Category Archives: Marriage Therapy

Every Day is Valentine’s Day

Isn’t it interesting how so many new relationships are made around Valentines Day?  When  this day of love and romance  comes up, that pending questions will we be celebrating it together with this new person in our life comes up? Does this relationship mean the same to each of us?  That thrill or surprise to know that some one is interested in you and you in them can feel great?  Valentines Day can often be a day of thrill and surprises, and for  other’s it can also be a day of closings and endings.

It is interesting to see how love can be in the air when we as a society and as an individual make  set our focus on paying attention and doting on another person by sharing our feelings of love in so many special ways.   Alternately if you have been in a long term relationship or marriage, could your relationship benefit with a little more intimacy or fun?

This month of Valentine’s  I am offering enrichment sessions for couples that feel they are doing well and are stable who might want to share and explore greater intimacy together as a part of their ongoing commitment.   Give the gift of an enrichment session a great unique Valentine’s  Day Gift. Please call and ask for an appointment at your convenience, Saturdays are available for sessions as well.

Make every day Valentine’s Day by focusing on the love that you have in your life, that many come in many forms and that we so often take for granted. Remind yourself every day to be thankful.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all.

If you wish to contact me, please call my office telephone 479-225-0055, & leave a message. Thanks

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10 Reasons Why Not to Get Married

10  REASONS WHY NOT TO GET MARRIED

  1. If you need to marry just to take the wedding ceremony and party off your “Bucket List”.
  2. If you need to marry as a right of passage to become or to prove you are an “adult”.
  3. If I need to escape current controlling or unhappy family situation.
  4. If you feel no one else will ever ask you to marry again.
  5. If all your friends are getting married and you do not want to be left out and slide into it.
  6. If your child custody will be affected and you feel obligated to marry to keep your custody rights.
  7. If you are escaping a troubled relationship or a prior marriage that you are still emotionally tied to and you believe it is unbearable to live alone.
  8. If you or your partner is drug or other addiction dependent and you are getting married in hopes of resolving that issue.
  9.  If you hope that marrying  will eliminate other major disagreements or value conflicts in your couple.
  10. If you hardly know each other and one of you is being deployed soon and feel the need to marry before deployment.

 

Communication Problems

Often times one hears of couples saying they have “communication problems”.  Such a term is very often used and can be for the most part rather nebulous.   It can sometimes be a description for many other problems and or underlying issues in a relationship that have not been explored.

Couples for the most part to communicate very well either directly or indirectly their unhappiness, disappointment, resentment, contempt  or anger for each other.  Sometimes they punish each other by using avoidance, manipulation or intentional harm that they might be less than willing to talk about or admit to each other.  Often times in couples therapy the process of discovering the source of the discomfort  or negative patterns might take some time.

Many times the presenting problem of what the couple labels as the issue soon gets overridden by past wounds, hurts or betrayals that have been buried between them and unresolved. Often times these other issues come bubbling up.

Couples who have issues with “communication”  sometimes have been carrying these wounds or unfinished business in an indirect way for months or even years.  These unhealed wounds are often dragged along unresolved in the relationship and/or marriage longer than is healthy and this can impact their current relational health.

If left unresolved the couple may find that the misunderstanding can escalate very quickly and eventually destroy their relationship. Exploring these resentments, patterns of attachment styles and past wounds every so often sometimes can reconnect a couple.  Sometimes the help of a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists can be a good start for a couple to begin to tall openly and to reconnect once again and clear their communication channels.

How to tell your kids your marriage is over?

How do you tell your children your marriage is over?  Is  there a best way or worse way?  First of all make sure that both of you are certain that divorce is going to really happen and it is your final decision after exploring all other options.

Less than ideal ways are each for each  parent to  tell  the children at a different times and blaming the other parent, or doing some drastic changes in living situations without telling the children or their spouse. Also harmful is  passing messages through the children,, dating too early and not giving children time to grieve.   As a parent crying to or leaning on your children for emotional support for your separation or divorce because they are so “mature” and you feel they understand is not advised.  Showing your children your anger towards your ex is also not advised even if you feel you are in the right.  All these  are usually less than ideal and will put more stress on your children through the divorce and through the co-parenting  years that come after.

