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2nd part of a series

by Jamie Alan

Part II of “Ten Tactics & Strategies to Help Save Your Marriage”

6. Getting Active. Start something new for yourself. Get motivated and get moving on something that you have been putting off or always wanted to do but just never had the time. The more you work on other parts of your life the more complete you will be. You must become the person you once were when you first got married and to do that is by just being you. Doing an activity that is productive and that has been in your mind will facilitate this process entirely. Plus the energy that surrounds you from your achievements will be positive and will reflect onto others in example your partner.

I cannot stress this enough. Sometimes marriage can seem a bit consuming when there is trouble and this makes it impossible to view objectively. Passion is the enemy of precision and will deter you from seeing any solution that may present itself. By concentrating on something other than your marriage you can distance yourself from it and see things a lot more clearly.

This will also build up your confidence in yourself as well as give you more energy by raising your natural serotonin levels. All this will make you more appealing, attractive, desirable as a person. So you will in no way be wasting your time. Your marriage is worth the work and consequently so are you!

7. Project a Positive Self Image. Even if you feel like you are dying on the inside, do not let it show.At least not to your spouse. The more you act happy, the better the chance you will end up happy. At first this will seem like a completely fake and stupid thing to do but it will help you in your marriage crises in ways you cannot see at the moment. Studies indicate that the more positive energy that you project outward the more positive energy tends to return back to you in relationships.

This is a lot like ’emotional hot potato,’ or the ‘domino effect’. An example: The fathers boss screams at him and in turn he goes home and yells at his wife. She(the mother) in turn scolds her son harshly for leaving out the milk and he then, the son torments his little sister who then smacks the dog for… You get the point. It can be just like that only in reverse. Positive images create positive attitudes. The more uplifting you can be the better off the situation can tumble upwards.

One important thing to keep in mind is to use common sense in applying this. If you are truly angry or upset over something do not repress it, nor let it all out at once. This is just a suggestive guideline to save your marriage and not something solid or complete. There are times when it would be inappropriate for you to deny yourself of your true feelings. Not to mention unhealthy.

The best thing for this is to have someone to talk to. Someone you can trust, & let out your frustrations and complaints to. It does not always need to be a therapist in order to be therapeutic. It can be your mother, father, friend or whoever. Just make it a point to identify with your feelings and not to bottle them up. Which can make things much worse.

8. Learn Some New Ways To Approach Your Concerns. Obviously the ways you address your problems are currently not working all that well. Find new creative ways that will work, like using *I* statements when your asking for changes. When your spouse does something that your not happy with address it right away before it builds up and gets out of hand.

Think about it first and then with calm and collective premeditation help them understand the reason behind your requests in place of pointing a judgmental finger.Try them out on others,(that do not mean as much) first, before adding pressure to your already stressed marriage relationship.

9. Do Not Apologize Anymore. This one is another common sense suggestion. What I am talking about is when you make the one you love feel uncomfortable in front of others or something similar. Just say that next time you will definitely know better.

If you get into the habit of constantly apologizing for things it can get annoying, plus subconsciously this makes for admittance to wrong doing. If you apologize you are making plain that you are at fault and that something is wrong. Never apologize, instead suggest a solution out loud and remark that it was unintentional.

10. Empower Yourself To Your Situation. Knowledge is the key to power. Get the best information you can find on helping you save your marriage.This advice is critical and must be from outside of your circle of friends. Just make sure it is up to date and from a dedicated professional.

Unfortunately, the best advice is not something you will find for free; otherwise it is not “THE BEST”. The best advice works and it sells for exactly that reason. A professional or expert, went to school and was trained in what provides the best solutions possible to save your marriage. Otherwise, the information would not be worth selling. Chances are if the information is selling well, then the information also works well too.

The good thing here, is that it does not have to cost an arm and a leg and it will certainly be much cheaper and easier than divorce. Marriage help is best begun from the bottom up. Start with an e-book, to find out if your marriage needs the more intensive treatment and more expensive “Marriage Counseling”. It will be worth it in the long run because your marriage situation will improve and you will learn more of what you can do about any future marriage problems.

Saving your marriage is a learning process. This will come from finding out about what other marriages going through and what has worked for them.The right Information is the key to empowering yourself and giving you the confidence and reassurance that you are doing what is right.

