Families and relationships impart on us both joys and difficulties. Understanding our feelings and behaviors, learning to cope with anxiety, and communicating in a constructive manner can help bolster our emotional health and reinforce the important relationships in our lives.
The fields of couples counseling and marital therapy have been growing due to the large number of couples seeking assistance with relationship problems. Typically, this type of therapy is most effective when the couple is seen together, so that they may focus on clarifying and improving their interactions and relationships. Still, almost half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, and separations, like other major life changes, are stressful.
The American Psychological Association explains that research on what makes a marriage work shows that people in a good marriage have completed the psychological tasks below:
- Separate emotionally from the family you grew up in; not to the point of estrangement, but enough so that your identity is separate from that of your parents and siblings.
- Build togetherness based on a shared intimacy and identity, while at the same time set boundaries to protect each partner's autonomy.
- Establish a rich and pleasurable sexual relationship and protect it from the intrusions of the workplace and family obligations.
- For couples with children, embrace the daunting roles of parenthood and absorb the impact of a baby's entrance into the marriage. Learn to continue the work of protecting the privacy of you and your spouse as a couple.
- Confront and master the inevitable crises of life.
- Maintain the strength of the marital bond in the face of adversity. The marriage should be a safe haven in which partners are able to express their differences, anger and conflict.
- Use humor and laughter to keep things in perspective and to avoid boredom and isolation.
- Nurture and comfort each other, satisfying each partner's needs for dependency and offering continuing encouragement and support.
- Keep alive the early romantic, idealized images of falling in love, while facing the sober realities of the changes wrought by time.
-Nine psychological tasks for a good marriage from the American Psychological Association-
Keywords: marital problems, family problems, marriage, relationships, couples counseling, marital therapy, family therapy, improving your life, psychologist, help
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