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You Can Fix Your Marriage

     It was really encouraging and humbling that I had a couple say to me this week that counseling had saved their marriage.  They had been fighting for years and were at a breaking point when they came to counseling on the advice of a friend who I had seen several years ago. 

     First, let me say that I believe that whatever good that I do as a counselor could only come through the Lord teaching me to be a successful counselor.  I feel privileged to be used by the Lord in this way and appreciate being a part of someone’s healing.  Second, the other aspect that helped “save” their marriage was both of them working so hard in counseling.  I believe and observe that if someone is truly willing to put in the effort, the Lord helps with the healing.

     When they began counseling they were in the habit of blaming each other for their problems.  This was a typical way that they interacted when there was a conflict.  This started a negative slide relationally.  They would go back and forth at each other and each would escalate in their tone and harshness until it grew out of control.

     One of the interventions we did was for them to purposely take an issue and look at what their part was and not focus on the others part.  This, I believe, is one of our biggest difficulties as humans.  It was part of the original sin when Adam and Eve sinned.  When God confronted them in the Garden He asked them to give an account of themselves and Adam said, “The woman you gave me…” and Eve said, “The serpent…”.  I wonder if things might have turned out differently if they would have taken responsibility for their sin…

     What is necessary as a starting point, in not only saving our marriages from a negative slide, but to watch it grow, is for each person to take responsibility for their emotions and their actions and not to blame the other.

     Amazingly, this couple began to do this; they actually began to do the “hard work” in looking at themselves individually and not the other.  The reason why I say that this is hard is that by nature we are defensive.  It is difficult for us to take responsibility.  With this couple I began to hear from each one statements like, “I didn’t even realize I was doing that” as they reflected on each of their part in the destructive pattern.

     We often learn and reinforce bad habits in our relationships, for this couple, counseling was a place to get an objective perspective, and I am very blessed to be used by God and be a part of their healing.

God bless our marriages, as we learn to take responsibility,    

Dave