There is so much more to learn for your specific marriage situation. Certain anecdotes that others apply may very well be all that you need to change things around and progress back into a happy marriage. Getting the marriage that you deserve is something you have to decide and want by taking action. Things will only continue to get more entangled the longer you put it off.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jamie_Alan

Marriage_couple_older_back_beach_513x341by Jamie Alan

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Marriage is not easy because life is not easy. Once you begin a life together, problems will come up. There are certain things you will need to learn in order to save your marriage and improve your relationship. When we are emotional, we tend to let it get the best of us before we even realize it. Using certain strategies and tactics used in everyday life can help avoid some of our unhealthy emotional reactions

If your marriage is experiencing problems and divorce has come up, then chances are good that it is a cry for help from your spouse. It is a vital warning sign that saying; “If things do not get better, then it is over”. This is your chance to save your marriage and make things better.

It is very important that you learn the right things to do here because the wrong move, could make things worse. It could speed up the process or finalize the decision of divorce.

It is obviously a critical time for your marriage and if you intend on staying married you will need to find the right information and apply it correctly. There is so much involved that it is not possible to cover everything, all at once right here, but there are some actions you can take to get things started.

I will provide ten different strategies to help save your marriage and stop divorce from being inevitable. The things that you can do during the period of time when your spouse is considering divorce are best provided by professionals who are experts on this subject. Taking action on your own can actually cause more harm than good. So be extremely careful to find the right, the best information to save your marriage.

The guidelines to follow in an attempt to reverse your spouse from contemplating divorce are simple enough to learn, however, to apply them and put them into practice are a different story. It requires a certain amount of determination, devotion, and self-discipline on your part but you absolutely can save your marriage if you utilize these requirements.

This will not be easy, but will certainly be worth it in the end, once your marriage relationship is back on track and your life can begin improving overall.

The ten strategies to save your marriage & stop divorce are listed in order of what to do first, then following the sequence chronologically. In other words, try not to skip ahead or start in the middle as each one requires support of the previous step.

1. Give them space. Especially if there was recently a big blow-up. Yet even if there was not one, still let things go for at least 24 hrs. if not longer. People need time to process what is happening to them. The more you agitate the situation the more desperate you appear and the more problems seem to be piling up on them. If it appears that there is just more of the same then the decision for divorce will be an easier more firm one to make.

If you allow them time to think things through they will ultimately reason out that divorce is a huge deal and final too. They will not rush this decision unless you apply more pressure. Even though your intentions are to convince them otherwise it will not come out that way during this time. It is a delicate balance of subtlety and silence.

Quietness builds character and mystery. Once your spouse is through contemplating their thoughts will then turn to what they wonder you are thinking. IF you are constantly telling them what you think then they have no need to wonder about what your thinking.

2. Analyze and Identify with yourself. During this time of *SPACE* do some inventory of yourself and find out what it is that you can either improve on or discontinue doing that may have caused issue or problems previously. Identify the major issues that you believe you do that are responsible for causing the trouble. Once you have done an adequate amount of self-reflection then ‘quietly’ ask yourself what your spouse does,(without blaming them) that bothers you.

It is more important that you analyze yourself first & also more intensive than your spouse because blaming others is easy. Saving your marriage means saving yourself. Taking responsibility for yourself is the real challenge.

One thing I like to do is write down all my shortcomings, inadequacies, and faults. It makes it a lot easier to see and then I will list them in order of importance. Devise a way to catch yourself from continuing on in the same manner, so that you can improve on your faults. Then, ask yourself if this is something that your spouse is also guilty of, and if so will they be willing to admit to it.

The important thing to remember here is this is more about you than your spouse. It should be focused on you so that you and your spouse can better relate and get along. Find the one most important thing that you believe bothers your spouse and focus all your work on resolving this particular issue. Make that change and make it clear that you have made that change.

3. Break the Silence, Softly. After all your reflection and self analyzing, gently ask your partner if you can explain something to them. Be as soft and sincere as you possibly can. The way in which you approach your spouse is very important to how you will be received. If you are still the same then they will not believe what it is you have to explain. Then ask them if they have thought more about it. Listen, to them intently and then begin explaining to them what you have just done.

Consistently keeping eye contact until a certain point and then explain to them that this is about yourself and not them. Tell them you have thought a lot about everything and that you have come to the conclusion that you need to work on yourself.

Explain how you both owe it to your marriage to try your very best otherwise you may look back on your lives with regret. No one wants to think back to what might have been and in almost every case of divorce this ends up being the case. People always report wondering, ‘Did I do everything I could? Was there something I over-looked?’ Explain this to them so that they understand how necessary it is to be thorough. Divorce is serious business and involves a whole lot of outside elements beyond your marriage.

4. Remind them of A Happier Time in Your Relationship. This is very important. Get them reflecting on positive things about the relationship and what it means to the both of you. This will help in reminding them of the reasons you both got married in the first place, you fell in love. You wanted to spend the rest of your life with this each other and you knew there would be some hard times. Through sickness and health good times and the bad.

