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Marriage Counseling
Maintaining a Strong Marriage

A strong marriage requires constant and loving attention, which can be fun but is also hard work. This is because marriage changes as each partner grows and changes. For most people to be happy in their marriage they need to feel respected and cherished. For many, passion, trust, friendship and safety are other essential aspects of the relationship with their spouse.

Judith Wallerstein, in her book The Good Marriage, outlines nine critical psychological tasks that take place in a healthy marriage:

  • To separate emotionally from the family of one’s childhood in order to invest fully in the marriage and to redefine the lines of connection with both families of origin.
  • To build togetherness by creating the intimacy that supports is while carving out each partner’s autonomy.
  • To embrace the daunting role of parenthood and to absorb the impact of the baby’s dramatic entrance while the couple works to protect their privacy.
  • To confront and master the inevitable crises of life, maintaining the strength of the bond in the face of adversity.
  • To create a safe haven for the expression of differences, anger and conflict.
  • To establish a rich and pleasurable sexual relationship and protect it from the incursions of the workplace and family obligations.
  • To use laughter and humor to keep things in perspective, and to avoid boredom by sharing fun, interests and friends.
  • To provide nurturance and comfort to each other, satisfying each partner’s needs for dependency and offering continuing encouragement and support.
  • To keep alive the early romantic, idealized images of falling in love while facing the sober realities of the changes wrought by time.

There are times when you might be struggling with one of these tasks. Maybe you’re having problems with your in-laws, experiencing sexual tension or you feel bored and isolated. You might need to seek the guidance of a marriage counselor to help you develop the tools you need to succeed.

Dr. Kathy Marshack can help you. She is accepting new clients and has two office locations for your convenience. If you live in the Portland, Oregon or Vancouver, Washington area (or can drive to these locations) please call to set up your first appointment. See Therapy FAQs for more information. Please give us a call at (360) 256-0448 or (503) 222-6678 or email us at info@kmarshack.com.