Should we stay or should we go? Is the marriage worth saving? Is keeping the marriage intact “for the children” enough reason? The “D” word is not a word that you can simply bandy about during times when you have a lover’s quarrel or when the going gets rough. Getting divorced, after all, will have consequences not just for the couple but also for their children.
Divorce is not a simple dissolution of a financial and physical union, but also the cutting off of emotional and psychological bonds. During this time, you can also think about getting the help of couples counseling in Provo to help you think through the issues in a thorough and more organized manner.
Here are some things you and your spouse should consider before you sign the divorce agreement:
Is the feeling gone? Or are there still emotional bonds between you and your spouse?
Make sure that both you and your spouse have done all you could to salvage the marriage. Do both spouses still feel an emotional connection with each other? Are there remnants of love and affection, in spite of all that has happened to make both of you consider divorce in the first place? Work on how you can save the marriage if there is some love left and some hope remaining for your relationship. That way, you don’t regret it if you finally make the decision.
Can counseling still help?
Provo marriage counseling can still be helpful especially at a time when both spouses are seriously considering divorce. Couples counseling in Utah can help identify where the marriage broke down and the possible ways to built it up (if this is still an option of the two spouses). However, if it still leads to divorce, counseling can make the transitions from couplehood to singlehood smoothly. Counseling can also provide healthy tools to deal with the pain and trauma of divorce by providing the couple or the individual with relaxation techniques, as well as tools to cope with change and grief.
Are you emotionally ready to divorce?
When you are caught up with emotions such as anger, frustration and in the case of infidelity, betrayal, it is hard to make the crucial decision of whether to keep the marriage intact or not. Make sure that you are emotionally stable as you make the decision to divorce. Otherwise, if it is just a response that arises from your emotions, this can lead to more problems and hurt feelings in the future especially if you do decide to rebuild rather than let go. Another thing to ask is if you are confident enough to go at “life” by your lonesome.
What are your reasons for considering divorce?
There are some spouses who view divorce as the last ditch attempt at changing their spouse. They feel that the divorce will be an eye-opener and it will lead the other spouse to see the error of their ways and make that change for the better. If this is your motivation for divorce, according to Utah therapists, be sure that it can only lead to pain and recriminations.
Also, think of whether the reason for the divorce is a problem that can still be resolved by proper communications and counseling.
Are you financially ready for divorce?
Although this may be secondary to other factors, it is also important to look at your resources without the other spouse. Will you be self-sustaining? Have you talked out how the family assets will be divided?
Who will move out of the house and who will stay? How much do you stand to earn each month? Will this be enough to cover your expenses, as well as your share of child support?
How will you prepare the children for divorce and deal with issues in a proactive manner?
Divorce will also affect those who are closest to you, particularly your children. Before you consider divorce, you and your spouse should discuss how best to prepare your children for that announcement. One way you can consider is to seek family counseling in Provo to help the children deal with their own emotions about the matter.
Have you considered the implications of divorce?
Divorce is not the quick fix-it to a problematic marriage. It, in fact, has its own problems and issues. A newly divorced person will have to deal with financial challenges and feelings of loneliness and insecurity. Both of the ex-spouses will also have to grapple with issues of child custody. It is good for both spouses to think deeply about the effects of divorce and manage your expectations about life after it.
In the movie, When A Man Loves a Woman, Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia play a picture-perfect couple whose family is threatened by the wife’s addiction to alcohol. The story chronicles Ryan’s alcoholism, and how it has caused harm to their marriage and family, as well as her struggle towards recovery and the succeeding adjustments that prompted them to seek marriage counseling.
The movie depicts a happy, “perfect” mom (when sober) who then transforms into one that “loses” her child in the shopping mall, drives her kids around drunk, leaves her husband with the responsibility to take care of her and the children and engages in risk-taking and anti-social behavior. Andy Garcia plays the role of the caretaking and enabling husband, who is at a loss after his wife’s recovery.
