Opening the Door: Taking a First Step Towards a Healthier Marriage

Author: Lisa Butler, LCMFT LCAC Published:

Improving marital health is similar to physical health, and in some ways, they are even connected.

Studies by Lois Verbrugge and James House (University of Michigan) show that an unhappy marriage can increase your chances of getting sick by about 35% and decrease your lifespan by about four years.

We do not need to wait until our physical health has deteriorated to the point of needing intensive treatment to make positive change. We do not need a physician’s referral to start eating better or going to the gym. But, it will take more time and effort to get healthy if we let the problems go on for that long.

The same is true for the health of our marriage. A struggling relationship can find hope, healing, and stability. A mediocre relationship can strengthen its foundation to become a supportive refuge from the world. And a good relationship can grow even stronger and more joyful together!

There are many resources and tools for couples; sometimes that vast number can be a little overwhelming. However, the first step to any positive change is awareness of a need or desire for things to be better. The second step is trying something different. We have all heard that one of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. We must step out and try something to find out if it will work for us.

If a class seems interesting and your partner is willing to go, then start here. Cana Counseling provides a marital enrichment series created by the Gottman Institute with expert insight and proven tools on what makes relationships work. With the first class coming to an end and more classes being announced soon, it is exciting to be able to offer this opportunity for couples to learn and grow together.

If a weekend retreat works better with your schedules, then start here. Worldwide Marriage Encounter is celebrating 50 years of weekend experiences to help couples restore communication and connection. There is even a local group of couples that continue to meet on a monthly basis for support and fellowship.

If you feel that your relationship needs a confidential, objective, professionally trained therapist, then start here. The therapists at Cana Counseling are licensed mental health clinicians having at least a master’s degree in clinical social work, marriage and family therapy, psychology, or a related field. With hearts centered in Christ Jesus and a Catholic understanding of the person, those experiencing life’s struggles and challenges are met with love and compassion.

Any door that you are ready, willing, and able to go through is a good place to start. It may be just the step you need to get your relationship headed in the direction of a healthier marriage and family.

Cana Counseling’s mission is to encourage, prepare, strengthen and preserve marriage and families and to assist individuals in need of behavioral or mental health services.