage counseling serves to create those kairos moments (described in Essentialism by Greg McKeown), those moments of opportunity in the here-and-now that inspire you to choose, to start over, to change, to grow.

The best advice or writing I can give you isn’t as important as the choice you’re willing to make for the good of your marriage and your spouse.

Is there anything that you’ve been wanting to do for your spouse that you just need to make it happen and do?

Is there anything you’d like me to write about?


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Licensed professional counselor and health coach in Portland, OR Pre-marital and couples counseling. Individual counseling for anxiety, depression, insomnia, sleep disorders, sexual addiction, porn addiction, career, transitions, grief, burnout, personal growth.

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