Therapists Say “Pause” Before Hitting The Altar



You feel really happy with your relationship right now. You and your girlfriend of three years are so in love, and so you proposed. However, therapists advise that couples need to take a long pause before deciding to hit the altar. Amidst the strong love, the closeness, and the passion that you and your partner have for each other, you must consider all things, including seeking the help of a marriage therapist, to be able to fully understand the changes that you both will undergo once you have tied the knot. As what Dr. John Gottman, PsyD said, “A good marriage must have a rich climate of positivity” and advises that we make “regular deposits” to our emotional bank accounts.”

A few celebrity couples revealed in their interviews that they agreed to see a therapist before they decided to get married for the purpose of learning how to best communicate with each other. According to them, couples therapy had been ‘super helpful.’ But if, in the first place, you’re the perfect match, should you just go ahead and wed? No is the answer of Liz Higgins, a certified marriage therapist who specializes in advising young couples. She adds that there are principles that healthy couples try to follow that can help strengthen and create a rock-solid foundation. But do remember that no matter how happy and emotionally healthy you both are, there will always be existing conflict sooner or later.

Here are some of the best pieces of advice from seasoned marriage and family therapists – just some things that you and your partner should know before you decide to get married.

  • You can’t always say you’re in love with your partner.

You may think that you are currently with the perfect partner ever, but there’s a time and place where you won’t feel as in love and balanced. “That’s where it is vital to ground yourself with the values that you used as a couple.

  • Your relationship with your family is relevant to your marriage.


Is your partner closely attached to her family and relatives? Does she find comfort in them? Are they in conflict or not? All these are very vital, Higgins explained, because these themes in the family tend to repeat in one’s marriage. So if your partner is comfortable talking to her family about anything, then she won’t have difficulty doing so with you.

  • You – not your partner – complete yourself.

Jerry Maguire’s ‘you complete me’ sounds so intense, but fortunately, it’s not true. Don’t find completeness in your partner because you and only you can do that. Focus on valuing yourself and remembering that taking care of yourself will enable you to give your best to the relationship. A relationship must have time for togetherness as well as separateness, with the trust that the love remains. “Being married is about joining two lives together, not giving up one. Being content in your own skin means you won’t be looking to your partner to fill voids in your life.” said Lesli Doares,  M.S.

  • Be aware of your partner’s financial status.

Before deciding to get into marriage, you must be agreeable to disclose each other’s finances. This is so that you can discuss the most efficient ways that you can manage the family’s financial situation. These days, couples have decreased conflict on money by having a separate account aside from their one joint account. Finances are among the most popular reasons for divorce, and at times, it’s an even more sensitive topic compared to sex. It would best be handled if both you and your partner were open and secure about it.

  • Conflict is unavoidable. Be ready to resolve it.

The honeymoon stage is probably the only stage in a marriage that is without or with very little conflict. After that, there will be a lot to argue about – your different habits and traits, the way you handle issues, keeping the budget under control, so on and so forth. Here’s a rather different view of Higgins regarding conflict: “The things that you later dislike in your relationship have more to do with you rather than with your partner.” Thus, to effectively handle conflict is realizing and acknowledging that it begins with you. You should find ways to deal with your worries and anxieties and just practicing a healthy way of reducing your stress levels. According to Eli Finkel, PsyD, “partners should get perspective from a third party who sees things from the “outside.” Bringing that objectivity helps to simmer down escalating arguments.”

  • When it seems like things aren’t going to get fixed, don’t give up just yet.

Most young couples separate very early in their marriage, perhaps because today’s mentality is if something doesn’t work, you just have to throw it away. Conflict, on the other hand, is something that needs to be resolved because it is an opportunity for couples to grow and strengthen their relationship. So if the issue is not domestic violence or any type of extremely negative behavior, try your best to find a solution before finally calling it quits.


  • Show your love in big and small ways.

