13 Things Marriage Counselors Know About Your Relationship

Counselors across the country weigh in on what they are really thinking during couples therapy.

By Michelle Crouch from Reader's Digest
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    1) I love couples who fight in the waiting room. At least they still care about each other. If one or both of you seem indifferent, my job is a lot harder.

    2) When you say your feelings "just aren't there anymore," I know you're probably cheating.

    3) Sometimes I'll tell a couple "no sex until the next session. Don't touch each other, period." What I'm really hoping is that they'll fail and feel a sense of unity from their mutual rebellion.

    4) It may make you feel better to talk about your marriage issues with a good friend, but it will just make things worse. Never talk to outsiders about things in your marriage that you haven't already talked about with your spouse.

    5) I'm not going to tell a couple that I have no idea why they're together. But take the hint if I say something like "You both have to make a decision about whether this is going to work long term."

    6) What do I wish I could say? "Grow up!" "Stop whining!" "Get a life!" When I feel this way, I know I need a vacation.

    7) Don't try to convince me you're the good one. In most marriages, there isn't a good one.

    8) Yes, you should go to bed angry. If you try to resolve everything before you hit the sack, you'll both be sleep-deprived and cranky the next day. Instead, get a good night's sleep and talk once you're rested.

    9) Three signs that a couple is not going to succeed: name-calling, finger-pointing, and when one or both partners fail to accept even the tiniest bit of responsibility for the situation.

    10) Sometimes two people love each other but have such different styles of living that I recommend they live together in a duplex. It sounds strange, but it works for some people.

    11) I've seen couples I thought didn't stand a chance end up staying together. Often it's because they're both willing to try. But sometimes it's just that they are too dysfunctional to leave each other.

    12) The big thing most women don't understand: Men are not mind readers. If you don't tell him how you feel, he's not going to know. The big thing most men don't understand: If you hardly acknowledge your wife all day, she's not going to want to get intimate with you at night.

    13) If I ask you how long you've had problems and your answer is "ten years," you're not going to change things in ten minutes or ten sessions.

    Plus: More Secrets Your Marriage Counselor Won't Tell You

    Sources: Jeff Palitz, a marriage and family therapist in Chula Vista, California; Susan Fletcher, PhD, a psychologist in Dallas; Tina B. Tessina, PhD, a psychotherapist in Long Beach, California; Nancy Mramor, PhD, in Pittsburgh; Karen Sherman, PhD, in New York; Lawrence J. Levy, PsyD, a licensed psychologist in Boca Raton, Florida; Meghan L. Reitz, LCPC, NCC, in Schaumburg, Illinois; and a marriage counselor in Pennsylvania.


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    Your Comments

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      What would any of you do if your spouse sleeps on the couch and has for 6 +years?????

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      also remember that both of you are friends and got married for a reason only you know. Treat each other as friends and work together. If it is money setup a budget, if there is kids, hire a baby sitter twice a week and go out by yourselves and eat some place and just talk. the more time you spend together and really get to know each other the better. take care of the small things together and the big things will seem like small ones once you really start to work together. Both of you bring home flowers for her and chips or a snack and he will be happy. Remember one thing being fiends and working together as friends will get alot done in your lives. so spend time together. You say but I dont like him or her anymore. Start out like you was dating again. go out to eat and talk and make it a date. But we fight all the time. that is because you still care about each other and she wants some help around the house and you want some attention from him.. Remember eather of you can read minds. so say what you would like from eather other through out the day. it might be just a phone call to see if she needs anything at the store before you come home. if you both work, then it is time to take a vacation. even if it just go to a hotel for the week end. get out of the house and do something different. Let the baby sitter watch the kids. you need some time with each other to get to know each other. An wise old man that has been married for 60 years said do you want to be right all the time or be married. dont try to run each others life, let them live it. do your thing and let them do theres. allways be home for dinner and talk to eather other all the time about anything but talk to each other.