Sometimes you simply can’t work out your marital issues on your own and need a 3rd party to untangle this emotional web. Dr. Ron Rice brings over 25 years of experience in counseling couples who are involved in a broken relationship. Call Dr. Rice today at (248) 760-2571.
“What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility.” - Leo Tolstoy
It is my professional experience that each and every couple is unique. And yet there are some common denominators for those who are having marital difficulties. Please answer honestly the following questions. Do you feel unloved and unappreciated? Do you feel that you are not a priority in the marriage? Do you feel that your partner tries to control you? Do you feel taken for granted? Do you feel that your spouse never really “listens” to you? Do you and your partner get bogged down on “who is right and who is wrong”? Do you spend less and less time together? Do you find that you argue a great deal with each of you only feeling angry and resentful? If you answered “yes” to some or most of these items, you are NOT ALONE. Most importantly, help is available.
The symptoms defining a marriage with problems are infinite. However, the questions above can be summarized into some very basic concepts:
- Unrealistic expectations
- Communication problems
- Not fighting fairly
- Destructive means of solving problems
As a psychologist, I find it amazing that the real problem is that most couples do not have any idea about how to have a really mature marriage, based on respect, intimacy, caring and love. They lack the skills, resources, and information on how to interact in ways that are constructive to a marriage. It is interesting to note that with most couples who are having marital problems, it is often what is not being said that is just as important as other issues, i.e. not talking about feelings, resentments, etc. With almost all couples with the above problems, marital therapy can be a powerful source of growth toward a meaningful relationship based on new learning.
Just in the case of causes of marital difficulties, there are many solution strategies that need to be used based on the unique situation of the couple. However, here again, we know some basic ideas that are absolutely necessary for marital therapy to result in a positive outcome.
- Couples must accept the reality that they will have to look at their issues or problems together, no matter how painful it may be to do so. Nothing can be “left off the table”.
- During the stress of a difficult marriage, one person may say something like, “maybe we should get divorced”? These comments are counter-productive but understandable. In most cases, individuals don’t really want a divorce but are expressing a great deal of frustration, anger, and helplessness.
- Couples should never separate if they want to explore ways to make the marriage better. People often state that they need “their own space” for a while. Separation is almost always the first step toward a divorce. The exception to this rule is when there is physical violence is threatened or occurring at which point the couple needs to separate immediately.
- Couples must acknowledge that solving marital problems is HARD WORK. They must understand that their problems did not develop overnight and that it will take significant time for progress to occur. DO NOT expect immediate results. Some progress can be expected however within a few weeks.
- Good results in marital therapy is dependent on being able to get a good assessment of each participant as well as an full understanding of the dynamics of the relationship. To accomplish this task I will meet with each individual one time followed by a meeting with both parties. After these three interviews we will have a good idea of the problems and we will establish goals and strategies for progress to occur toward a more satisfying, mature, and rewarding marriage.
If you are having problems in your marriage, don’t despair. Marital counseling is an excellent way to create a marriage that you never thought possible. It is clearly hard work but the results are great. Dr. Ron Rice has provided marital counseling to over 500 couples over the course of his career as a Clinical Psychologist.