Tell them that this is also very difficult for you and that you are willing to do whatever it takes to make your marriage work. Explain to them that you want to know that you both did everything possible before getting a divorce so that you will not look back in regret like so many others do. The next part is very difficult but very effective and before you think it is crazy check out the statistics.

5. Suggest Trial Separation. Do not just suggest this as a bluff, but be completely ready to do this. Actually mean it and be prepared to do it. At least for a given amount of time. Statistics indicate that marriages that go through with this, actually became stronger and did not divorce as opposed to those that stayed together. The married couples that tried to work things out and stayed together ended up in divorce court and never got back together. Those that went through a separation stayed married. This is the facts. Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder and you will both miss each other and reflect on what is really important, Your Marriage!

Be sure to indicate that this in no way, shape, or form suspends the oaths you have made to each other. You should both remain faithful in every way. Just because you are taking time apart does not mean you ARE apart. Set up guidelines and make sure everything is clear and then stick to it.

The amount of time apart should be settled on between you both and should also be long enough, though not too long. This is why it is so important to get more explicitly detailed information from professionals who are expert on dealing with this kind of thing. It works and is extremely effective in maintaining a healthy, happy, marriage relationship between you are your loved one.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jamie_Alan

Troubled marriage? Restore the Love

Remember?

by Don Sizemore

What if you could save 73% of the troubled marriages that come through your door?

Marriage is precious. It is the building block of society. If you save a marriage, you save a family and if you save a family maybe you save a culture. This is not hyperbole, it is documented research findings. Every social science study on the affect of marriage for adults and children demonstrates its dramatic impact on health, wealth, and well being. It is virtually indisputable that a good and lasting marriage is the best investment anyone can make, irrespective that we are hard wired to connect and multiply. Married people live longer, are more likely to avoid significant health issues and they build more wealth, and their children are more likely to make life work for them.

We have the means to restore struggling marriages, and not only restore but form lasting emotional bonds that make us safe, secure, and happy. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a primary tool of restoration as the most researched and documented effective couples therapy. A meta-analysis of several studies found that 73% of couples treated with EFT recovered from their distress and 86% made significant improvement in their relationship. These are outstanding results for any type of counseling, much less with distressed couples who wonder if they are sleeping in the same bed with their enemy.

About five years ago, I became interested in EFT. In the past two years I have entered into a training program developed by the founder of EFT (Dr. Sue Johnson). I have been a licensed therapist for over thirty years and this certification process is the most comprehensive, demanding and effective post graduate study training I have ever experienced. This is not attend a seminar, fill out a survey and get your certificate. Dr. Johnson and her organization (ICEEFT) have “protected their brand”. You have confidence in your competency to practice EFT when you complete the certification process.

That is why I am writing you. Seven out of every ten couples you refer will find their way back to each other. Almost nine out of ten will see significant improvement. I invested the time and money to be trained in EFT because marriage is too important, especially today, not to provide the best chance possible for saving a marriage, a family, and maybe a culture.

Introduce your organization to EFT through a “Hold Me Tight” seminar.

Schedule an Office Visit

Is there a couple you know in crisis? A Three Day Intensive may be what is needed.

There are tons of articles written on business plans, marketing strategies, taxing planning, car maintenance and so on. But is the same type of analysis ever recommended for the most important job in your life, that of being a spouse? Your marriage may be very good, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t review your current situation to determine areas of improvement. Maybe there is a particular pet peeve that annoys your spouse. Have you done anything to address this “flaw” in your personality? Or has the attitude been: he or she can deal with it.

Take a step back and look at your marriage over the past year. Is your marriage flourishing? Which is doing better – your marriage or your business? Which do you spend more time on?

Are you spending more hours at the office and less at home? Are you spending more hours glued to some “electronic leash” and having less social interaction with your family?

Issues can crop up slowly over the course of time and don’t reveal themselves until the problem is serious. Perform some preventive medicine with your marriage. Look at your marriage over the past six months. A year. Pick out any areas of improvement. Discuss them with your spouse, if necessary.

Bottom line: don’t let your marriage ride on auto pilot. Maybe the next time you take your car in for an oil change, you can also spend a few minutes reviewing your relationship.

@WeddedWisdom

by D. P. Haynes

Married and feeling desperate, disappointed, discouraged and unhappy is not what most couples signed up for when they said “I do.” Married and dealing with infidelity, loneliness, low self-esteem, lack of communication, disrespect and unhappiness is definitely not what was expected with your marriage commitment. Well, statistics show that over 50% of the marriages today end up in divorce. I can give you 2 reasons (in my humble opinion) why there is unhappiness in most of the marriages that end up in divorce. Selfishness and lack of love!

