Marriage and Couples Therapy
”Good relationships just don’t happen. They take time, patience and two people
who want to be together”
Couples and Marital Counseling
Keeping a relationship healthy and happy over time takes time and energy. It is wonderful when a couple in a troubled relationship is able to recognize and jointly work out their differences. This process is not always easy, however. Once problems have started to become chronic, emotional disconnect builds and compromise can often feel unsafe. In such cases, the safe and protected counseling offered by a marital or couples therapist can make the difference between a marriage that survives versus one that thrives!
Some signs that your relationship would benefit from therapy:
“When it’s just too frightening to even bring issues up — from sex to money, or even annoying little habits that are being blown out of proportion, a therapist’s job is to help the couple become clear about their issues and to help them understand what they are truly talking about.”
Your Sex Life has Significantly Changed
Most feel that when there is a loss of intimacy, there are problems. While this is true, it is also important to be mindful of a sudden increase. If you have not been having regular or passionate sex and all of a sudden your partner behaves like a courting lover or wants to experiment with new activities that s/he has never expressed an interest in before, it could indicate that he is experiencing feelings of arousal that are not originating from his relationship with you!
Holding on to the Past
It might be a good idea to talk to a professional when there has been a traumatic event in your lives, like the loss of a child or an affair – and one partner cannot let the past go. Whatever the situation, every person processes trauma differently.
A Reoccurring Issue
One type of red flag that can be greatly helped by therapy is an issue that has been difficult in the relationship from the beginning, but regardless of endless discussions, never seems to pass. “When you see that the same issues are coming up again and again in disagreements, it is a good sign they are not effectively being resolved and the couple is at a ‘sticking point’.
Disagreements over money are one of the top reasons couples find themselves in conflict. If your spouse keeps you in the dark about family finances or feels the need to control everything related to money, it may be time to speak up. Conversely, perhaps you both feel that your spending is unhealthy and seek more moderation with your finances.
Yes, children are a blessing, but they can also add stress to your marriage, especially if the two of you are not a united front. Seek counseling if you disagree with each other’s parenting styles and frequently argue about how your children should be raised.
You Still Love Your Spouse
If you still love your spouse, really want to make things work, and haven’t been successful, then consider finding a counselor. You need to seek advice before things escalate. “Be a proactive couple who strives to solve issues before they tear at the fabric of your deepest bonds of trust and intimacy.”
Why Fox Valley Institute?
The experienced therapists at Fox Valley Institute teach you how to view your relationship differently, and how to manage those times when it feels like you are going through the white water rapids and life seems unmanageable.
Relationships ebb and flow like a river. Sometimes they are fast and exciting. Sometimes they meander and move very slowly; and sometimes they are like raging, troublesome waters. The counselors at Fox Valley Institute give each couple (or individual) hope for a partnership that will be different than it was before they came in to see us.
We help you with information backed by research that will educate you and your spouse concerning:
- The myths about marriages
- Identifying specific problem areas
- Strengths you already possess in the relationship
- Solutions to those reoccurring arguments
- The role your primary family may play in your interactions
- Specific tools for building a different partnership
- Approaches to manage conflict
- Strategies to reconstruct the marriage
- Methods to change interactive patterns
- Techniques to enhance friendship
- Ways to feel emotionally connected again
“The ‘honeymoon’ phase in any committed relationship is not meant to last; eventually it becomes obvious that sharing life with another person requires a special set of skills. Most couples start to come apart because our culture doesn’t teach us how to maintain and strengthen these skills.”
What are the benefits of talking to a marriage/couples therapist?
- Understand you might feel disconnected and fearful
- Recognize you desire a deeper level of intimacy
- Help you re-establish trust again
- Grasp complex relational dynamics
- Appreciate the uniqueness of both partners’ thoughts, emotions, and feelings
- Offer techniques backed by research that lead to tangible results
- Give specific tools so you can better understand your spouse and restore your relationship
“The most recent rigorous research suggests that marriage reduces depressive symptoms for both men and women.”
Kim, Hyoun K., and Patrick McKenry (2002)
The Relationship Between Marriage and Psychological Well-Being
At Fox Valley Institute, we offer a confidential, safe and comfortable space for our clients. From evening and weekend appointment times, to our warm and soothing waiting room, your well-being is a priority.
To make an appointment at Fox Valley Institute, click “Contact Us” at the bottom of this page.
Do You Truly Know Your Partner?
- I can name my partner’s best friends.
- I know what stresses my partner is currently facing.
- I know the names of some of the people who have been irritating my partner lately.
- I can tell you some of my partner’s life dreams.
- I can tell you about my partner’s basic philosophy of life.
- I can list the relatives my partner likes the least.
- I feel that my partner knows me pretty well.
- When we are apart, I often think fondly of my partner.
- I often touch or kiss my partner affectionately.
- My partner really respects me.
- There is fire and passion in this relationship.
- Romance is definitely still part of our relationship.
- My partner appreciates the things I do in this relationship.
- My partner generally likes my personality.
- Our sex life is mostly satisfying.
- At the end of the day my partner is glad to see me.
- My partner is one of my best friends.
- We just love talking to each other.
- There is lots of give and take (both people have influence) in our discussions.
- My partner listens respectfully, even when we disagree.
- My partner is usually a great help as a problem solver.
- We generally mesh well on basic values and goals in life.
John M. Gottman, Ph.D.
The Top 7 Way to Improve Your Marriage – www.gottman.com