Relationships

Marital Strength vs. Marital Stress

Marital Strength vs. Marital Stress www.herviewfromhome.com
Written by Seanne Emerton

Remember how it felt on your wedding day? The anticipation and excitement? Unfortunately, over 50% of marriages in this country end in divorce. Second marriages have a higher likelihood of failure. We “tie the knot” only to discover life has its own way of adding knots and bringing us to “the end” of our ropes. There is good news: couples counseling can improve your relationship and communication, and maybe get you back on the road to a happier future.

If you are seriously concerned about your relationship and wonder if it needs help, chances are it does. Research has shown that couples often wait many years after they first notice problems before seeking couples counseling. This makes couples counseling less likely to be effective, and it can take longer. Long-term resentment can sabotage couples counseling because the desire to have your relationship work is a key to success. So the earlier you make a decision to seek couples counseling the better.

Although couples are unique, few problems are new to couples counselors. Sexual issues, money problems, addictions, children and parenting issues, religion differences, in-law difficulties, and communication issues are common struggles. Infidelity and cheating, jealousy, balancing work and home, differences in goals and values, and concerns about compatibility all bring couples into counseling. Unaddressed, these issues often lead to significant conflict.

Couples with children also have to consider how their marital problems affect their children. In his book, Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child, Dr. John Gottman describes his research showing that marital conflict:

   1. gets in the way of the child’s ability to form healthy relationships;
   2. negatively affects the child’s schoolwork; and
   3. increases the child’s susceptibility to illnesses.

Parents who learn to effectively resolve conflict reduce anxiety in the family system and teach their kids tools to enjoy healthy relationships. Whether you have children or not, it is important to resolve any marital problems as soon as possible after they begin. Family Resources has licensed marriage and family therapists and mental health practitioners with skill and experience in working with couples.

About the author

Seanne Emerton

Seanne is a Central Nebraska woman with deep roots. She and her husband still live on the land that has been in her family for six generations. While she loves to travel (especially to visit their grown sons and families in Denver and Boston), she loves returning to the open spaces of the Midwest. Seanne has been a marriage and family therapist for over 25 years. She loves the work and loves continually learning new ways to help strengthen relationships. She is the founder and owner of Family Resources of Greater NE, P.C. with offices in Grand Island, Kearney, York and Broken Bow.

Seanne loves working with all kinds of people including facilitating individuals, families and businesses in growing their potential by using positive psychology. She is certified in assessing and coaching Emotional Intelligence and delights in building resiliency and happiness with her clients.

Her side passion is designing and officiating personalized wedding ceremonies for couples as a Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant. She serves the Midwest area with her Celebrant work and loves the creative process of helping couples create a one-of-a-kind, memorable ceremony.

1 Comment

  • Nicely done. I think it’s helpful to have a third party (counselor or pastor, for example) even if your relationship isn’t in distress! Effective communication and respect is key in any marriage and there should be no shame in asking for help.