In a broad sense there are some common problems in a marriage that take the marriage from a blissful relationship to that unhappy marriage stage such as;

  • Abuse (Physical and Emotional)
  • Communication
  • Fighting
  • Commitment by one or both spouses
  • Infidelity
  • Money
  • Intimacy
  • Jealousy

 All of the above issues can lead to an unhappy marriage. If you have been married for a little while (it doesn’t take long) you probably stumbled upon one of these issues. You may not have become unhappy with your marriage but a brief flash of “oh no what did I get myself into” probably popped into your head. If you haven’t hit one of these marriage hurdles yet, trust me you will.

Let’s deal with the selfishness that ignites a lot of the fires in a marriage and turns them from happy to an unhappy marriage.

Here is the definition of selfish just for the record; devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.

A very selfish person is very difficult to either be happy in a marriage or make a spouse happy, unless they change and become less selfish during the marriage. Marriage is a commitment between 2 people being joined together as one. It’s no longer my stuff and your stuff, or my time and your time or my money and your money. Everything is now “ours” once you get married. A very selfish person is unwilling to put their spouses’ interests, benefits, and welfare first. This can lead to an unhappy marriage.

Can an unselfish person be responsible for making the marriage unhappy? The answer of course is yes. However, I believe you have a much greater chance of having a happy marriage instead of an unhappy marriage because an unselfish person is more likely to grow together with their unselfish spouse and become like one.

To make a marriage become better and go from being an unhappy marriage to a happy marriage we need to get the selfish spouse(s) to see how putting their interests ahead of the spouse or in some cases the entire family is causing frustration, hurt, disappointment and could lead to unintended results, such as a divorce.

Now let’s tackle the love or lack of love that makes a marriage unhappy.

Here is the Webster definition of love; a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.

Here is a better definition that I like and if it exists in a marriage there is a greater chance for happiness instead of an unhappy marriage; Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. That’s the real meaning of love according to the Bible. I don’t think you can have an unhappy marriage with this kind of love.

Does it mean that if you love your spouse with this kind of love you will never have issues to overcome in your marriage? Of course not! However, do you think you have a better shot of having a happy or unhappy marriage?

So the key to being happy or working towards fixing an unhappy marriage is less selfishness and more love. Sounds pretty simple but is very difficult to do. It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks right? WRONG!

Every person is capable of change. It’s called making a commitment to doing so and following through. If you want to stop smoking you can. If you want to stop drinking too much alcohol you can. If you want to stop gaining weight you can. If you want to be happier in your marriage you can. The only difference is sometimes it takes both spouses to be willing to change for the sake of making an unhappy marriage better.

Here are 8 basic things or tips you can work on to move from the unhappy marriage stage to the happy stage of marriage. If you and your spouse can work toward the same goal, that would be best. If not, you make a commitment to make things better and your spouse will come around eventually.

  1. Fighting fair– Don’t bring up things from the past that were supposed to be forgiven and forgotten. It’s like pouring salt on an open wound. Don’t say hurtful things about your spouse that you know will cause a lot of pain, and add to unhappiness in the marriage.
  2. Stop sweating the small stuff– Make it a point to stop getting aggravated, frustrated and disappointed over little things that really aren’t that important. Overlook the little things that you normally complain about that gets under your skin. You know what they are.
  3. Enjoy being around your spouse– Don’t disappear when your spouse comes home or when they enter the room your in. Stop acting like you enjoy life more when they are out of the house, out of town or at least not in the same room as you. Let your spouse know that you enjoy it when you are together.
  4. Don’t talk negative about your spouse to others– It’s very easy to share what’s wrong with your spouse that’s driving you crazy. Stop doing that immediately. No spouse likes to be talked about in that way. It’s not okay to make jokes about your spouse around family or friends that betrays a trust. If you don’t have anything positive to say don’t say anything.
  5. Talk to your spouse– It’s not okay to go hours or days playing the silent I’m not talking to you game. There is nothing gained by shutting down and not talking to your spouse. It’s difficult at times but the only time you should not be talking is if for some reason you are really upset and need a little time to cool off. Otherwise, keep the lines of communication open. I know not talking times gives you peace of mind. But don’t settle for a temporary time of peace when you could work on fixing your unhappy marriage problem.
  6. Act like a married couple– Don’t take separate cars to the same place unless it’s really necessary. That’s what you did before you got married. No separate vacations, or bedrooms. You need to be committed to being a couple and not married singles.
  7. Don’t take advice from the wrong people– There will be many family, friends and enemies who will offer you free advice. Be careful who you talk to and more importantly who you listen to. It’s very difficult for a spouse to be happy in a marriage knowing that you have blabbed your marriage problems to the world. You also don’t want to follow advice from someone who has been married 3 times. It’s better to limit the circle of people you discuss your marriage with and you also don’t always need to share all the details. The wrong people can’t tell you how to fix your unhappy marriage problem
  8. Support your spouse – Make sure you are there for your spouse even though you don’t want to be. If there is a family function with your in-laws don’t stay home. Be there for your spouse. The same thing goes for work or even playful functions like a sporting event. It’s important for your spouse to know that you care enough to be with them even though they know you don’t want to be around certain people. It shows that they mean more to you than your feelings about other people.