This is crucial in every relationship – be it your partner, your parents, siblings, or significant other. Making your partner feel loved helps her stay in a good place where she is confident, secure, and emotionally stable. You can plan a romantic trip to the countryside, or maybe just serve her breakfast in bed, with a matching kiss that tells her how much you love and appreciate her for simply being your better half.



Forgiving And Healing After An Affair



Something devastating happened last night. You discovered that your spouse was cheating on you. What do you do? Are you going to throw his things over the window and never let him enter the house? Maybe you thought about calling your psychiatrist or psychologist friends and ask for support and advice. Or would you gather all the hope that’s left inside you and give him another chance?

Some people opt for an immediate breakup the moment they find out that their partners are cheating on them. Yet for others, they linger on their love and still try to weigh the circumstances before deciding whether or not they will forgive and forget. But the bottom line is that one very vital foundation has been broken: trust. How do you build that all over again? As Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. said, “It can be hard to forgive, especially if your partner has broken the most solemn of their marriage vows.”

Perhaps you will never know how difficult, depressing, and stressful it is to learn that your spouse has an affair, which is why forgiving is as difficult to give. However, it is vital to keep in mind that although you have forgiven your spouse, there is no complete guarantee that he will not and will never cheat again. He is the only one who can make that choice, and you can’t control what his decision might be. But YOU, on the other hand, have the choice to trust or not trust him again. Of course, trust can be rebuilt. The effort is tremendous, and it will have to take both of you to commit to working together and repairing the relationship.

Once you’ve decided to forgive and focus on healing, read, and try to follow these tips to help you head in the right direction.

Be A-Team. There might some hatred and bitterness within you when you glance at your spouse, but you promised to work it out, so you must set these ill feelings aside. Instead, strive to build a strong team, you and your spouse. Start with planning the chores together, and then schedule a date or alone-time because you know you need it. If you can’t possibly avoid an argument, remember to talk about the present and not bring up the past. Finding the place where forgiveness is beneficial can be a delicate process, and patience, with both the self and with one’s partner, is more likely to aid recovery than forcing the process.”Deidre A. Prewitt, MSMFC, LPC.

Be Open To Each Other. Talking, even arguing, is healthy for a relationship. It allows you to learn more about each other. When you have a discussion, you can know the things that you in disagreement with, and the things that you can agree on. It encourages you to be honest with each other, even when you sometimes feel angry for what he did. Maybe it’ll feel better if you tell him straight.


Trust In Yourself. This is the hardest yet most crucial thing to fulfill, trusting yourself. It won’t be easy, as you will be confronted with questions to yourself. “Was I wrong to forgive him? Why didn’t I see this coming? Is there anything wrong with me? Am I not enough?” But as you slowly learn to trust on your instincts again, to listen to what your inner self is telling you, and be aware of your emotions, you’ll be doing fine as you move forward. Only then will you begin to have a peaceful and harmonious relationship with anyone. If your instinct tells you that it isn’t right, think again.

If You Are The Cheating Spouse

After having acknowledged that you made the mistake of having an affair, you have asked for forgiveness, and it was given to you. Now, you have decided to give it another try. Here are some things you need to remember.

Own It. Take responsibility for what you did and understand and be patient with your partner if she withholds some feelings or emotions from you. You hurt her, and it’s only natural that she takes it to step by step. Do the same. She will want to know why you did it, and you’ll have to be honest with her – that’s if you’re going to save your relationship. According to psychotherapist Abby Rodman, “It’s a reminder to both of you that your relationship is precious — and that neither one of you would ever do anything to recreate such a painful time.”

Do What You Say. Your spouse is trying to build trust again, so you’ll have to keep the promises this time. Change for the better and show her that you’re worth a second chance.


Give Your Spouse Space. She’s feeling angry, depressed, and very hurt because of what you did. Remember that she has every right to express how she feels. You may sometimes feel that things aren’t going toward the right path, but give it time. Give her time and space. You both deserve some privacy – your spouse to not feel bad, and you to think of ways to win back her trust.





