Friday, February 28, 2014

Addressing Issues Head-On: Where to Go for Help

Where can I get help when I or we need it?

Some times couples find that they are really stuck in unhealthy patterns and cannot find their way out. It is good when both acknowledge that they want to do something differently because changes can happen much more quickly and cleanly when both are willing to make changes.

Here are a few suggestion for places to go to begin the process of addressing issues head-on.

Books and websites

John Gottman is the premier researcher on healthy marriages. From his research, he has written several books. The books have exercises and information for couples to build the skills to develop healthy relationships.

Check out his website for the list of his books and tools to begin changing your relationship.

The Divorce Remedy
by Michele Weiner Davis is a great book for one person who wants to make a change in the marriage, even if his or her partner is not in the same place.

How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It by Patricia Love and Steve Stosny is a very good book to help you develop a better understanding of your partner. Women often want their men to talk more and men want their partners to do or be more. Neither is wrong or right. Just different. This book helps couples learn how to connect more so that both feel better about the relationship.

Friends or mentoring couples

Are there other couples that you know who have a relationship that you like and admire? What can you learn from them, both by observation and maybe even from conversation. Talk it over with your spouse to see if there are things that you recognize in those other couples that would be good to try yourselves.

Some churches also offer the opportunity to meet with couples who have been successful. Retrovaille is a group weekend setting that offers this in a more formal way. Couples who have been in a very tough spot in their relationship share their experiences, both about their problems and how they found their way to a healthier place.

Professional counseling

Don’t wait the average 6 years between the time that problems start and you ask for help. Get help before it is too late. Talk with your doctor or a trusted friend for a recommendation for a therapist who specializes in relationship work.

Using the internet, start with therapists who are listed on the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy website. Any of the therapists listed here have specific training in working with relationships.

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