Category: Chris Adams AMFT

How Does Marriage Counseling Work?

By Chris Adams, AMFT

Marriage therapy is a complicated dynamic. One in which we have to manage what each individual partner may want from the experience as well as what will be truly beneficial to helping the relationship which when done correctly, really becomes the patient that the three of us (yourself, your spouse and the therapist) are trying to heal.Marriage- it is not about being right, it is about getting it right.

One of the misnomers about marriage therapy is that we are here to help a couple to stop fighting. However, much like a virus or a bacterial infection, the fights that a couple engage in are most often a response to a foreign idea or experience that needs to be understood and addressed, not just ignored.

Humans are passionate and dynamic. When you put two of them together in close quarters and invite them to work together, there are bound to be arguments. What makes a marriage successful is each partner’s ability to repair.

Marriage therapy is not about teaching you to ignore the problem, but it is about getting into the middle of it and learning not how to be right but how to get it right. At Connections Counseling Services, our therapists have specialized training to help you and your partner to learn how to repair hurts, listen, receive and understand one another. As you do, you will notice that although the fights may still happen, they will resolve more quickly and you will feel closer to your partner not farther apart. There is hope and healing ahead. We can help you to find it.

“…Everybody is going to hurt you…”

by Christopher Adams, AMFT

I make this post with some hesitancy.  I want to be very honest without justifying the specific pains that come from instances of abuse or blatant mistreatment of a spouse or a loved one.

Bob Marley, is not one that I have ever gone to for advice on how to live a successful life up to this point. However, when I read this quote of his, I was moved by the simple truth that it taught.

“If she’s amazing, she won’t be easy. If she’s easy, she won’t be amazing. If she’s worth it, you won’t give up. If you give up, you’re not worthy. … Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.” – Bob Marley

“…Everybody is going to hurt you…” I find it interesting that we make the choice to live with a stranger and somehow believe that we will be nothing but happy for our entire lives.  I love the fairy tail and I want that to be true but when reality sets back in I understand that marriage, specifically, is one of the hardest endeavors that we choose to undertake.

John Gottman, a researcher who studies successful marriages, reports that couples who report being happy after 30 years of marriage are those couples that fight.  The catch to that is that after they fight, they have learned how to repair the hurts that have been sustained.

IF you have “found the one that is worth suffering for,” don’t give up on your marriage.  If they have been that person before, let’s see if they can be that person again before you walk away.  Marriage is hard and can be painful at times but it is, in my opinion, worth saving.


ChrisaChris is a Marriage and Family
Therapist, specializing in individual,
relationship, and family work.

85 Years Married and Going Strong

By: Christopher D. Adams, MFT

In 2009, the record was set for the longest marriage; Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher had been married for 85 years.  When I heard this I was so impressed and so I began to search to find how they have been so successful. Marriage is hard for every couple at one point or another and I wanted to hear how they got through the hard times.

In an interview that they gave on Valentines Day, they answered 14 questions about their relationship and how their marriage could survive that long. As I read up on their journey I heard them discuss arguments that they have had over the years. Zelmyra cited a way toward success for them was “learning to bend, not break.”

As a marriage and family therapist, I spend a lot of time with individuals who are at their breaking point.  The imagery of a straw that breaks the back of the proverbial camel is a visual that is discussed regularly in my office. If you are approaching that break point or you may even feel that you have been broken several times in the past, you deserve some help to know how to bend and not break.  At Connections Counseling Service, we pride ourselves in helping couples to bend and repair their relationships before and after that straw has been placed on tired shoulders.

Herbert and Zelmyra remind us that,  “marriage is not a contest – never keep a score. God has put the two of you together on the same team to win!”

If your marriage has become a contest, if you feel that not only are you loosing the game but that you are just getting too tired to play, please call us and set up a consultation.  It is not too late to give it another shot. Let us help the two of you get back on the same team.

 

Bringing Back the Joy of Marriage

By: Christopher Adams, AMFT

 

In the micro culture of a marriage, we make lots of decisions. There is an entire system of rules and expectations that are consciously and unconsciously decided by our partner and us.  Unfortunately, couples fight and often times it is about this system that isn’t making sense.

In their book, Love that Lasts, Gary and Joy Lundberg talk about how to survive the arguments of marriage.  One of the best things that a couple can do is to make a conscious decision to laugh.

As a Marriage and Family Therapist I have learned the value of helping my clients to see the humor in the arguments that they are having and teaching them to do the same.  This does not mean that I do not take seriously the hurts and betrayals that occur in the marriage relationship.  There are many tears and devastations that come in the course of couples counseling, however, as Marie Osmond has said,  “If you are going to look back at something and laugh, why not do it now.”

Laughter in marriage can have a powerful effect.  It creates chemical releases that allow the human body to bond and to repair hurts both past and present. If you and your spouse have forgotten how to laugh together, come and see us at Connections Counseling Center and let us help you to bring the joy back into your relationship.

You both deserve to laugh, let’s see if you can do it together.