Action Time is Here.
The Clarity Workshop offers the insight.
The Essential Guide offers the roadmap of exactly what to do right now in your marriage.
Go Deeper into Understanding Your Marriage to Decide Exactly What Action Steps to Take
Looking at Broken Patterns Most Miserable Couples Find Themselves In
Wherever two people are married, you'll find fire. Hot emotion (whether expressed or not), followed by cool withdraw. It's important to suss out how you each behave and how those behaviors impact your marriage. Whether you feel you've done nothing wrong, or on the other end, maybe you're highly tempted by an affair and considering leaving, it is imperative to understand your role so that you don't repeat it in another relationship if you leave this one.
Influencers of Family, Friends, and Coworkers
Who to confide in matters a lot. This is not the time to bring in the troops of negativity who will just take your side. We talk about the role that postive people in your life can play in this stressful time and the dangers of disclosing too much to the wrong people.
Emotions and Boundaries and Relating... When You're Angry or Sad and Have No Energy
It is not fun to be in your shoes. It's even less fun to imagine that you have to go first in making changes to see any change in your marriage. (You may feel you've done more of the changing up to now.) But alas, that's how it is; you can only change yourself, and no one else. The great news is by making yourself as healthy as possible, two things may happen: your spouse may respond immediately and positively, or, you may find yourself less exhausted because you're letting go of a lot of burdens you put on yourself. We hope this renews your energy to look more deeply at your marriage even if you're still on the brink. (We know in the therapy room it's common that what annoys you also annoys your spouse. By stopping those behaviors. the air sometimes lightens greatly.)
Hard Problems: Affairs, Abuse, or Addictions
These are three scenarios that do require serious personal change for the marriage to have a chance at repairing. We walk into these delicate topics with a strong focus not only on what each looks like inside a marriage, but the way that couples can navigate these problems in healthy ways with an eye towards improving the marriage, if that is a goal. There is research on addictions and abuse that we bring to light that many people are not aware of that may help you. Or, if you chose to listen to this section for a friend who confides in you, the information will still be very useful.
Challenge: Emotional Self Work in Marriage
You can't divorce yourself; you carry yourself with you into future relationships. One of the biggest tragedies couples therapists like us witness is the person who divorces their spouse, remarries, and falls into the same traps. The best way to save a marriage is also the best way to avoid a repeat divorce, namely, to own up to the role you play in the drama of your marriage. It's very easy to see faults in our spouse. The real work, and frankly the real hope for healing ourselves and a broken marriage, is to take a serious look at our own less than perfect words and deeds. Unless you're up for sainthood (and most of the saints weren't married!), you can learn really useful new perspectives and skills that apply to any relationship.
How to Talk to Your Spouse?
(Hint: The Most Common Ways are NOT the Most Effective Ways)
Many wives think they have been clear with their husbands about their unhappiness and despair about things getting better. But usually the messages have not been received, either because they were delivered indirectly or in the heat of an argument that passes. So nothing changes and the despair gets greater. We will help you heighten your own urgency about not continuing with the marriage as it has been going. And then we'll teach a really effective way to share your concerns with your spouse--clearly, directly, and compassionately.
Three Counseling Options (Reality: Many Women Who Teeter on the Brink of Divorce Seek Counseling, but the Goals of Therapy Can Have a Real Impact on How Well it Supports You)
We give you the lay of the land and support you in where you are at emotionally, energy wise, and what the next best step would be. We are constantly finding therapists who align with our values, have a level of expertise, and hold hope for trouble marriages (not all therapists do). If you choose counseling, we'll help you find the right kind of counseling for your goals. We want to give you the best chance at working productively on the pain that brought you to this point in your marriage, whether you end up staying or leaving.
Leave No Stone Unturned in Your Decision
Ending a marriage is sometimes necessary, but it haunts most people who feel there was more they could have done. We don't want you to feel that nagging regret.
Offering the very best we give our clients in person, this Essential Guide for Wives Leaning Out promises to be engaging, thought-provoking, hopefully behavior changing and... in the end, our hope is that you see yourself more clearly--the good, bad, and the in-between, and bring a renewed sense of self to one final burst of energy to see if there is something still "there" in your marriage.
We are a part of cutting edge research on divorce. Your feelings and thoughts matter. We're here to walk along side you.
Bill Doherty, Ph.D.