There are many ways to take your unhappy marriage and make it better. The key to Restoring Your Relationship is to work on being less selfish and being more loving. Put your spouse’s interests ahead of yours and you will be happier and so will your spouse.

Living in an unhappy marriage is difficult and hard to sustain. If you need some proven strategies and techniques to make your marriage better I would suggest taking a look here at Save My Marriage Today.

You deserve a happy marriage because that’s what you agreed to when you said “I do”. Take the steps to get what you deserve.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=D_P_Haynes

by Jean LeStourgeon

“All things were created by Him and for Him…and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16b-17a). Having a successful marriage first requires you to understand what God had in mind for marriage. After all, If you want to understand the purpose behind an invention, you consult the One who invented it, right!

Since marriage is God’s creation, He is in the saving marriages business. God created marriage for three very specific reasons, just like He created you, for very specific reasons. Our lives are more satisfying when we cooperate with God in fulfilling our purposes. Marriage is no exception…

First, you’ve probably learned that men and women were made in God’s image (Gen. 1:26-27). But, did you know that within the marriage relationship husbands and wives also bear the image of God? They do this by demonstrating love and faithfulness to each other…like God does with us. You see, God covenants with His people, husbands and wives covenant to each other and God. So marriage was created to reflect God’s faithfulness in the world.

The second reason God created marriage was to meet human needs. Needs for food, shelter and clothing as well as needs for love, acceptance, intimacy, and faithfulness. In that way marriage is a picture to the world of how God provides for His people.

Marriage is God’s conduit for love. It was designed to be a safe harbor where a man and a woman could be totally naked and unashamed. A place where they could experience the unconditional love and acceptance of God through each other.

Third, marriage is one of the ways God expands His Kingdom and accomplishes His work in the earth. He commanded men and women to go forth and multiply, be fruitful and take dominion over the earth(Genesis 1:28).
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to do as God commanded when you are at odds with your spouse. Conflict drains our emotional and creative energies. Sadly, many husbands and wives feel like they are sleeping with the enemy instead of with their comrade in arms.

Marriage was designed with unity in mind. When a husband and wife are on the same page, so to speak, they are reflecting the unity of the Godhead. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Unity is so important that Jesus told us it would be a great sign to the world testifying that He truly is the Son of God (John 17:23).

Okay, now you have the general idea God had in mind when He designed marriage, but saving marriage requires a plan.

First, you need to decide, once and for all, are you going to commit to honoring God through your marriage. Are you going to do it God’s way? Are you going to trust His word, His plan and His design? If you answered yes, let’s move on…

If you’re making a plan to improve or save your marriage you need to start out on the right foot. That means getting right with God and your spouse first! To get right requires humility. It requires taking responsibility for the negative, sinful things you have contributed to your marriage without justifying yourself or blaming your spouse.

Confession of sin can be a turning point in our lives. It means we are in agreement with God about our sin and we are choosing to turn away from it. When we do this, God’s word promises to give us the power to accomplish that. Some of the things you may want to consider confessing are: the ways in which you have not trusted and honored God, the ways you have not obeyed His word, the consequences of your choices to you, your spouse and your marriage.

Exercising humility is a crucial part of any saving marriages plan. Making confession of sin a regular part of your marriage will keep you humble and help to maintain emotional intimacy. Apologies go a long way in keeping our hearts pliable and loving towards our spouse and God.

The next step in the saving marriages blueprint is making a plan for knowing your spouse’s most important needs. You also must become intentional about meeting those needs. Your spouse will feel more connected and in love with you when you are meeting his/her most important emotional needs.

Regular prayer is necessary for a successful marriage. Pray that God would show His love and faithfulness to your spouse through you. Prayer is how we experience the personal relationship we have with God through Christ. It is also where we avail ourselves to the grace of God. Therefore, your plan for saving marriage must include daily prayer for your spouse and your ability to love them.

