couple embraces at wedding ceremony

Marriage Counseling For The Win

woman and man embracing at wedding reception

February is such a special month. It is the month of love and special Mardi Gras traditions here in the south. The second month of the year holds a special place in my heart for many reasons, but now as a married woman it stands out even more. I enjoy focusing on love and how I can grow all aspects of love in my life.  Being recently married, my husband and I have started marriage counseling. I know sometimes “couple’s counseling” gets a bad rap, but I am here to say that it has been one of the best ways my husband and I have invested our time and our money. My husband was a little wary of it at first due to the stigma surrounding couple’s counseling…. The myth that if you go to relationship counseling it means that something is majorly wrong or your relationship is doomed. The truth is, most of the times the opposite is true. For us, we love each other so much and want our relationship to withstand the pressures of society, and this is what I hear from so many couples who call our office seeking relationship counseling. We want to be on the same page and to learn and grow together. 

Blake and I started meeting with a counselor when we lived out of state and have stood by that decision through our moves (from NOLA to Raleigh and back to BR) and tough times. It took some time to find the right fit for us, but we have found a great counselor who understands our values and needs and we continually look forward to our sessions. We are committed to growth individually and as a couple as we walk through this journey called life together.

Each year I choose a word to guide my year. My word for 2023 is love. I am focusing on love in all aspects of life; from my marriage, to my friendships, and intentionally loving myself more. I think the first step in this process is really focusing in on what the word “love” means. Merriam-Webster defines love as an unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another or a passionate affection for another person. Diving deeper in to the meaning of love, I was able to brain dump my own thoughts on love, and hope that it encourages you to take a second look at who and how you are loving this year!

What does love mean to me:

  • Love myself – how I look, what my body needs (mentally and physically), spending time doing things I want and need, spending time with the Lord
  • Love my husband – what is his love language, what does he need, how can I serve him 
  • Love others – maintain good relationships, reach out and check in, be aware of others around me and what they have going on, be kind
  • Love my space – taking care of my home and space, picking up after myself

As the office manager, my clinical knowledge is limited to what I pick up from our clinicians, and I often find myself relating to and understanding the clients and potential clients who call in. I get the unique perspective of seeing what goes on “behind the scenes” with our clinicians, and then I also get the experience of attending counseling as a client at another office. From a consumer perspective, I can’t say enough good things about the power of relationship counseling. I want to offer the sincerest encouragement in case anyone else is on the fence or fighting the common misconception that marriage counseling is only one stop away from divorce.

Counseling is a great tool that can be utilized by anyone willing to invest in themselves. At this stage in my life I focus on marriage counseling and how I can learn and grow personally. I highly recommend reading The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman if you have not read it yet. Even if you are not in a relationship this book is a great tool and very helpful in understanding how you can love yourself and others. I also want to encourage you to give yourself grace during the month of February. Take time and write down ways you can love yourself, your family, your friends, and your surroundings this month!