Most couples enter into marriage with an expectation that the relationship will remain fulfilling for a lifetime. However, all marriages face conflict, and over the years, many couples drift apart. With the added stress of work and family, it’s no wonder that so many find marriage unsatisfying. Eventually, all couples realize that a fulfilling marriage takes work; yet if both partners are dedicated to fostering intimacy, the joys of marriage can be the ultimate reward.
Christian marriage counseling offers couples a wonderful opportunity to develop intimacy by building relational skills that will strengthen their marriage. At Seattle Christian Counseling, we partner with couples to cultivate love, respect, honesty, trust, and integrity in relationships. We use our expertise to encourage couples to understand one another better and develop healthy relational patterns. We have seen many broken or dysfunctional marriages redeemed into strong, vibrant relationships.
Communication Problems & Conflict Resolution
One of the primary causes of marital conflict is breakdown in communication between partners. Even when this is not the cause of problems, conflict resolution in marriage requires both partners to communicate openly and empathetically with each other. With the help of a Christian marriage counselor, you and your spouse can discover new ways to affirm, constructively disagree, and support one another in all of your interactions.
Affairs, Lying, and Broken Trust
Healthy marriages are founded on trust, honesty, respect, and integrity, and violating any of these virtues undermines the relationship. This is especially true in the case of infidelity. The road to relational recovery after an affair is long and difficult. If your marriage has been damaged by infidelity, we urge you to seek the help of a professional Christian marriage counselor. At Seattle Christian Counseling, we can help you and your spouse understand the affair—why it happened, how you can recover, and what you can do to prevent future infidelity.
Building and Repairing Intimacy
Life is full of challenges— – developing a career, raising a family, and losing a loved one, to name a few — – that can prevent partners from putting their relationship first. It can be even more difficult if the relationship itself has been damaged by an affair or similar violation of trust. No matter where you are in your relationship, if you and your partner wish to deepen or repair intimacy, there is hope for growth and healing.
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,
Supporting Your Family And Marriage: Counseling For Comprehensive Care
By David Hodel,
Posted November 15th, 2018
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Many of us go through life more or less on automatic, making the best choices we can based on the available information. It is only natural for us to want things to run as smoothly as possible. If we aren’t naturally prone to worry, it is easy to brush away concerns about physical symptoms as long as they aren’t too disruptive.
We may put off a physical examination, or ignore something that “isn’t that big a deal.” I have heard many people say they hate hospitals. It makes sense, then, that they would be resistant to a check up that might result in a trip to one.
If we can get past that resistance, and develop a healthy approach to our health care, we can make use of what’s available as appropriate and often get results that help us lead healthier happier lives. The very same can be said of mental health care. But even with all the normalization mental health in the media and schools, there is a lot of subliminal resistance to making use of it.
The Stigma Around Family and Marriage Counseling
It’s not surprising that people still have a negative view of mental health care. Forty years ago, a psychiatric hospital was referred to as “the booby hatch,” “bughouse,” and “funny farm” among other names, and I still hear those terms bandied about in social settings.
People with disorders are called “crazy,” “loony,” “nut job,” or “whacko.” Only in a room full
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