Marriage counseling or couples counseling is provided in a variety of forms.
For example; individual therapy followed by the two of you being together with the counselor or a therapist is one valid option. When you’re working inf a free marriage counseling environment, a lot of progress can take place.
It often involves being in a clinical environment, discussing your issues as a couple. You’ll express what you both feel to be the main issues at hand and how you have got to where you are now emotionally.
An important thing to note is that the way a man and woman thinks differs.
Therefore, so do their thought processes. So, what may be uncomfortable to the man in the relationship, might affect the woman differently. Try to take these different perspectives into consideration as you begin to repair your relationship.
Here, I’ll be offering free marriage counseling advice by teaching you some basic techniques to practice at home with your partner.
A quick disclaimer here. The trouble with marriage counseling or guidance is that you are a unique individual with a complex background which has molded you into whom you are and where you are right now. Your background, social and/or religious groupings have already shaped your personality. No two people are the same.
So understand that a big part of this process is accepting your spouse for their unchanging differences.
COMMUNICATION IS YOUR KEY
The key focus of any counseling is learning how to listen. This is often referred to as ‘active listening’.
Remember, it’s natural to feel criticized when your partner has something to say during counseling. You are likely to take anything said personally and negatively.
If your home environment is typically uncomfortable and you both already feel on edge, communicating will naturally bring out your defensive nature.
In order to develop your relationship on a positive level you need to remember you are a unique person and you are valued. This is not about learning to argue more successfully. It is also not about intensely scrutinizing your childhood, revamping your sex life or being more romantic.
Fundamentally the relationship with your partner is a similar dependency to a child and parent. It’s a combination of protection and nurturing.
USING THE KEY
After you had met and during the dating process did you find yourself talking very openly with each other? There was so much to say, so many questions to answer from basics such as ‘do you have any siblings?’ to ‘how many partners have you had?’. It is like an interview process and you are discovering your fundamental compatibility.
Communication was good and flowing, the relationship flowed with ease and everything felt perfect.
So, it only felt natural to take the next step, getting married.
Over time, the irritating habits of your spouse rose to the surface, extra annoyances came up and when you talked about what bothered you, maybe you felt criticized and you lost focus of what brought your together in the first place.
Somewhere along the line you stopped effectively communicating and maybe feel your partner stopped listening as well. It can feel like a downward spiral over time.
Here are 4 easy steps to start your journey up from that spiral:
• For this step you need to utilize your drawing skills, you are not creating a Rembrandt so do not worry. Draw yourself and your partner, label each of you with all your good qualities and that of your partner. Get back to basics. Remind yourself why you fell in love in the first place. Think of everything, no matter how small.
Examples could be; they make you laugh, kindhearted, generous, friendly, popular, always smiling, good with children, hard worker or career minded… as many as you can think of. Write the words all around each person. You may struggle at first and then think of lots in a flurry. Art therapy is an extremely powerful tool. This step will remind you of why you are both amazing people.
• Repeat the drawings of the two of you, now write around them all of the things that annoy you about your partner now. This may include things like; lazy, unclean, never tidies, always late for everything, forgets important events like birthdays.
• Lay the drawings out together, with a different colored pen or crayon highlight on both sheets the important things to you both in your personality and your partners. Also highlight the aspects of your marriage that make you feel the worst. What really, really bugs you!?
YOU ARE ON THE JOURNEY
You thought at first that everything was perfect but after the marital glow starts to fade and the wedding flowers wilt, the day-to-day ‘getting on with it’ issues grind you down. Use the highlighting and underlining you have done in step three to rebalance some of your thoughts.
• From step three choose one highlighted word or phrase to start rebalancing your thinking. Choose one of the things that annoys you, write it at the top of a piece of paper and start to analyze it, break it down.
Here is an example of what to do. One lady I have helped was absolutely fed up with how thoughtless her husband was. When they first met he asked her if she preferred flowers or chocolates. When they got married she never received any token gestures of romanticism and it got her down. She felt unloved and did not see him as thoughtful or kindhearted.
Through using this process she realized that he did think about her a lot through other thoughtful gestures i.e. Making sure the bills were paid and saving for a holiday. She had not truly realized what thoughtful acts they were and fundamental to their marriage. This process is a way of looking at your first ‘hot’ thoughts and looking at it from a different perspective.
Congratulate yourself for the progress you are making so far, you are on a journey and have made an awesome start! This is not a quick fix solution but if you use the advice you have read, it will lead you to unlocking your future happiness.
Start with these free marriage counseling tips and coordinate with a professional if necessary.
You’ll need to work through step four over time, do not try to rush this process as you will find you have not looked at everything thoroughly enough to move forward in your relationship.
This is only the beginning…
For a much more in depth look at restoring your marriage back to a place of love and intimacy, be sure to watch this life-changing video right now.