Marriage Counseling can Help You Create a Loving Relationship
Couples counseling can be one of the most effective ways of ensuring that your marriage will be as beautiful as your wedding was. Divorce, it seems, has become commonplace in our society – we’re always hearing about the latest celebrity break-up. We also hear about celebrity weddings, but rarely talk about what it takes to plan a beautiful life and relationship together.
On the red carpet last night at the premier of The Dark Knight Rises, Ann Hathaway spoke with an E! News reporter about her her excitement regarding her upcoming wedding. At the same time, other news reports were busy talking about the divorce between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. But maybe it’s time we all talked less about weddings and divorces, and talked more about marriages.
Someone once told me that they had never seen an ugly wedding, but had seen plenty of ugly marriages. Interesting observation. Why is it that for so many couples the beautiful flowers, heartfelt vows, and hopeful joy of their wedding day can so quickly turn into angry outbursts, verbal attacks, hopeless tears, and threats of divorce? The divorce rate in America is staggering: up to 50% of first marriages end in divorce. For second and third marriages the numbers are even worse: 67% and 73% respectively. That seems to blow the “I married the wrong person” theory right out of the water. If the problem is that we are naive and unskilled at choosing a mate the first time around, then we should be better at it the second or third time around. But research on marriages and divorces tells us something very different. It seems that people who get divorced in their first marriages did not have the relationship skills needed to build a lasting union, so without taking a difficult and honest look at themselves, and without learning new skills, they repeat the same mistakes in their second or third marriages.
How to Create and Sustain a Happy Marriage
The catch 22 is that the skills needed to create a good marriage are not skills that most of us have before marriage. So without new learning, we set ourselves (and our spouses) up for failure. Think about it: Would you consider a drastic career change without expecting you’d have to take some new training? One would never think of switching from being an accountant to being a lawyer without going to law school. Yet, that’s exactly what most people do when they get married. The make the biggest change of their lives, and expect to not have to learn any new skills to succeed at it! Most couples who come to my marriage counseling office in Plantation FL are baffled that their marriages aren’t working, and often conclude that it’s their partner’s fault. This“I must have married the wrong person theory” simply isn’t true in the majority of cases. Every marriage has areas of commonality and difference, but the key is learning how to bridge the gaps successfully. Couples counseling is a place where you can learn new skills and approaches to create the relationship you really want.
Are you ready for that tough, yet wonderful, adventure they call “marriage”?
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Dr. Chantal Gagnon
Dr. Chantal Marie Gagnon, Ph.D., LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist, relationship counselor, and life coach in Plantation, Florida. Dr. Gagnon provides individual therapy, family counseling services, and couples therapy in her Plantation, FL office. Coaching services are available nationwide.
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