Addiction’s Effect on a Marriage
Drugs. Alcohol. Prescription medicine. Although to the abuser, his or her choice of poison seems to be the only world, the people who love him or her are affected. In most cases, the non-addicted spouse bears the brunt of the burden of a spouse driven by addiction. The spouse may need to take on roles that should have been played by the addicted spouse. The non-addicted spouse may be forced to cover up the other spouse’s addiction (i.e. call work and explain that the spouse is “sick”, act as both the father and mother to the children). This need to cover up can drain the person and strain the relationship.
As the addiction spirals deeper and deeper, it will drive the couple further apart. Fights and arguments will ensue and with an addicted spouse, the fights can turn violent. What results is an environment that is not healthy for a marriage to flourish.
As in the movie, the spouse with substance abuse problems is not the only one with issues. The non-addicted spouse also needs to thresh out some negative emotions (anger, guilt and bitterness) and behaviors (bad communications habits or codependent patterns) as well.
Is there hope for an addicted spouse to beat his or her cravings? Is there hope that the marriage can become stronger as they weather the storm of addiction? As a spouse of an addict, what can you do to support him or her and help your spouse being the slow and painful journey towards recovery and healing?
The non-addicted spouse can also do well to accompany his or her spouse to Utah marriage counseling to help them patch up the cracks that the addiction has wreaked on the marriage.
For a spouse that is interested in being a partner “in sickness and in health” and supporting the addicted spouse towards healing and recovery while maintaining a strong marriage, here are some tips:
– Learn about the addiction. Recognize that there are different levels of substance problems – substance use, substance dependency and substance abuse. Getting yourself educated about addictions can lead to better insights towards why your spouse is addicted, what he or she is dealing with and what you can do to be supportive.
– Supporting your spouse through counseling and treatment. Very often, addicted spouses are unwilling to go into any treatment program. You can talk to a Provo substance abuse counselor for help on how you can encourage your spouse to think about moving towards recovery. When your spouse is ready, you can consider supporting him as he goes to Utah counseling.
– Seek family counseling. Often, to properly support an addicted spouse, it is helpful to go for family counseling in Utah to help equip you (as the spouse) and other family members (children, close relatives) with the proper coping tools. This is so that family members can show their love and support for the addicted member but not enable his or her negative behaviors. This can also help sustain the addict’s positive (and healing) behaviors and ensure that his or her recovery is lasting. It is also important to admit that there are issues in the relationship that results from the addiction. You may need some sessions for Utah counseling to help.
– Learn how to act and react. The addict has fallen into a trap where he or she feels helpless and hopeless, so overcome with his or her addiction. This can trigger negative behavior such as getting into shouting matches, name calling and fighting. It may also mean trying to “reason it out” with the addicted spouse. Doing these behaviors will not help your spouse. What you can do is to learn ways to react and reinforce any positive behavior by your spouse. This includes providing your unconditional love and support but at the same time not being enabling of his addictive behavior.
– Explore healthy coping mechanisms for yourself. The situation with an addictive spouse can lead to pent-up stress and anger. You need to have a healthy outlet for these for your to be able to cope with the situation you are in now. These can include relaxation techniques, doing hobbies you enjoy and eating the right kinds of food.
Marriage is not just founded on love and intimacy – it is also based strongly on trust and commitment. Infidelity is like a wrecking ball that can demolish this foundation and leave the marriage in shambles.
What is Infidelity?
Infidelity can be manifested in various ways, depending on how an individual and couple see it. The bottom line is that there are strong feelings for someone else other than your spouse. These feelings of connection are usually surrounded by deceit and secrecy. This can be an outright sexual affair, an emotional affair, a fling or one-night stand, an online dalliance or even unrequited feelings by a spouse that does not involve any physical contact.
The discovery of your spouse’s infidelity can turn your world upside down – the emotional morass of denial, anger, bitterness, shame, fear and guilt can be overwhelming. The pain of finding out your spouse’s betrayal can make you ready to call it quits. But then, you need to look at how strong your commitment is towards marriage and your belief of whether the marriage is worth saving or not.
Trust, once it is lost, will be hard to bring back. The same goes with respect and loyalty. Rebuilding a marriage that has been shaken in its very foundations will take time and commitment. But with hard work, two spouses can come out with a stronger marriage.
Here are some things that two spouses who have committed to the marriage can do:
– Put an end to the affair. First, before the work of rebuilding can be done, you must stop the things that harm the marriage. Cut the affair cleanly, with no plans of going back to it.
