Couples Counseling

Overcoming Toxic Traits in a Relationship

By |2024-03-22T13:39:18+00:00March 22nd, 2024|Couples Counseling, Featured, Marriage Counseling, Premarital Counseling, Relationship Issues|

Relationships with other people can be a source of deep pain, but they can just as easily be the best thing about life. When your relationships are great, they have the potential to make you deliriously happy, and you can feel supported, cared for, and known. Even if you’re going through an especially tough time in a relationship with toxic traits, knowing that there are people who have your back makes your passage through the fire that much easier. On the other hand, if your relationships are difficult – if the people around you don’t support you, if you don’t feel cared for or seen, or if you are constantly fighting over one thing or the other – then even if things are going well at work or in other areas of life, it’s likely you won’t have a general sense of well-being. Relationships are that important in our lives. That being said, when relationships are unhealthy or toxic, that is not a fait accompli. A toxic relationship can be changed, and the toxic traits in it can be exchanged for healthier habits and patterns. One of the first steps is identifying what those toxic traits in your relationship are. Identifying toxic traits in a relationship A relationship can be like a living organism. It can be thriving and vibrant, but it can also be sickly and damaged. For instance, if you want to know whether a fruit tree is sick, you can tell by looking at its leaves, whether it produces any fruit, and if the fruit looks and tastes right. In the same way, a relationship that’s toxic will have fruit that indicates as much. Some of the ways to see if a relationship is toxic include the following: Do you look forward to being with that [...]

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God’s Design and Desire: Couples Counseling and Relationship Issues

By |2024-03-20T11:50:45+00:00March 20th, 2024|Couples Counseling, Featured, Marriage Intensives, Premarital Counseling, Relationship Issues|

Conflict is inevitable. How we prepare for it and how we respond can determine how we weather interpersonal challenges. It is valuable for us to realize that the same Father who formed us as individuals in His Hand also created our spouse. They are not just our mates, but rather esteemed sons and daughters of God. Like us, they are human with complexities, existing with areas of brilliance and flaws in the same being. Couples counseling can help. Conflicts can present opportunities, as they hold the potential to bless our lives and unveil facets of the Father’s character where we are a captive audience. Unfortunately, we are not always receptive to hope, as disappointment and disenchantment have sullied anticipation for what we imagined. Sometimes, what we once desired to experience with our mate gets lost and swallowed up by schedules and rhythms of life causing relationship issues. The daily responsibilities of work and household management become more central than the God who brought us together. As a result, we lose sight, failing to see and forgetting to continue viewing our spouse through the lens of God’s love and artistry. Relationship issues revealed in couples counseling. There is hope, though when we acknowledge we are off track. Once recognized, relationship issues can be explored and resolved through prayer, mindset and behavioral changes, ongoing communication, and couples counseling. We can ask and consider that the Lord may be retooling troubles, inviting us into experiences that accomplish a greater aim. Through these challenges, we will face opposition from the enemy of our souls; but it does not eliminate God’s open door of discovery (1 Corinthians 16:9). We can ponder how the circumstance can work to draw us together, discover something new, and deepen intimacy. We can also explore the Father’s design and [...]

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Distracted by Desire: Infidelity and Emotional Affairs

By |2024-04-04T11:29:22+00:00August 28th, 2023|Couples Counseling, Featured, Individual Counseling, Infidelity and Affairs, Marriage Counseling, Relationship Issues|

Statistics concerning divorce rates can be alarming. Most sources report that roughly half of all marriages endure. Among the other fifty percent that end, a lack of commitment and infidelity are cited as top contributors to why many couples part ways. The American Psychological Association (APA) defines infidelity as “the situation in which one partner in a marriage or intimate relationship becomes sexually or emotionally involved with a person other than the partner’s spouse.” While we can respect that description, it is important for believers in Christ to understand that adultery, like other sins, does not originate at the point of a physical or emotional exchange with another human being. Infidelity and the state of an emotional affair, however, begins in the heart (Ephesians 2:3). With unrestricted access, our adversary can influence our thoughts, emotions, and actions. He seeks to gain a foothold in our lives to build a fortress (Ephesians 4:17). For that reason, we need to establish a hedge of prayerful and practical protection around our minds, mates, and marriages. We don’t have to live in fear, but we can be active in saving our marriage before it’s threatened. In the cases where we have been distracted by desire and experienced infidelity or an emotional affair, we can recover to make our marital bond more resilient. There may be many reasons or explanations why we or our spouses sought companionship or intimacy outside of the marriage. These reasons don’t excuse infidelity or an emotional affair. Where there are gaps or unmet needs, we need to be willing to commune with our hearts and face what prompted us to seek fulfillment elsewhere (Psalm 4:4). We must also engage and be present with our spouse in honest, ongoing conversations where we demonstrate an active and compassionate response to one [...]