A marriage that reflects God’s image is a safe marriage. God is our refuge, therefore your marriage should be a refuge for both you and your spouse. A safe relationship is one where both husband and wife feel accepted even if there are disagreements. A plan for saving marriages needs to include a plan for safety. Neither spouse should ever have to worry about the proverbial nuclear bomb being dropped on them!

That’s why a plan for saving marriages must address conflict. Your marriage can be free from condemnation, contempt, critical attitudes and defensiveness. It’s your choice! It can be a place where you are quick to take responsibility for your own actions and slow to point your finger of blame. It is not, however, a marriage that is free from conflict. But, yours can be a marriage where both parties fight fair.

Finally, your saving marriages plan needs to include specific goals, goals that are written down. After all, God wrote down His plan…we call it the Bible! Isn’t that a good enough reason for you to write down your plan for your marriage. Written goals are powerful. They help move a plan into motion.

Keep in mind, your goals need to be consistent with God’s purpose for your marriage. Your goals will help you stay on track and give more purpose, meaning and direction to your marriage and family life. You may want to have goals in the following areas: Spiritual (we will study and pray together regularly), parenting (we will always be unified when disciplining the children), finances ( we will decide on a budget and stick to it), health (we will exercise regularly and eat right), communication (we will speak lovingly and respectfully to one another).

Well, that should be enough to get you started developing your own personal saving marriages plan. Remember, the Creator of marriage is in the business of saving marriages. Put your hope in the Lord for with Him is unfailing love and full redemption (Psalm 130:7).

Get valuable Marriage and wedding advice @WeddedWisdom

Jean LeStourgeon, MA, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in private practice in Palm Bay, Florida. She also operates the website Christian Counseling Online where you can find lots more information and tools on topics like marriage problems and marriage advice.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jean_LeStourgeon

by Chelsey Swanson

Marriage counseling is an attempt to help a couple resolve any number of types of problems they may be having in their marriage, and to empower them to go forward and have a more successful relationship. No matter what combination of problems, couples seek counseling to get a better understanding of what has gone wrong in their marriage.

Throughout a marriage it is common for resentment due to unresolved issues to build up to such an extent that one or both partners may feel hopeless enough to consider divorce as an option. Frequently, by the time a married couple decides to seek professional help; they have so much resentment built up to such a high level that their issues are much more difficult to resolve, if not impossible. This does not mean that the marriage can not be restored. Although one or both partners may think that seeking counseling is an admission of failure, counseling can help a couple rebuild or restore their relationship.

Even though marriage counseling is usually conducted with both partners present, there are times when a more motivated partner may greatly benefit from individual sessions in regards to the marital relationship or any personal issues affecting their relationship. Counseling usually lasts a short period of time, until the problems are resolving or the couple feel empowered enough to handle any remaining issues on their own.

No one goes into a marriage thinking their marriage may end in divorce. However, because almost half of all marriages do end in divorce, there is an increased need for couples to seek marriage counseling. Although many couples enter counseling as a last-ditch effort to save a troubled relationship, marriage counseling can be seen as a proactive way to improve or enhance something worth preserving. Many couples struggle for years before they make the decision to go to a marriage counselor in an effort to”save” their marriage.

Couples do not have to wait to pursue counseling until they think the only way out is divorce. In most cases marriage counselors can be very effective earlier in the marriage or when the couple first notices some problems. The main exception to the potential effectiveness of marriage counseling occurs when there is severe domestic violence; or even mild domestic violence in which the offending partner or partners will not seek help for violence issues.

In most other situations, the earlier couples seek marriage counseling the better. The longer the couple waits and the greater the marital conflict; the harder it is to resolve marital issues. However, if a couple has struggled for years, it is not too late to get counseling in which the partners may renew their energies and mutual goals, refocus their attention, as well as adding a whole new perspective to their relationship.

Frequently marriage counseling can and often does help couples open the lines of communication. How many times do marriage partners say, “We just can’t communicate”? Couples often look to marriage counseling when they can no longer communicate with each other and are so frustrated that they no longer know what to do. It is well accepted that communication is a key to healthy and happy relationships. Marriage counseling often includes the learning of communication and conflict resolution skills, as well as increased understanding of family dynamics.

Marriage counselors are trained in family dynamics; psychoanalysis; and know how to identify client’s needs, interests, and problems. They also have training that allows them to help clients work through the problems and come to mutually beneficial compromises and solutions. Equipped with therapeutic skills the counselor is able to identify underlying problems of which the couple may not have been aware or were not able to confront on their own. Even a very highly functioning person may have difficulties in a marital relationship. A skilled marriage counselor will not do or say anything to trigger a client to feel guilty or blame themselves or their partner for their problems. They will teach clients to work through problems, forgive for the past, and get over negative feelings.