– Be responsible. Apologize without making excuses or assigning blame. Don’t say, “I only did it because you were not paying any attention to me.”, “I was drawn to him because you don’t make me feel sexy anymore.” You are responsible for your choices. For the one who was cheated on, think about what you could have contributed that led to your spouse having an affair.
– Take a break. The time after the discovery of an affair is an emotionally-charged time. Give each other time to think things through by not pressuring him or her to make a decision at a time that emotions are running high. Don’t rush the betrayed spouse into “forgetting about it and moving on”. Give him or her time to lick his or her proverbial wounds and let them heal.
– Get help. If you have both decided that the marriage is worth saving, you can consider getting into marriage therapy. Utah marriage counseling can provide a non-confrontational venue for the two spouses to talk with an objective third-party facilitating. Each spouse must be willing to work it out with the help of a Utah counselor to put things in proper perspective for both of you, one who will help you thresh out the issues without being swept away by emotions.
How Marriage Counseling Can Help
Couples counseling in Utah can provide a great benefit to spouses seeking to survive the storms of infidelity. It can:
– Deal with negative feelings. This can include guilt, shame, anger, depression and fear that can result from the infidelity.
– Help thresh out issues. Infidelity can be a symptom of deep-seated problems in a marriage. Family counseling in Utah can help identify the issues that need resolving so that each spouse recognizes his or her part in making a stronger marriage that puts a premium on openness and honesty.
– Give support to the healing and forgiving process. Couples can start forgiving. For the betrayed, to forgive the unfaithful spouse for his wrongdoing. For the one who cheated, to forgive himself or herself for what he or she did and start the process of recovery.
– Equip with essential tools for repairing the relationship and building a better marriage. Provo marriage counseling can provide couples with tools that can lead to a union that is more open, more receptive and with each person recognizing his or her accountability towards the marriage.
– Determining whether the marriage could or should be kept intact. Sometimes, the foundation has not only been shaken but utterly torn down. It may be that the other spouse is not willing to work towards the marriage. Counseling can help you towards the decision to keep or let go of your marriage, but with the benefit of an experienced and impartial party providing guidance.
“So I made a mistake. Pooh, pooh. I already said I’m sorry. Why can’t we not make a big deal out of this?”
“It wasn’t that serious. Let’s forget about it and move on.”
We go into marriage recognizing that our significant other is not perfect – nor are we. We are bound to make mistakes – and some mistakes may have more serious consequences than others. Our mistakes (willful or otherwise) will have negative consequences on our union. When one strays and commits adultery, it will hurt the other spouse. When a wife is addicted to shopping and spending, it will not only strain the family’s finances but the couple’s relationship as well.
We sometimes have negative behaviors. What is important is learning how to deal with mistakes from both sides of the coin. For the person who was offended to be able to deal with it and forgive the erring spouse, as well as for the offending party to take responsibility for the consequences and to recognize and validate the other spouse’s hurt feelings. In doing so, a couple can take further steps towards addressing the issue and changing for the better.
Minimizing – A defense Mechanism
“It wasn’t all that bad.” This is the recurring theme of someone who has a tendency to minimize his negative behaviors and its effects. It is a form of denial where one justifies his behavior to avoid dealing with the root cause of the problem and to allow him to continue with the negative behavior.
Minimizing also means having the sense that something one does, thinks or feels is less important as compared to if someone else had the same actions, thoughts and feelings. For instance, a person who is prone to minimizing will try to justify that his being a workaholic isn’t all that bad. He will tell himself that it does not have serious consequences on his family and that as soon as “things settle down in the office”, he can ease off on the work load.
However, when the same person sees the same things happen to another workaholic, he can immediately see what’s wrong with the behavior. He already knows how the persons can act towards correcting their negative behavior. The sad thing is, the things he sees in other people in a similar condition as he is, he can’t see in himself because he has already minimized the consequences of his own behavior.
