When is it Time for Marriage Counseling
Couples should seek marriage counseling as soon as possible in order to relieve marital tension. The faster a couple seeks counseling the more successful the therapy will be. By taking part in marriage therapy couples will be given the opportunity to talk about their issues and avoid any of the unfortunate consequences that may result from ending their relationship.
Intimacy is usually thought only as sexual activity and nothing else. This conception of the term is incorrect. Intimacy may include love, respect, communication, kindness, unselfishness, and emotional and physical closeness. More physical aspects of intimacy that are nonsexual may involve sitting next to each other, holding hands, hugging, kidding cuddling, etc. When there are sexual problems (little or no sex) then sexual problems become 90% of the issues within the marriage.
Infidelity can be defined as martial disloyalty, adultery, unfaithfulness, betrayal, or a breach of trust. The causes of infidelity can be varied and complex. It does not matter whether a couple is in a happy or troubled marriage; affairs can happen in both. The spouse involved in the affair may not be getting enough from his or her marriage, but they can very well not be giving enough. Reasons for infidelity are derived from low self-esteem, relationship problems, or lack of emotional connection. A new type of infidelity has become more common where people who never intended to be unfaithful, are inadvertently crossing boundaries from platonic friendships into romantic relationships. Being platonic friends means having a relationship that is purely spiritual and free from sensual desire between two persons of the opposite sex. Platonic friendships that become sexualized are increasingly common in in the work environment or internet chatting.
Once infidelity is discovered, signs of depression including suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and a powerful sense of loss and betrayal emerge. Reactions of a souse who has just been betrayed strongly resemble those of one who is suffering from symptoms of post-trauma stress disorder. The most severely traumatized are those who were most trusting and the least suspicious.
Initially what needs to be established in marriage therapy when regarding infidelity is whether the marriage is going to survive. The couple needs to decide whether or not to stay married, or to constructively find a way to separate. An important thing to note is that recovery cannot begin until connection with the affair partner is completely over. This means to completely stop talking to or meeting with this person, let alone the physical contact. If the affair partner is a business co-worker all interaction must be strictly business oriented. Signs of healing and recover will reveal itself through three distinct ways:
1) The marriage will be stronger and more couple oriented rather then child oriented.
2) The weaknesses and vulnerabilities are understood and are confronted as they occur.
3) The couple will have developed trust and commitment, empathy for one another, and a shared responsibility for change.