Marriage counseling is worth the time and effort. Couples who are having marital difficulties that they have been unable to resolve on your own and would like to renew and repair their relationship are well advised to try marriage counseling. If a couple is heading toward a possible divorce and have not tried counseling, they will never know for sure whether they could have preserved their marriage unless they make the effort. Even if the couple eventually decides to divorce they will most likely have benefited by the work they have done, the insights they have had, and the skills they have learned during marriage counseling. These benefits can help them in the decoupling process that takes place during and after a separation or divorce.

Chesley C. Swanson, LMSW An Austin Area Counselor
http://www.ParentingSpecialist.com
Chesley@ParentingSpecialist.com
512-784-4888

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Chesley_Swanson

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by Dr. Randy Carney

How do I get my husband to love me again?” may be your question. Just about all projects or goals of any size or importance require several steps during a period of time to complete. Projects which might be any level of complexity take time, preparation and staying with it through a number of phases over extended time periods. Setting out to get your husband to love you again is no exception. Choosing to break the destructive relationship cycle isn’t any different. Here are tips on how to get your husband to love you again in five easy steps.

Step 1. Quit Being Clingy

This will be important because when your husband feels smothered, he has a tendency to pull away. When you pull away somewhat, he will have the opportunity to initiate making contact again, like he did when you were dating. In the event you skip or ignore this, you will miss out on the opportunity for him to “pursue” you again. If there really is hope for restoration, this will be an essential step, and it will help you answer the question, “How can I get my husband to love me again?”

Step 2. Return to the Characteristics He Fell in Love With

This can be a really critical step that will need your full attention and concentration. You have to do it this way: He was attracted to you once, and he can be again. The reason why you need this is that life sometimes brings pressures that cause both of you to lose some of your earlier excitement and earlier characteristics. Remember what you used to be like. Then take steps to be that person again. Concentrate on one thing at a time. This is a good way to get your husband to love you again.

Step 3. See if Small Things Are Festering

The reason for this is to realize that little irritations can turn into big problems. Have you insisted on things that don’t really matter being your way? Maybe you need to “give up” some of your preferences.

Likewise, it is good to talk things over–things that you have avoided. Learn how to come to agreement over small disagreements..

Step 4. Find Out What He Cannot Resist

To explain and amplify on that some: It might take some new information to spice things up a little. This would be especially important if you have let the physical intimacy area of your marriage slip somewhat. He may be tempted to stray. However, if you find out what he can’t resist, you have much ammunition for winning the battle of getting him back.

Step 5. Show Him Respect

According to many studies, one of a man’s greatest needs is to be respected and admired by his wife.

There is a “love and respect” cycle in many marriages. The husband needs respect, and the wife needs love. If one fails in that area, the other is likely to react and not fulfill his or her part. This is the “destructive relationship cycle” that we referred to earlier. If you want his love again, you will have to make him feel respected.

The cycle works like this: The husband withdraws love. Then the wife withdraws respect. Then the husband resists showing love even more. Then the wife feels like respecting even less, and on and on it can go. If you want to get your husband to love you again, you will have to break the destructive relationship cycle.

Finally, assuming you have kept to the program and followed the tips well, you should have succeeded and will now have fun with the fruits of that success! You can now go on and take steps that will move your marriage toward a state of marital bliss. You could be a little bit pleased with yourself and self-satisfied! You achieved what you set out to accomplish! Savor the sweet taste of success! Now enjoy yourself and your marriage!

If you didn’t follow the tips set forth above, well… good luck anyway. You will probably need it…;-)

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dr._Randy_Carney

Additional Information: Discover methods to approach a state of marital bliss by implementing six keys to success. You can get a free mini-course to help with this by going to my What Husbands Can’t Resist site at http://the-loving-way.com/husband-doesnt-want-physical-intimacy/.

The What Husbands Can’t Resist resource deals specifically with physical intimacy, but you will see that the principles help in many other areas too.

By Larry Bilotta

Before you begin screening marriage counselors to help you save your marriage, you MUST consider the potential drawbacks of marriage counseling so you can get all your facts straight FIRST. This article will help you avoid making a costly mistake that could not only set you back financially…but cost you your marriage as well.

In July of 1999, at a conference for professional marriage counselors, a credible marriage counselor by the name of Dr. William J. Doherty, gave a shocking report on the state of marriage counseling to his fellow professionals.

According to Doherty, most marriage counseling is HAZARDOUS, not helpful to your marriage.

Therapy-based, American style marriage counseling (practiced by most marriage counselors) can actually do more HARM than good in your marriage.