In the case of an alcoholic or substance abuser, he will try to minimize his addiction by saying, “I just had a couple of drinks, nothing major.” Or, “I was just experimenting; other people were doing it as well.” When he gets into trouble at work, he will respond by saying, “Even if I had a few beers in me, I still manage to do a lot of the work. In fact, my work performance is better than other people’s.” And, if his spouse will suggest going to a Utah substance abuse counselor, he will say, “Why spend good money when there really is no problem. I don’t need Utah counseling– I just have a few beers now and then and I can stop when and if I want to.”
Minimizing and Your Marriage
This kind of defense mechanism will have a negative impact on the marriage as well. Since the problem “isn’t a big deal”, the problem is not faced and dealt with as it should. To address a problem, both spouses must first be able to acknowledge that a problem exists.
Minimizing also sends out the message to the spouse that his or her feelings do not factor in. His or her feelings aren’t recognized and validated. As a result, the negative behaviors can breed resentment, bitterness and hurt. Ultimately, the failure to deal with the problems head on will lead to serious rifts in the marriage.
Breaking down the defense of Minimizing
This habit of minimizing may not be as easy to conquer. It may be more ingrained than you think. You may need the help of an experienced Utah counselor to help you recognize this behavior in you. With the help of Utah marriage counselor, you can start learning appropriate communication and coping tools in order to gain insights into your spouse’s feelings about your negative behaviors. This is one step towards learning to acknowledge and validate your spouse’s feelings. As you communicate with an effort of building empathy and understanding, you will also learn to take responsibility for your actions.
One step is acknowledging that even if you don’t see anything wrong with your behavior is to acknowledge how your spouse feels about it. Even if you don’t have a problem with the issue, if it hurts your spouse, then there is an issue. This sends out the message that your spouse’s feelings are important to you.
Provo marriage counseling can help you get have more emotional equipment in your marriage toolbox that can strengthen your marriage. This includes learning to empathize with your spouse and accepting the consequences of your behavior.
What makes a marriage last? Although there are no cut-and-dried formulas to a happy, successful marriage, there are common characteristics that are found in happy unions, ones that stand the test of time.
Here are some ingredients that make for happy, lasting marriages:
– Communication. The ingredient of communication is key to a successful union. No one is a mind reader and a spouse cannot expect his or her partner to know what is in his or her mind, what his or her needs and wants are. Communication leads to a deeper understanding of the other spouse. In that way, issues are resolved and expectations clarified. Sometimes, couples find it hard to effectively communicate because of past experiences and family background. It may take some couples counseling in Provo to get equipped with effective communication skills and to identify responses and actions that hinder communication.
– Clear expectations on each other’s roles. Spouses often have clear expectations of the roles they play in the family. This applies to responsibilities in finances (Who pays for what? Will one spouse stay at home with the kids or will both spouses work?), child-rearing, household chores and dealing with in-laws. Conflicts can easily arise when one’s expectations in the relationship are not met by the other spouse (who may not have a clue about the expectations in the first place). Sometimes, Utah marriage counseling may be needed to help you establish clear role expectations for each spouse.
– A friendship. Not only are they lovers but also friends, partners that have a deep-rooted friendship. This means that they can enjoy each other’s company, even without the sex or physical intimacy. As good friends, they remain loyal to each other. They refuse to accept attacks on their spouse; rather, they defend him or her. They are also able to be emotional intimate and open with their spouse – to show their trust for partner and be completely themselves when they are with him or her. As friends, they share and keep each other’s secrets.
– Shared vision and goals. A healthy union tends to have shared visions and goals – as to which path they will take, what goals to pursue, what values to hold on to.
– A sense of humor. The ability to laugh with each other even (or especially) during hard times is what can strengthen the bond that couples have, making them the soul mates they are meant to be. Shared laughter can build a relationship in a way that other experiences can’t.
– Respect. A long-lasting couple recognizes and cherishes each other’s intrinsic worth as individuals. This means that the other partner is worth their time and effort, the partner is not someone to be taken for granted but given honor and special attention. This also means respecting each other’s space, respecting healthy boundaries in the relationship and not forcing personality changes on your partner.
– Physical intimacy. Happy couples feel the need for physical closeness. More than sexual intimacy, this also includes the need to touch and be touched. Couples with lasting marriages tend to desire to keep a physical connection – to hug, cuddle, kiss or hold hands. There are also clear expectations in the area of sex, considering the partner’s needs and preferences. Usually, married couples will have tacit or implicit agreements of sexual fidelity.
