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Christian Counseling - The State of YOUR Union

We have all had the relationship talk. Women tend to like it. Men tend to dread it. However, "the talk" is necessary. We need to be able to evaluate where our marriages are and where they are going. A word of caution, you need to be having a relationship more than you are talking about your relationship. I know that might sound strange coming from someone who spends all day helping people analyze and overcome issues in their lives. There many reasons why therapists see clients only once per week. One reason is that there needs to be a healthy balance between living our lives and analyzing our lives. Couples who spend almost every night discussing the state of their relationship will often find the air coming out of their marriage.

Over-analysis is a problem for some marriages, but, under-analysis is the problem for a larger proportion of marriages. As life gets busier, many of us do not check in with one another to find out whether we are truly satisfied in the relationship. As a result, problems that could be dealt with early on fester and become larger struggles.

What I recommend is at least a once per year State of YOUR Union discussion. When you choose to do this is up to you. There are many ways you can make this happen: sign up for a marriage conference, take a weekend away from the kids, etc. Take the month leading up to your discussion to think and pray about your own needs and the needs of your spouse. Do you have unmet needs? Does your spouse? Are you happy with the direction of your marriage? Three areas that you can focus on are your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. For example, are you satisfied with your physical or sexual relationship in your marriage. If not, why not? What would make it better?

From this discussion, or discussions, that follow you can then make plans to move forward. Remember, if one person is struggling in the marriage and feels that the marriage is unhealthy, their issues need to be addressed. The exciting thing is that change can happen in your marriage if you address any of the three areas of need discussed above. Each is linked to the other. If you improve one area, the likelihood is that you will begin to make change in the others. There are exceptions to this rule, and, if you find that to be true in your marriage, it may be wise to set up an appointment to talk with someone to gain a deeper level of insight into some of these issues.

Once you find areas that you want to work on in your marriage, one way of looking at setting goals would be to imagine a year into the future. If you reached your goal, what would your marriage look like a year from now? Then ask yourselves what half-way to that goal would look like. Finally, what would be the least amount of noticeable change that would give you hope that you are moving in the right direction.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions or find yourselves having difficulty going through the process. Good luck!! Remember, life is too short to not have your needs and the needs of your spouse met.

1 comment (Add your own)

1. R wrote:
very practical, thanks.

03/01/2010 @ 2:34 AM

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