What might be better guide rules?  Having a joint  story that you both share together when you are both sure that divorce is inevitable is important.  Get  the story straight and stick to it,, and that should only be told  one time,  clearly and calmly, not every few months, or years.

Decide how to best tell children, when and where. Neither parent needs to be thrown under the bus in front of your kids.  Often times kids feel they are half of each parent  and the child begins to internalize that half of them is bad or if both parents insult each other they might feel that all of them is bad, so nothing they do is ok or matters.  Saying thing like you look or act just like your ex spouse is not helpful.  A child’s may worry that  they have some how have, or will in the future contribute to parental issue,  separation, or divorce  and feel guilty or sad. They are left in a loosing situation, that they feel can’t be resolved.

The divorce story should not include any thing bad about either parent, Try not to personalize and react to comments from your ex when negotiating or when setting up scheduling for your children. Let things fall without reaction. That is  easier said than done, and that is where a therapists might be able to help.  Anything you can do to reduce parental conflict is going to serve your children’s best interest and allow them to be happier and better adjusted after the transition.

A neutral  story,  may sound like …….”we do not love each other in ways parents  should or we do not get along any more and sometimes in adult love and in couples love thing can change..” Then emphasize that love for kids from a parent does not change, remind your children that  you both still love them now and will continue to love them always, followed by hugs or time to ask questions.  The children need to feel no sense of responsibility for the loss of your marriage. They also should not be made to feel  any responsibility to manage the relationship of their parents, keep you happy, be your confidant, keep your secrets or be your best friend.

That is why its so important to talk with a therapists who understands pre and post divorce issues.  The pain you might be  feeling , anger, animosity or maybe just a strong desire to move forward. Often times couples are not on the same page as far as wanting to divorce and this creates animosity, resentment and anger in the process of  the separation.  Children at different ages also may react differently.

So consider taking responsibility for your own actions  and for your language and reactions even in very difficult situations, in front of your children.   Love your children more than you hate your spouse , advance the needs of your children over your animosity , take a loving kindness approach.  Do it for your kids.

 

Valentine’s Day is Every Day

Not all counseling visits are to work on problems, sometimes they are just to make a good relationship better?  What a great way to celebrate Valentines Day than with a counseling for your couple to celebrate  and  reconnect in your commitment.  Why is it that we shower our loved one with unconditional love, sweet words, acts of affection and gifts only once a year?   Make every day Valentines Day!!

 

 

Marriage Therapy in Fayetteville, Bella Vista & Ft.Smith

As we start the new years many people have resolutions made to start the year new and they want to improve or change their relationships and marriage.  You don’t have to struggle with the same old marriage or partnership you can create something new with the important person in your life.  Going to  licensed Marriage and Family Therapists can be a good start to the new year or to a new marriage.

I have flexible hours including marital therapy on week ends in offices  in Fayetteville,  Bella Vista, and Ft, Smith.  Don’t give up those new years resolutions just yet.  My  sliding scale fee makes it more affordable. Look forward to serving your unique needs

Carmen’s Blog

CarmenThank you for stopping by and welcome to my blog. I hope to share useful information and experiences with you here.

Couples and Marital Therapy

Deciding to participate in counseling is a journey of self discovery and a sign of courage for an individual or a couple.  In couple’s therapy it is often getting to know what works for your “WE” in a safe supported environment as well as for both of you.

A feelings of getting stuck sometimes in a marriage, relationship, career, or even in defining who we are as whole person is part of our human experience as people.   Emotions are not to be ignored or suppressed; they are your intuitive messengers and should be examined, verified and honored to create a more authentic fulfilling life.   One can struggle with feelings of depression, anxiety, anger, and fears that all  may be legitimate.  Emotions are powerful and have energy to creatively transform, expand and encompass new perspectives, new thoughts and behaviors.  Do you know how listen to your emotions with more clarity and compassion?  Finding your life’s goals and finding your own    voice can be important both for you individually, as well as for your couples success.