– Humility. Long-lasting couples don’t let pride get in the way. They are ready to say sorry when they are wrong. They are ready to forgive when the other spouse apologizes. They are also able to accept loving and constructive criticism. They are also willing to grow together as a couple.
– Know how to fight fairly. It is important to recognize that happy couples are not the ones that never fight – rather, they fight and argue, but do so fairly. This means no “below the belt” tactics such as name calling or using hurtful words. Rather, the two have an agreement to be willing to talk it out until the issue is resolved.
– Willingness to make compromises. Happy couples know the art of give and take. It is not letting the other always get their way.
– Willingness to ask for help. It is important to acknowledge that there may be challenges in a marriage that cannot be surmounted by just the couple. There may be the need to seek the help of Provo marriage counseling.
The challenge is to look into your marriage and commit to developing these characteristics. With the help and guidance of family counseling in Provo, a marriage can grow into a happy and long-lasting union. Utah counseling can help establish healthy relationships that can be the foundation of a happy, long-lasting marriage.
What happens to Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt after the last scene in “As Good as It Gets”? Jack Nicholson’s unforgettable line in that movie where he suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder is “You make me want to be a better man.” It will be interesting to see how the characters played by Nicholson and Hunt live the “happily ever after”, knowing that one spouse has OCD.
What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
Also called OCD, this is an uncontrollable urge to perform rituals (opening and shutting the door three times in a row, avoiding cracks in the sidewalk, washing in very hot water and only using a new bar of soap). These rituals are performed with the hope of warding obsessive thoughts. For one who has OCD, not performing the rituals gives a feeling of impending doom and anxiety. According to Provo therapists, the rituals are his or her way of coping with the anxiety that may creep up.
OCD can sometimes rule a person’s life. The need to perform the rituals can prevent one to live normally. It affects his or her work, relationships and health. About 2% of the population (or 5 million Americans) between 18 to 54 years old has OCD, which usually has its onset during the teenage years.
OCD and Marriage
OCD does not only affect the person who has it, but also the people around him or her, particularly his or her loved ones. The struggle with OCD becomes even complicated with a relationship. There is pressure to “want to be a better man”, and it also takes patience (and the help of therapists Utah) for the partner to help the spouse with OCD deal with his or her condition.
Living with OCD at the sidelights can lead to conflicts between the spouses. Arguments and tension can crop up due to the one spouse’s behavior. And this, in turn, makes the symptoms of OCD even worse. There is also the temptation for the other spouse to overcompensate for the spouse with OCD by helping him or her perform his rituals or allowing the rituals to dominate their lives. This is also an unhealthy way of dealing with the OCD.
Don’t agree to “help” him with his rituals. At least, not for all the rituals. You can provide support by making him or her choose the one ritual you can help him or her with, but not for the other rituals he has. Before starting this, though, you should get Utah marriage counseling.
Provide support but eliminate rituals slowly. For the spouse without OCD, it will be helpful to start eliminating ritualistic behavior. Begin with the things that feel the least scary for him. Once you have successfully eliminated these, you can work your way to the other ritualistic behaviors. Encourage the spouse with OCD to make use of his or her willpower to stop doing one ritual, but still be able to do other compulsive behaviors (at least, for this time). It is important to also have Provo counseling while you are working to eliminate the rituals.
Be open. Especially for the one with OCD, it is important for the spouses to have a deeper understanding of their feelings. Don’t be afraid to tell your spouse how you feel.
Provide understanding. Make the spouse with OCD understand that you are there to support him or her and that you know how hard it is for him or her.
Therapists in Provo make use of cognitive behavioral therapy to deal with OCD. Utah marriage counseling can benefit by getting support for the OCD symptoms, as well counseling to improve the relationship in general.
Marriage is a vow to be there for your spouse “for better or for worse”. The “worse” part could include the loss of a parent, a child or a friend orlost opportunities (going through menopause or being fired from one’s job). The grief can also be about aging, children leaving the home to establish their own homes, or the bad news of a parent’s terminal illness. It can be a grief that both spouses experience or it can be something that only one spouse is going through. The grief can result in the grieving person feeling distressed, angry and bitter, guilty, isolated, fearful and lonely.