Habits That Builds A Strong Marriage

Marriage is not always cheesy and happy all the time. Mostly, it is all about stress, anxiety, toxicity, exhaustion, and agitation. There are a lot of factors that mostly ruin it instead of making it healthy. It’s okay because that’s part of life and it’s all in the whole package of every romantic relationship. However, it doesn’t have to become an excuse for not trying to make everything work. Romance and relationships consist of elements and foundations that ensure their success. Though each situation is typically unique, there are still some things that couples can do to maintain a healthy marriage.


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How To Handle Anxiety And Stress In Your Married Life

There are so many things that every married couple needs to understand when it comes to managing their relationship. One of the most common issues that a husband and wife encounter is having anxiety or stress caused by too many expectations for each other. Most of the time, one party wants something that the other party cannot provide immediately. There are also times when they would feel too much pressure from the people surrounding them.




Unfortunately, all these things can make a person wonder about staying in a marriage. If you are one of these individuals, then make sure to read this article before thinking of getting a divorce or legal separation. The first lesson that you have to remember is that married life is not going to be easy, but as long as you are with the right person, it is worth fighting for. Do not easily give up just because things are not happening the way you want them to be. Keep in mind that there are tons of ways on how you can improve your marriage. (One such way is this – “Once a week or so, ask your partner, ‘Is there anything I’ve done lately that’s caused distance between us?'” says Susan Campbell, Ph.D. Are you humble enough to ask that to your spouse and rekindle your relationship?)


In this article, we are going to share some tips and tricks on how you can make an effort to handle anxiety and stress in your marriage. Make sure to familiarize yourself with these:


Think Of The Other Person


Before you do anything or say something, it is best to always think of what the other person might feel. You have to remind yourself that your spouse deserves love and affection at all times. Do not commit an act or say a word that can potentially hurt him. Otherwise, you may only give him reason to be distant from you. Whenever there are stressors in your marriage, be sure to discuss it with him so that he can also provide some strategies on how you can handle it together.




Go On Dates


Just because you are already married does not mean that you can just stay on the couch and be too comfortable. Sometimes, you have to make efforts to go on dates even without an occasion to celebrate. Have fun with your partner so that you can relax from whatever is making any of you feel anxious. Do not hesitate to take a break from work or business for the sole purpose of spending memorable and quality time with the person you love. The more you do this, the easier it would be for both of you to solve your issues. “Dating can be extremely beneficial toward keeping romance alive, and making a practice of going on regular dates can be a great way to jump-start that habit,” says Denise Limongello, a licensed psychotherapist in Manhattan.


Let Go Of The Small Stuff


There will be a lot of times when you would have an argument with your spouse about something. During these moments, you may feel that it is crucial to assert your opinion or comment. While this may be a good thing, it can also cause some rift between you and your partner. As such, it is best to learn to let go of the small stuff. Do not stress yourself in forcing your husband to agree with you. Take note that it does not matter who wins in the argument or misunderstanding. What is essential is that you never lose sight of the significance of respecting each other’s views and that you remain loving with one another.




Build Communication Lines


Whenever something is wrong in the relationship, the best thing to do is to talk to your partner about it. Do not ignore his presence nor avoid any form of conversation with him. Otherwise, you may end up growing apart from each other. Because of this, it is highly recommended to focus on building communication lines with the other person. If possible, always initiate the talking and avoid nagging so that he will feel the importance of having a conversation. When it comes to the talk, it is always best to choose your words to ensure that you will not say anything offensive. “Most coffee shops are set up to facilitate intimate conversation, which is just what you want on a date,” says Esther Boykin, licensed marriage and family therapist.


Staying in a relationship is a choice that you have to make every single day. Do not give up on your marriage because it is not the answer to your problems. Sometimes, all you need to do is to face the challenges together. Take note that as long as you have each other, there is nothing in this world that you cannot accomplish.


