Abundant Life Counseling

6927 Lakewood Drive West, Suite C-4

Tacoma, WA 98467 - Phone: (253) 651-7785

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David and Susan sat in my office trying desperately to find a reason to repair their marriage after an extramarital sexual affair. Susan, who admitted to having an affair, wanted to heal the marriage, yet David was torn between allowing himself to trust her again or start over despite the pain it would cause. Both were in tears searching for answers to where their relationship went wrong. How could 15 years of marriage have gone off track? How could they be so miserable yet have 3 wonderful kids and a successful business?

David and Susan, like so many marriages, began their life journey together with hopes of success and bliss. They are initially meeting each others needs by listening intently, participating in common activities, setting mutual goals, and planning the future. Yet somewhere on this journey of life together something insidious happens and years down the road two people look at each other and question, "Who are you? .... I didn't marry this!"

What researchers and therapists have found is that a marriage is a dynamic institution that changes, evolves, and grows just like people do. If a marriage is to remain stable and healthy then people need to expect and allow changes to happen. With this individual growth the needs of each partner will change substantially. Moreover, if this growth is not supported then the likelihood of an extramarital affair increases.

Through the course of therapy, David and Susan found out that they were not acknowledging and allowing these changes to take place in a supportive, respectful environment. Thus the relationship stagnated and lost intimacy. With time and support they were able to create new levels of trust and intimacy by respectfully recognizing their partners unique character and needs. While David and Susan's primary work was to address the needs of their spouse, they found out that in healthy marriages it is OK to appropriately allow others to meet some needs. After they begin meeting these needs through reciprocity it leads to higher levels of marital satisfaction.

Here are five tips to keeping your marriage healthy and satisfying.

First, set frequent, private moments with your spouse to share thoughts and feelings. Remember to communicate these with respect by listening intently and being supportive of your spouse's ideas, dreams, and goals.

Second, learn to negotiate disagreements with respect. Usually you can both emerge from a situation meeting each other's needs if you communicate with understanding.

Third, play with your partner. Make time for a little mystery, a little flirtatiousness, a date where you revisit the places you enjoyed when your love was new. Relive some happy moments that brought the tow of you together and create new moments. Keep the chase going toward each other.

Fourth, allow individual growth and actualization to take place. Support your spouse's hobbies, interests and passions.

Fifth, seek out healthy friends and couples to interact with. We as people grow in knowledge when we are exposed to new experiences, people, and events. This allows for fresh information to be processed and experienced.

Remember, successful marriages take time, commitment, and patience.

If I can be of help to you, contact me at the telephone number above, or send me an email by clicking HERE.