When a spouse is in a season of grieving, the other spouse needs to know how to deal with the process. The loss can cause a negative impact in your marriage or it can show how a couple express their love for each other at one of the worst points in their lives. It can bring the spouses closer to each other. Being there for your spouse can mean letting him or her “do stuff”, doing things with him or her or simply listening. However, according to Utah marriage counseling, mishandling how we help our spouse through the grieving process can lead to them becoming emotionally distant from us.
Recognize the necessity for grief. We should recognize that for one to heal from a loss, grief is an essential part of the process. So when a spouse is grieving, we should not prevent him or her from doing so.
Recognize that people grieve in different ways. Your grieving process will most likely be different from your spouse’s. If you both are grieving, you can’t expect your spouse to grieve in the same way as you do. You may need the advice of Provo therapist to understand your spouse’s grieving process. There are people who grieve by doing physical things such as running, indulging in a hobby or playing. There are also others that are grieve more verbally, who feel the need to share feelings and discuss the loss. Showing respect and continuing to be there in ways that matter will help you and your spouse remain connected at this time of grief.
Learn more about grief. Even if grief is normal, you also need to be watchful about signs of depression and how you can help. Couples counseling in Utah can provide with you with the insights about your spouse’s grief and whether it is going over to the side of depression. That said, it is also important to note that grief does not have any deadlines. You can’t come to your spouse and say, “That is enough time, you should be done grieving.” Give your spouse the time he or she needs to grieve.
Be patient. Strap yourself in and get ready for an emotional roller coaster ride. Especially when grief is still raw, anything can set tears and grief off – a song, a certain kind of food, an event. There may be days that the person grieving is feeling “okay” and days when he or she feels down in the dumps. Don’t pressure your spouse to “be strong”. It is also important to understand your spouse’s disinterest in sexual intimacy as grief can minimize the desire for sexual or intimate contact.
It can be beneficial to go for family counseling in Utah to help you as a couple or even the whole family to work through the grief. Don’t afraid to accept the support of others. You can also think about joining a support group. Provo marriage counseling can provide you with resources for your and your spouse’s grief.
Let’s start off by acknowledging that fights between spouses are normal. When two people live and relate to each other in the closeness of marriage, they are bound to get into a disagreement. What is important is how they fight and what the couple does after the fight.
The heat of an argument can result in raised voices, unfair accusations and hurtful words. During that time, you may get mad at your spouse. However, after the argument is over, what do you do? Do you kiss and make up? Do you apologize if ever you resorted into unfair fighting practices? When two spouses are able to reconcile and talk about the matter more calmly after the storm has passed, it is a good sign of the strength of a marriage. It shows that despite the anger you felt during the argument, it doesn’t take away the love.
When a couple is able to talk it out after a fight, that very fight can become a learning experience for the couple. First, it teaches the couple to communicate in order to resolve conflict. Second, it enables the couple to explore the ways by which the issue can be properly resolved whenever it comes up in the future. You can also get into an agreement about how you can fight fairly and how you can avoid fighting unfairly whenever you get into a spat.
Talking, reconciling and resolving the issues calmly are ideal behaviors for a couple, according to Utah marriage counselors. However, not all couples behave this way. There are some negative behaviors that a couple can resort to after a fight. Sadly, though, these behaviors are destructive and can wreak more damage on the marriage.
Engaging in passive-aggressive behavior. Passive-aggressive behaviors make a pretense that everything is okay while doing things that say otherwise. For instance, after a fight, one spouse could do the task being argued about but do it so badly that it irritates the other spouse. Or, after an argument, one tries to make it hard for the other person to complete something. Passive-aggressive behavior is rooted in anger which is suppressed and unexpressed. The spouse who tends to behave passive-aggressively may need the help of family counseling in Provo to fight against the temptation of acting that way.
