Is Your Marriage Worth Saving?
By: Pare Radillo, LPC-Intern
Debbie Tudor, LPC-Supervisor
Rockwall Counseling, PA
Is your marriage worth saving? Many times couples or individuals come into counseling with this very question at hand. So, how do we go about answering this as a team, or even you as the individual? It’s hard to put a definitive answer on something that is based so much on emotion and years of ups and downs. Add a few children and finances in the mix, and it can become a very overwhelming decision to face. This question can be something that has been contemplated by the couple for a long time, with every day having a different answer. Now for whatever reason you have come to feel pushed into a corner, a timeline, of having to answer yes or no.
So where do we start?
We start by working through how you currently value your marriage. On what scale are you able to say “I’m happy with my marriage today” or “I’m unhappy in this relationship?” Sometimes we find that we have been placing our value on things that are unrealistic or unhealthy. These can be messages from our past or social media expectations. Regardless of the source, we begin by looking at changing these into healthy and realistic values.
After looking through how you value your marriage we can immediately begin to change the nature of the marriage by changing your thoughts or actions alone, and begin to have a happier person working on a marriage. Many times this alone, can change the fate of your relationship. However, sometimes this isn’t enough to save it.
Can your marriage change dramatically by changing you alone? Yes, and this is the first step you should take before taking action to end your marriage. However, sometimes people intentionally work to grow on themselves to become healthier, yet find that they are still unhappy in their marriage. This can be due to the other person not willing to work on becoming healthier themselves. If one partner is looking at the other to provide their happiness, this is a definite direction for an unhappy relationship.
Marriage takes two people working on themselves. Partners should learn to focus on their own needs vs. constantly focusing on how to meet their partners’. The truth is, we cannot make other people as happy as we can make ourselves.
A marriage is always worth saving if both people feel it is worth working to save, and work towards it in a healthy, safe, respectful way. My counseling services allow couples and individuals an opportunity to do just this: assess, process, and begin transforming their lives into healthier and happier ones.
1) Increased desire to sleep
2) Craving high-carbohydrate foods
4) Decreased energy levels during short winter days
5) Winter weight gain
Remedies include: exercise, increasing your exposure to outdoor light (even on cloudy days), using bright lights inside, light therapy boxes, postponing ambitious resolutions until spring, and other skills I can give you for coping. Counseling for depression and anxiety, getting depression help are critical for making it through until spring arrives. The use of antidepressants among Americans has increased 400 percent since the late 1980s, yet less than a third of those taking a drug have seen a mental health professional in the last year.
New Year’s Resolutions?
Winter’s short days and cold weather, coupled with post-holiday exhaustion, may mean this is not your best time to begin ambitious changes. Set very small goals in the beginning, and applaud your success as you go. Medication for anxiety or depression without concurrent” talk” therapy is merely masking the problem without a long term solution.
1) higher confidentiality standards (no insurance accepted)
2) Email support between sessions
3) Coordinate care with your medical provider, if you wish
4) Quality Assessments done periodically
5) Progress updates every 6th session
6) Handouts to reinforce what you’ve learned
8) Testing for depression and anxiety, with actual test numbers reported
Getting the Most out of Therapy
No matter if you are coming in for depression help, anxiety help, divorce recovery, or other issues, many factors determine the depth of relief and satisfaction a client experiences from their counseling. Here are some suggestions for making your therapeutic experience the best possible:
1) Be totally honest. Believe me, I’ve heard every story. The human condition contains basic elements that exist in all problems presented, and you’re not going to shock me, nor am I going to disapprove of you!
2) Be open to new ways of thinking. Although you are free to examine, use, or discard any suggestions I make, remember that behavior change is required for growth. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.”
3) Understand the difference in professional therapy and “talking to a friend.” A minimum of six years of college, two of them in human behavior, is required to legally practice as a counselor. All six of my years are in this field. We are also required to get several thousand hours of internship experience and supervision before being licensed.
4) Expect some resistance from family or friends. Change, even good change, can be threatening, and comes with a price. Your relationships will change because your world changes when YOU change. There will be people in your life who resist this, who want you to “stay in your box.” It is indeed necessary to rock the boat for things to ultimately improve.
5) Do your homework. The true change of the therapy experience only takes place outside of the office, as you test the new ideas I give you and report the results back to me.
6) Journal, journal, and journal some more. The research is compelling: journaling continues the therapeutic progress outside of the session, releases tension, and moves you forward faster.
7) Attend as regularly and as often as possible. It’s also smart to come in occasionally after therapy has ended if you sense a downturn in mood or thinking.
8) Be patient with yourself. It took you a lifetime to develop these thinking patterns; it will take more than a session or two to change them!
9) Make notes after the session. Ideally, schedule enough free time after your therapy to go somewhere and process what came up.
Call me at 972-672-1957 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further help!
PLEASE PUT A NUMBER BESIDE HOW YOU HAVE FELT IN THE PAST SEVEN DAYS:
Never=1 Rarely=2 Sometimes=3 Often=4 Always=5
1) I felt worthless
2) I felt I had nothing to look forward to
3) I felt helpless
4) I felt sad
5) I felt like a failure
6) I felt depressed
7) I felt unhappy
8) I felt hopeless
These items indicate the main symptoms of depression. The more you answer “Often” and “Always,” the more likely you need to see a professional for clinical testing. Depression is a serious and often fatal illness!