All hope is NOT lost however, for the rising number of struggling couples. There ARE more effective alternatives to marriage counseling – they are so effective in fact that even professional marriage counselors are admitting that couples need MARRIAGE EDUCATION more than they do marriage therapy.

In June of 1999, USA Today reported that, “Even fans of marriage counseling are saying disturbing things. Research shows that it doesn’t work as well as we once thought and it might not last.” That report reinforce the research that shows a great majority of marriage counselors conducting therapy have had no formal training at all.

This research further documented that two years after couples went through marriage counseling, 25% of the couples were WORSE OFF than before they started the therapy.

Up to 38% of them actually divorced.

Perhaps what’s even more shocking is the fact that therapists who actually work with COUPLES, are in the minority.

80% of all private practice marriage counselors in the U.S. say they conduct marriage therapy, yet only 12% are in a profession that requires them to take EVEN ONE course on dealing with couples.

If you ask marriage counselors about their approach, the vast majority will tell you that they find working with individuals much more “productive” than working with couples.

Dr. William J. Doherty stated, “Couples therapy is the most difficult therapy of all because every session starts with the threat of divorce”.

After training marriage counselors for a living, in his 1999 address at the conference for professional marriage counselors, Dr. Doherty called the methods of marriage counselors, “Hazardous to your marital health.”

He established four ways that marriage counselors have produced DESTRUCTIVE outcomes in marriages.

According to Doherty, there are four ways marriage counselors can do more harm than good in your marriage…

1. By being incompetent

2. By being neutral

3. By pathologizing (telling you why your marriage is “sick”)

4. By being overtly undermining (attempting to break up the marriage)

INCOMPETENT: In the case of incompetent marriage counselors, the counselor has not been trained to work with couples together. They believe working with two people is an expanded version of working with one, but it is not. An individual is easy to listen to, but a battling couple is not. Working with couples requires skill, structure and a very different approach than one-on-one therapy.

NEUTRAL: These marriage counselors, Doherty claims, are not neutral about marriage at all. When a counselor appears to be neutral, but actually takes sides with the more self-oriented spouse, they are undermining the marriage. “When a counselor uses the language of individual self interests, it undercuts the moral commitment that is owed to the marriage.” Doherty stated.

PATHOLOGIZING: Pathologizing is when marriage counselors build a case insisting that the couple has a “sick” relationship. They actually ENCOURAGE couples to get a divorce by saying things like, “Why SHOULD YOU hang in there? Why be a victim?” These marriage counselors make couples believe that they’re being abused, which causes both spouses to draw their only conclusion: “If the professional thinks this is over, then I should too.”

UNDERMINING: While telling couples what they should do is against the code of ethics of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, many therapists still do it. These therapists say phrases like, “You should probably end this marriage.” or, “If you’re going to stay sane, you should move out.” Undermining therapists urge husbands and wives to sever their relationships with family members and spouses.

If you’re looking for a good marriage counselor, Dr. Doherty urges you to ask questions first. Learn about the therapists’ values by asking questions like these:

1. Are you self taught, workshop-trained or college educated in working with couples?

Bad Answer: College educated.

Good Answer: Self taught or workshop trained and they speak convincingly about how their program saves marriages.

2. What is your attitude about saving a troubled marriage vs. helping a couple break up?

Bad Answer: “It’s not my decision. Couples have to make their own decision.” (This is an evasive answer…not a good sign.)

Good Answer: “I help couples find ways to stay together and help them understand and overcome their problems.”

3. Where do you stand when one spouse wants to stay and the other wants a divorce?

Bad Answer: “I try to get people to understand their own feelings.” (This is a focus on the individual, NOT the couple.)

Good Answer: “This is normally what I see with couples. I have ways to help them both handle this in positive ways.”

4. What percentage of your practice involves both husband and wife?

Bad Answer: “I find working with husbands and wives individually to be more practical.”

Good Answer: “All of it. When both people are with me and following my process, I find they have the greatest success rate.”

5. Of all the couples you treat, what percentage stay married and have a better marriage in the end?

Bad Answer: “100%” or “I don’t keep that type of information.”

Good Answer: About 70 to 80% stay happily married, while the rest drop out of my process and are unwilling to finish.

The difference in the answers you receive from marriage counselors is the feeling you get when you talk with them. Bad answers feel evasive or vague while good answers are confident and positive.

Now that you know the right questions to ask, you can confidently screen marriage counselors, separating the GOOD from the bad. But if you’re hesitant about bringing a marriage counselor into your marriage, as Dr. Doherty suggested, marriage education might be the answer you’re looking for.

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