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"A marriage only works if you work it." Simple and sound advice from licensed relationship counselor, Barbara J. Peters. Peters, a couples counselor and author of three books chronicling relationships, has been helping couples rediscover love and fulfillment to avoid facing off in divorce court.
With the American Psychological Association (APA) reporting the current divorce rate of 40 to 50 percent of all marriages, Peters agrees that a healthy marriage is beneficial to a couple's’ mental and physical health and learning to manage a healthy marriage should not be at the bottom of the priority list.
Peters interjects that many couples gracing her professional threshold are often making a last ditch effort to save the marriage, which in some cases may prove productive, but in most instances those reaching this stage experience a poor prognosis and eventually file for legal separation or divorce.
As with substance abuse recovery, Peters believes that marriage also experiences set-backs or marital relapses and working a type of relationship relapse prevention program may be the answer. Peters also practices the importance of debunking various marital myths that are responsible for hindering the healing process and ultimately viewing the troubled marriage in a new light.
In agreement with other marriage counseling professionals, Peters believes these are the marital myths that require a second look.
It has been long believed that if a couple maintains open and clear communication the marriage will thrive. Many therapists believes this to be the largest misconception.
Although honed listening skills are useful throughout a marriage, this type of communication alone will not save a marriage and believes that a healthy screaming match can be beneficial.
The Perfect Pair
All of us have irrational issues and trying to find a perfect soul mate is out of the question but rather suggest finding that person who is able to accommodate neuroses or personality problems with care, affection and respect.
The Compatibility Factor
Although both the therapist and the counselor believe that enjoying the same interests or activities can be beneficial, this myth can become a source of tension.How these connections are pursued and perceived can cause an increase in marital tension and are not always enough to keep the relationship alive.
You Do, I Do
It is important to not keep score in a marriage. Counselors warn couples not make deals to maintain a sense of fairness and balance. This myth is very evident in unhealthy marriages and couples should continually work to build a strong connection by freely offering positive support.
Some therapists believe that playing nice all the time is quite destructive to a marriage. Avoiding conflict at all cost is unnatural but suggest that finding a middle ground to discuss the issues at hand is the healthy choice.
An Affair Trumps It All
Not all counselors agree with that statement, because they believe that couples should address infidelity as an indicator that the offending spouse is seeking such qualities as companionship, friendship, support and respect. All these factors that perhaps are currently lacking in the marriage and once addressed could be resolved.
Some also debunk the long-standing myth that it is always the male partner who strays. Since the historical expansion of women in the workplace, women are now rivaling their male counterparts when it comes to seeking extramarital relationships.
The Planets Align
As John Gray, Ph.D. probed a deeper look into relationships with his book, "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus," the playing field has been leveled as research finds that equally, 70 percent of both men and women feel that the quality and level of friendship in a marriage is important.
Adhering to these myths can be disheartening especially for those couples who are seeking professional help to improve their marriages.
If your marriage is not aligning on all levels and divorce is imminent, the skilled Hinsdale divorce attorneys of Martoccio & Martoccio have built a strong reputation as effective divorce negotiators and litigators. With 75 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys strongly advocate for the rights and interests of our clients. Contact our offices today to learn more about our team.