Many people believe that couples counseling is only married couples, for but counseling can support and strengthen relationships at any stage. At Mill Creek Christian Counseling, our experienced counselors come alongside couples to help mediate conflict-resolution for various issues that come up in dating—from commitment fears to sexual health to long-distance relationships and everything in between. We also help partners discuss and discern questions about their future, including marriage and starting or blending a family. Whether you have been dating for six months or six years, our counselors are delighted to support you and your partner as you seek to build a healthy life together.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no set of hard-and-fast “rules” for building a healthy dating relationship. Generally speaking, however, the key to a dating is to maintain balance: we tend to become very invested in our dating relationships, and keeping perspective is a skill everyone must learn. Dating is a great way to learn about who you are–your needs, interests, and desires–and to discern what you want in a partner. When the right person comes along, intimacy will develop naturally.
Learning to communicate well and to manage conflict with compassion and integrity are two of the most important acquired skills in any dating relationship. Even the closest relationships are not immune from miscommunication, and partners who have been together for years still experience conflict. A Christian counselor can help you and your partner learn how to navigate communication problems and conflict resolution. He or she will provide you with the tools to manage these issues in healthy and relationship-affirming ways.
A violation of trust has enormous potential to undermine the health of your relationship. If your relationship has been damaged by betrayal or lying, we encourage you to seek help. Repairing a broken relationship is never easy, but if you and your loved one are committed to healing, restoration is possible. Our trained counselors have helped many couples to overcome the hurt of betrayal, infidelity, and chronic lying, and to discover the path back to relational wholeness.
Learning to love and care for our significant others is a process that requires patience, discernment, and forgiveness. Whether you and your partner are in need of a little support or a serious reassessment, we are happy to help. No matter what stage you are at in your relationship, our counselors are here to support and encourage you in taking healthy, positive steps toward true intimacy and deeper commitment. Christian couples counseling is a wonderful opportunity to make time for your partner and to discover your shared values and visions for the future together. Give your relationship the attention it deserves–call us today!
How to Speak the Truth in Love Within Your Marriage
By Matthew Antolick,
Posted March 21st, 2019
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Learning how to speak the truth in love isn’t always easy. I can think of many times I’ve sold out truth for the sake “love,” or the other way around. That is, I’ve spoken the truth, but not in a very loving way. They needed to hear it after all, and I’m not afraid to speak the truth. Someone has to do it.
So I tell my wife what I think about how she’s handling the stress of getting ready for having people over. I tell her how to fix it. “Just stop worrying, trust Jesus.” It’s the truth! It’s a solution to a problem! And it makes things worse. I remembered to speak the “truth,” but I forgot to be loving.
Or, maybe I see something that is true – I see my spouse struggling and it looks like I may have a solution, or a way of helping. But it didn’t go well the last time I tried to jump in and say something. So instead of taking a risk, I don’t say anything.
Maybe it works out okay. Maybe tension mounts inside of me, until I say it in an unloving way. Or maybe I just believe that you don’t upset the people you love, so I just keep it to myself. I take, for the moment, the easy path.
It is easy to sell out being truthful for the sake of being “loving.” It is also easy to sell out being
Marriage 101: Advice from a Christian Marriage Counselor
By Dr Gary Bell,
Posted January 18th, 2019
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Marriage, when it is not working, can be the loneliest place in the world. The covenant of marriage requires us to love, honor, trust and cherish. If we don’t do that, then we have no foundation to stand on. Every argument we ever have is a trust issue. When we violate trust, to any degree, then we are telling our partner that our love is not important and they are not important.
You can love someone and not trust them, but when you trust, the love will always follow. In Christian marriage counseling, we work on trust. There is nothing we can do about love because it is an emotion.
The safety of hearing each other and validating each others perceptions does not require agreement. It is a true act of love. It gives us a place to work through the tough issues with empathy and respect. No secrets are needed when both parties are safe to hear each other and validate (“I understand,” “I hear what you are saying,” “What you’re saying is…”).
Men’s Needs Versus Women’s Needs
In general terms, men and women have different fundamental needs.
Women fundamentally take the temperature on the marriage based on how much they feel “cherished.” Cherished means: “She is my best friend,” “I don’t know what I would do without her,” “I’m so lucky to have her.” When women don’t feel cherished, they begin to wonder who you are cherishing. They also feel a violation of trust,
Improving Your Marriage: Marriage and Family Counseling Together
By Spencer Fox,
Posted October 24th, 2018
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In my work, I see a mix of couples, families, and individuals. It’s rare that a problem exists solely with an individual without any repercussions for the surrounding family. Problems that affect you will affect your family and problems that affect your family will affect you.
A bedrock of your family, your marriage serves as a motor for the family as a whole. If the marriage is healthy, your family usually shows signs of health but when marriage problems arise, they can affect the whole family as well, like a series of ripples in a pond.
The Social Ecology of the Family
Imagine a series of concentric circles. Somewhere near the middle is the circle that represents “you” in your wholeness and entirety. There are few more inside which represent your mind, your body, your body chemistry, and your soul.
Moving outward from the “you circle,” next, we might see your immediate family, your extended family and friends, your neighborhood, your city, your culture, and your country. Like rings of a tree or the ripples on a pond, these circles represent the multiple realms that affect who you are. This series of circles is sometimes called the “social ecology of the family.”
“Social ecology of the family” is a heavily loaded term, so let’s dissect it in reverse. The family is, in this model, the point around which everything else revolves. In Western culture, we tend to place importance on the individual and end up viewing