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How Love Languages Impact Relationships

By |2023-08-25T15:57:06+00:00December 23rd, 2022|Couples Counseling, Featured, Marriage Counseling, Relationship Issues|

What kind of influence do the five love languages have on your relationships? What does it mean to speak a love language? It's been said that there are five distinct ways to show and receive affection, and figuring out which one works best for you could completely change the dynamic of your relationship. Even though you may show your significant other affection regularly, do you ever stop to consider whether or not you are conveying that affection in the manner in which they would prefer to receive it? When two people in a relationship speak different love languages to one another, even love can sometimes get lost in translation. What are the five different ways to express love? Words of affirmation, quality time spent together, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch are the five different ways that people can express and receive love. People do not all express their love in the same way. Individuals also have varying preferences regarding the mode in which they are shown love. Gary Chapman, Ph.D., developed the idea of love languages in his book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. In this book, he describes five distinct ways of communicating love, categories that he distilled from his experience in marriage counseling and linguistics. Chapman is credited with the development of the concept of love languages. According to a marriage and family therapist named Sunny Motamedi, Psy.D, “We all may relate to most of these languages, but each of us has one that speaks to us the most.” Motamedi continues, “If you and your partner can determine your primary love language and communicate with one another in that language regularly, you may [be able to] better understand each other's needs and support each other's growth.” The five love [...]

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The Best Bible Verses for Married Life

By |2022-07-15T22:22:47+00:00July 11th, 2022|Couples Counseling, Featured, Marriage Counseling, Relationship Issues, Spiritual Development|

Married life can be full of blessings, but it can also be full of challenges. If you want to bless your marriage and make it stronger, you can study the best Bible verses for married life. These verses will help you both as individuals and a couple to know how God wants you to live. Bible Verses for Married Life The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” – Genesis 2:18, NIV Even before sin entered the world, God called something not good. The first man, Adam, needed a helper suited for him. That's why God created Eve to be Adam’s wife, helper, friend, and lover. God wanted Adam and Eve to have a thriving relationship with each other just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are in relationship with one another. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. – Genesis 2:23-24, NIV God wants us to be united as married couples as if we are one flesh. We must leave our parents and bond together to form a new family. If you are having problems with your in-laws, you can come back to these verses for perspective and guidance. Remember that this is God's design for you to separate as a couple and enjoy your life together without other family members interfering. Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. – Hebrews 13:4, NIV Sex is a powerful waiting for couples to [...]

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12 Examples of Gaslighting in Relationships

By |2024-04-04T11:35:45+00:00June 22nd, 2022|Couples Counseling, Featured, Individual Counseling, Relationship Issues|

Gaslighting in relationships is a form of emotional abuse. It is a destructive and manipulative tactic by an abuser to keep a victim off balance. When someone is being gaslighted, they are persuaded to believe something patently false or to question something true. If you are regularly being gaslighted by someone, this can take an enormous toll on your psychological well-being. But you can gain help, perspective, and practical tools for overcoming this problem when you meet with a Christian counselor. How does gaslighting work? The term gaslighting comes from a play by the name gaslight which debuted in 1938 and was later turned into a film. In the original story, a man dimmed the gas lamps in increments but denied doing so to the woman. A woman's visual senses told her the lights were being dimmed, but she chose to believe the falsehood the man was telling her, and this eventually drove her crazy. An abuser uses this tactic of manipulating the truth to toy with their victim’s emotions, perception, memory, and sanity. It is a deliberate move to keep the victim under their control. But often, the abuser works in subtle ways so their insidious behavior will not be called out. Unfortunately, the subtle approach can make it difficult for the victim to know they are being gaslighted. People who use gaslighting in relationships do it to exert power over their victims. Sometimes they simply enjoy the twisted pleasure of feeling like a puppeteer over someone's life. They may also wish to gain emotional, physical, or financial power in the victim's life. 12 examples Here are several examples of gaslighting that occur in different types of relationships. 1. A man tells his wife that he loves her and had no intention of hurting her feelings, so she [...]

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