Stop Overlooking These Marital Issues

When problems start to take over a marital relationship, sometimes they are not even that obvious. Or at least not a big deal as you thought it would be. However, there are subtle signs that may let you believe that things are not the way it used to be. Therefore, before you end up signing a divorce paper that could ruin your family in the future, please stop overlooking these marriage issues. “We can begin to see our spouses as an extension of ourselves—an extension that parks in the wrong spots, picks the wrong shirts on date night, and always leaves a mess for us to clean up,” says Alisa Ruby Bash, Malibu-based licensed marriage therapist.


The “Us” To “I”

Before you and your partner even start a union, you have this mentality of handling things together. You are in the “us” mindset because you want both of you to become part of each other’s decision making. There’s cooperation, both of you value suggestions, you work on your schedules, so everything seems perfectly fine. But over time, there are moments that each or both of you want the “I” portion of the relationship. So if the collective mindset automatically switched to that perception, that’s a sure sign that your marriage is experiencing trouble.

“When you are in denial about your part in the relationship, then you are no better than a child flinging sand at another child in a sandbox. When you take responsibility for your part in the marriage, only then will you be able to connect with your partner in a mature, intimate way.”Carin Goldstein, LMFT

The “What If”

It’s not bad to reflect on the things in your life and imagine how everything would turn out if decisions weren’t made correctly. However, contemplating too much and constantly asking yourself what life would be without a husband or wife is a sign that one of you may be regretting the marriage. Happily married couples consider their spouses as someone that needs to be in their life forever. So if you or your partner feel the need to ask tons of “what ifs,” then presumably something is not quite right.


The Scores

Marriage is a commitment of two individuals who promise to work things together. However, if the scores matter, then something is eating up the relationship. If you or your spouse is keeping tabs of who does what and who doesn’t, then it’s a sign that the relationship is falling apart. No healthy marriage questions his or her partner on how much effort he or she needs to invest in creating a happy ever after. If there’s a tally of who the better spouse is, then there’s a convincing truth that both of you shouldn’t be together. Marriage requires teamwork, so if it begins to create a rivalry, then stop doing it.

Inappropriate Comparison

There is clear trouble in the relationship when either one of you starts to compare one with others. It becomes a big deal because you or your partner will find it hard to focus on the good qualities of one another. Both of you will be more likely to always complain about the other one’s incapability. Instead of encouragement and motivation, you begin to find faults at each other. You then start to wish your partner to be more like somebody else and vice versa. One or both of you want the other to change and become someone they are not.

Not The Go-To Person Anymore

A marriage that contains underlying issues becomes apparent when your spouse stops being your go-to person and vice versa. In a healthy relationship, it’s normal to first go to your partner whenever you are experiencing something. It could be a rant you want to vent out, daily stories you want to share, or decisions you want to make.  There’s an emotional feeling of wanting to secure a better judgment from your partner that makes you listen and feel comfortable. However, if one or both of you start seeking other person’s attention, then there’s a problem. It’s perhaps you lack communication, and you ignore the importance of honesty, openness, and a good conversation. “When you assume that you know what your partner is thinking or what he wants, you aren’t communicating,” according to psychotherapist Jeffrey S. Kaye on his website.

Living Lives Separately

A sign that you and your partner are not happy in marriage anymore is when you start living lives separately. Though it’s typically normal for married couples to have personal time with their friends and family, the situation raises issues. That’s especially when there’s too much spent time with other people than with each other. If the individual lives take over the marriage, then the relationship is not in a healthy place anymore. There are times that you might have to fake it in front of others, but it’s considerably a red flag for that instance.


Not Fighting

Yes, arguing with your spouse creates a healthy relationship. It makes both of you understand boundaries, likes and dislikes, adjustments, and acceptance. It makes the relationship grow because there’s a marital development. But if both of you consider avoiding it too often or just completely cutting it to zero percent, then there’s a huge underlying problem in the relationship. If there are no small arguments, resentments begin to buildup. And sometimes, before you know it, these avoided issues can pop up and eventually end everything.

Undoubtedly, you or your spouse experienced some of these unnoticeable issues in your marriage. Reflect on the reasons and take a step back so you can start to figure out why you feel that way. Evaluate the relationship and bring front solutions to the marriage.

