People are in control of their relationships; therapy is there to guide and assist during times of difficulty.
You are considering marriage therapy, now what? Many people think all they have to do is show up and their marriage will get better. However, therapy is a commitment; not just a financial commitment but commitment to your spouse and yourself. The commitment is a pledge acknowledging: I will reinvest in my relationship, my partner, move pass my comfort zone and be vulnerable with my partner and myself. I will look inside myself to test assumptions, attitudes (I have toward my partner and our relationship). The pledge is key to having success with therapy because it will help you stay focused when things get difficult; which they will because change does not come from being comfortable it comes from being uncomfortable. Actively changing your attitude, perception, view to gain insight, and growth will help you succeed to become the person you want to be/suppose to be. I believe we all want to be happy but with the demands of today it is getting harder and harder. Reevaluating yourself in this relationship will ultimately create peace, calm, and fulfillment for you!
The first part of couples therapy is spent looking at yourself. It is very easy to pinpoint what the other person is doing wrong in the relationship. Or how the other person is not meeting our needs. We all live in denial as to our part in the relationship not working, so taking a closer look as to how our behaviors, assumptions, and perceptions have impacted the relationship will provide you with insight about yourself. Accepting your need to improve how you respond to the issue will help you become the person you aspire to be. Couples therapy works best when you have goals for yourself and not your partner because ultimately you only have control over yourself.
When you think about the way you communicate, consider the following: the words you choose, your tone of voice, body language, facial expression, sarcasm, or humor. What is your style of communicating? How do you think that impacts your partner? How does your communication create or dismantle communication barriers? Insight into your communication style will help you learn how to communicate effectively with your partner! Also you will begin to learn how other people see your communication approach.
Attitude is key to therapy improving your life and relationship. The way you look at things, impacts your behavior and how you respond to things. It is easy to figure out the issue. The bigger challenge is thinking about the issue different and trying to figure out a different plan of action. This is where it is helpful to have a therapist (like me) to work together brainstorming alternative options for enhancing your communication pattern.