Ignoring the other spouse. Giving the other spouse the silent treatment is another negative behavior after the fight. It is one way to punish or wreak revenge on the other spouse – albeit in an immature and manipulative way. It sends out the message, “Since you did not give in to what I want, I will withhold pretend that I don’t see you, that you don’t even exist.” It is manipulative since the silent treatment attempts to get what the spouse wants. Also, giving your spouse the silent treatment means there was no dialogue between you, your spouse does not fully understand what he or she did wrong. Thus, there is no understanding as to how the situation can be rectified.
Delivering ultimatums. Threatening divorce every time you get into an argument is not helpful, especially if your spouse knows that you don’t really plan to go through with it. It’s a lose-lose proposition. If your spouse recognizes that you’re not serious with your threat, he or she won’t take you seriously. If he or she does comply due to your threats, your spouse will do it but resent it because you are forcing his or her hand.
Keeping tabs on your hurt feelings. Love, as the Bible describes it, keeps no record of wrongs. However, there are people who simply can’t get over the hurt and holds on to the anger (and to the hurt caused by the actions of the other spouse). Past hurts are brought up and rehashed. Over time, the grudges and resentments grow. When left unattended and without the help of couples counseling in Utah, refusing to grant complete forgiveness to a spouse can wreak serious damage to the relationship.
Learning from Fights
Fights are opportunities to learn more about yourself and your spouse. Nothing brings out the worst out of us than that kind of tension. But it is also how you can learn and grow by discovering positive ways to react when you and your partner disagree. Provo marriage counseling can provide you an increased awareness of you and your spouse’s reactions.
Utah marriage counseling can equip you with essential communication skills so that you can effectively resolve conflicts. This includes learning to recognize the negative behaviors you do during and after a fight. It is particularly tempting to indulge in these behaviors but it is important to recognize that these won’t do your marriage any good.
Can a marriage survive infidelity? Can broken trust be regained? Or is infidelity the death knell of a marriage? It is like asking about the effects of a bomb blowing up in the middle of a city. The effects are horrendous and far-reaching. You can’t expect a quick recovery. It will take time and a lot of work to pick up the pieces and try to put them back together again. And really, the rebuilding process may mean that things will not be as they were before.
According to statistics from the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, marital infidelity strikes nearly 40% of marriages – where two-thirds of husbands and one half of wives have been unfaithful in one way of another. The aftermath of an affair is even more bleak – 65% of marriages where a spouse has strayed end in separation and divorce.
However, if you and your spouse are willing to stay together after an affair, there is hope. You can weather the storm and become even stronger as a couple. Getting marriage therapy in UT can also provide you with much-needed perspective and tools towards healing and forgiveness.
Dealing with the aftermath of infidelity will involve not just restoring the relationship, but also digging deep into the reasons why such an affair happened, as well as threshing out the feelings of both the “betrayer” and the betrayed. It is especially important for a couple to heal and move forward – the betrayer from his or her feelings of guilt and the betrayed from his or her feelings of anger, humiliation, bitterness and fears.
Dealing with Adultery
Marriage counseling in Provo can help but it is important to note that a marriage counselor will not make the tough decisions for you and your spouse. It is up to you to decide whether to stay on with the marriage and work towards recovery or to say goodbye. During your marriage’s lowest point, divorce may seem to be the most attractive and logical option. Feelings of anger and betrayal can lead you to this decision but, tempting as it may, it will be helpful to stop and think – especially about fighting for the marriage. That way, you will not have any regrets about not trying “hard enough” to save the relationship.
Here are some key questions to help you decide to stay or go:
– Is the erring spouse giving up the affair? Before there is even a question of rebuilding the marriage, the erring spouse must have turned his or her back on the affair and ended it completely. Is the infidelity a one-off affair (giving in at a moment of weakness) or is it a chronic problem? Is the erring spouse willing to take full responsibility for the act of infidelity? If the erring spouse refuses to stop and is even defiant regarding his or her infidelity, then the betrayed spouse must make the tough decision of whether to stay or to get out of an unhealthy situation.
– Are both spouses willing to rebuild the marriage? For the part of the betrayed spouses, the process of granting forgiveness and getting over the pain is hard. He or she needs to be willing to grant the forgiveness and let go of the negative thoughts and feelings about the cheating spouse’s act. On the other hand, the cheating spouse should learn to accept the natural consequences of his or her betrayal. He or she can expect an emotional roller coaster from the other spouse. The betrayed spouse will need to be able to express his or her pain and anger without the cheating spouse giving in to the urge to fight back.