Top 3 Marital Problems To Solve

No matter how much you make an effort into making your relationship with your husband a flawless one, there will always come a time when your marriage will experience some problems. Keep in mind that it is completely okay to go through several difficulties in a marriage as long as you stick together to solve it. “If you don’t feel listened to, respected for your thoughts/opinions, even when you disagree, and comfortable speaking your mind — these are signs your relationship will not work out,” Toni Coleman, LCSW. Take note that it only becomes extremely problematic if either of you does not participate in making the marital union work.

In this article, we are going to talk about the three common marital problems that every married couple may face at some point in the union. Remember that there is a necessity to pinpoint and become familiar about these issues so that you and your spouse can instantly find a way on how to solve them. Here is the list:


Financial Matters

Money is a serious talk when it comes to any relationship, especially in a marriage. While it has been proven that money does not make the world go round, it does not mean that the lack of it can be perfectly fine as long as you are together. Never make an assumption when it comes to financial matters to ensure that you will not have any misunderstanding with the other spouse. As much as possible, be open to discuss any topics related to finances to avoid more significant concerns from coming in. “They may have very different attitudes about money, but if they can hear each other and respect each other, then they can come to a compromise,” pertaining to sound money management, as said by Brad Klontz, PsyD.



A recent study shows that one of the common causes of divorce or annulment is the absence of trust between the married couple. Once it happens, the marriage will go down the drain because jealousy can make one irrational. It is as if your intelligence will vanish the moment you start feeling envious of the other women. The truth of the matter is that you must learn how to make your partner feel that you trust him in whatever he does. Believe him when he says that he is not an infidel.


Upbringing of Kids

A married couple may also experience a rift in the relationship when both of them have personal reservations on how to raise kids. There will be a clash since most of the time you would have opposing views on what is right and wrong with respect to raising your children. The smartest thing to do at this point is to master the art of compromise. Do not make the mistake of prolonging fights between you and the other person. Instead, talk about the differences in ideas or principles that both of you believe, Find the common grounds from all these so that you will not have a difficult time making compromises.

Whatever the cause of the problem is in the marriage, it is imperative on your part to find the effective ways on how to resolve the issues for the purpose of saving the marriage. “Enjoy daydreaming and fantasizing about the future together, even if your partner’s dreams are independent of yours,” says licensed psychotherapist Christine Scott-Hudson, MA. Take note that the more you deny to yourself the existence of these issues, the more difficult it is for you to prevent the dissolution of the marital bond in the future.

Stress In Marriage – Overlooked Mistakes That Ruin Relationships

We know that marriage is a process and it’s entirely challenging to handle. So much for that, we are all guilty of making mistakes. Some of them can be both intentional, and some are not. After all, we are all human. And despite the idea of “happily ever after,” the truth is there is no such thing as a perfect relationship. “If you’re angry, sad or hurt, that’s information your husband needs to know.” The next time you have a bad day at work, send a warning text before you get home, Dr. Michelle Golland, PsyD, suggests.


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How To Keep The Marriage Alive

Marriage is a lifetime commitment that one should take seriously. “Ideally, the joy of long-term commitment is having someone beside you, with you, to share the joys and the burdens of life. A long-term commitment complements the rest of your life as it becomes an integral part of it,” according to Mark D. White Ph.D..It is where couples try to create their own family and live with the blessings of the Holy Matrimony. It is a significant decision that both men and women should consider because it serves as the couple’s legal bond of their union.

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I’m Glad I Recall

“When you are in denial about your part in the relationship, then you are no better than a child flinging sand at another child in a sandbox. When you take responsibility for your part in the marriage, only then will you be able to connect with your partner in a mature, intimate way.”Carin Goldstein, LMFT

Being married to my husband for more than 15 years has made me realize that arguments in a relationship have nothing to do with the environment. Well, at least not all of it.  The truth is, the maximum percentage of our marriage conflicts comes from our home. Yes, and the more we stay together, it creates a massive commotion inside our house which affects all of us in the family. 

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