Thriving Couples Blog

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New Year, New Marriage?


January is a great time to start working on a new marriage along with your decision to lose weight or to get out of debt or whatever.  Our phone starts ringing in January.  It may as well be you!  The winter nights can get depressing and long without a mission and what a better goal than to start working on reinventing your marriage?  Don’t just read a book.  Come in and see us.

There are three of us now at Heart to Heart: 1) Carol Caskey in Ames, who’s been with Heart to Heart 13 years; 2) Cole Johnson in Ames on Fridays and Saturdays, a practicum student through August, who is taking sliding fee clients ($25 to $75/ hour depending on your income.  Call us for a quote.  Perfect if you have no insurance.  Note: he’s seeing teens and children, also.  This is a first for Heart to Heart.)  And 3) myself (Bing Wall) in both Ames and Urbandale offices.

A lot of people are scared of marital therapy.  It’s understandable. Especially men!  She already is telling me how bad I am.  Why would I want to go to marital counseling and have her rail on me even more…and the counselor agree with her?  Two people beating me up?  No thanks!

Ahhh, well, ahhh, that’s not what we do.  Yeah, the first session or two we need to get the concerns on the table, but that would be both of your concerns, not just hers.  Gals…don’t underestimate the ability of your husband to open up.  Some wives come alone the first time and tell us their husbands would never open up.  We encourage them to bring their husbands and, what-do-you-know?  Their husbands, generally, are quite articulate!  Why’s that?  Why not at home, but they do in therapy?  Research suggests men will talk, but the conditions needed for men to open up are different than for women.  The main ingredient needed is to feel they are going to be heard without criticism.  They don’t want to fight.  It needs to be emotionally safe.  It doesn’t mean they don’t have an opinion.  The average woman speaks two to ten times more words a day than her husband and over a lifetime she’s much more articulate and skilled at saying her opinions.  Many men feel intimidated by that, so they shut down or get mean.  Neither option works very well for their wives.

We can help change this big marital snafu.  Couples get in bad habits.  They don’t even know they are bad habits.  We point this out!  We make simple suggestions to change the bad habits into good habits.  You can decide on your own if you want to do them or not.  That’s up to you.

But look.  You reap what you sow.  If you are both sowing bad seeds you’ll end up in a bad marriage.  If you start sowing good seeds you can turn a bad or hurting marriage around.  Really.  Like I say…if you are married, you may as well enjoy it!

Need Individual Or Couples Counseling? Call 888-233-4334 or email

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