– Are both spouses are willing to undergo couples counseling in Utah?
There is no “restart button” that you can simply press and have everything back to what it was before. You may need the help of a marriage therapist to help you deal with both the underlying issues that caused the infidelity, as well as with the aftermath of the betrayal. This includes feelings of insecurity, negative thoughts, and rebuilding trust and self-confidence.
The process of healing and rebuilding a marriage after infidelity is long and arduous so you both have to be committed to it and feel that the efforts are well worth it.
For marriage counseling and therapy in Provo, Utah, you can go to Dr. Triston Morgan. Dr. Morgan is not only PREPARE/ENRICH certified, he is also a licensed marriage and family therapist. For years, he has been helping couples in Provo, Utah strengthen and rebuilt marriages and when that fails, to help individuals and children affected by the situation.
How do you view and handle money? Is your tendency to spend or to splurge? Were your parents indulgent and bought you everything you asked for, or did they require you to save up for what you wanted? Were your parents constantly arguing about money? Our experiences, the way we were brought up and the values inculcated by family all contribute towards our “money personality”.
Money personalities may include one or the combination of the following:
– Spender. This is one who thinks that money is to be enjoyed and that things you buy can be used to enhance your life. Shopping is a thrill. The spender has no compunctions about swiping that credit card.
– Saver. This is one who feels the compulsion to cut corners to increase savings. The thrill is in getting a good deal. Thus you will find the saver armed with coupons and would be first in line during sales.
– The Play-It-Safer. Risk averse personalities would invest but choose something that has low rewards but low risk as well. They like seeing money grow slowly but surely.
– Budget-beaver. This is one who likes to ensure that everything is by the budget and expenses are well-planned.
– The Gambler. Gamblers are not scared with the toss of the dice – investments that have risks but yield high rewards.
– The Dreamer. This is someone who has certain goals and is willing to work and save towards these goals.
Marriage and our money personality
And we bring this money personality into our marriage. And often, this is what causes conflicts between couples. When two individuals with differing money personalities unite and decide to combine finances, you can expect conflicts to arise. A husband may raise his eyebrows at the credit card statement that shows a wife’s shopping spree. A wife may complain about the household expense account. A spouse may feel that the other partner has unrealistic expectations on savings. There may be disagreements about how much to spend, whether to have separate or joint accounts and so on. A couple may need time to adjust to each other’s money personalities.
So how do you deal with the differences in money personality? Here are some tips:
– Recognize that there will be differences. You can’t expect you and your spouse to have the same money personality. What is key is for you to understand you and your spouse’s money personality and that each personality has its own advantages and disadvantages. This is your starting point as you and your spouse discuss how you can deal with your differing personalities. It is also important to recognize that money personality differences can be helpful if you are able to communicate and deal with your differences effectively.
– Discuss money personalities prior to marriage. Ideally, money personalities prior to marriage. This is where pre-marital counseling can help.
– Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. Your spouse is not there to make things difficult for you. His or her financial decisions are driven by his or her money personality. Recognizing this will help you communicate better and avoid accusing.
– Talk about money while there is no conflict. Schedule times when you can both sit down and discuss your budget, investments and bills. It is best to have these discussions while emotions (and tempers) are not running hot. It will also be helpful for you to set guidelines on how you will handle your money.
– Understand your spouse’s needs and expressions of love. Your money personality will also point towards how you perceive love. For instance, a spender will take delight in showering his spouse with gifts. However, if his spouse is a saver, it will only annoy the spouse to see that her spouse is spending money on “unnecessaries”.
– Get counseling. Oftentimes, it is helpful to go for couples counseling in Provo when the conflict becomes too complicated for you to handle. Therapy can help you gain deeper insights on your and your spouse’s money personality.
Marriage therapy in Provo, Utah
For Provo, Utah marriage therapy in Provo, Utah, you can visit Dr. Triston Morgan. Dr. Morgan has years of experience in helping build relationships and providing couples counseling. He is a marriage and family therapist licensed to practice in the state of Utah.