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When To Call It Quits In a Marriage

When To Call It Quits In a Marriage

When To Call It Quits In a Marriage

Sonya Jensen is a marriage counselor, premarital counselor, relationship coach, and breakup recovery counselor with Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. Her practical, positive approach helps couples succeed, and individuals create positive changes in their lives.

When To Call It Quits In A Marriage?

I picked up the phone to reach out to a potential new client for couples counseling. After introducing myself, the clients first question for me was, “When do you know to call it quits in a marriage?”

This question didn’t catch me off guard because it’s the same question many couples ask me at the beginning of marriage counseling or couples therapy.

With these couples, communication problems, lack of sex, and emotional intimacy have been going on for quite some time. Attempts to fix these issues with or without professional help can leave couples feeling exhausted and hopeless.

I’m the biggest cheerleader for relationships. The investment both partners have made to keep a relationship going isn’t worth throwing away at the drop of a hat. However, there are some key signs to look for when trying to decide if continued investment in the relationship is worth it for both partners.

Top Signs You Should Call It Quits In A Marriage:

Unwillingness to Communicate

No matter how hard you try to engage your partner it doesn’t seem to work. You try the nice voice and the sweet thoughts. You try the yelling and the threatening. It doesn’t matter. You get little to no response. [More: “How to Communicate When Your Partner Shuts Down”, and “Are You Trapped in a Codependent Relationship?”]

Consistent Negativity

You don’t seem to communicate outside of what is necessary and even then the content remains negative. Most of the things you say to each other reflect black and white thinking, “You never” or “I always”. At this point you probably can’t make decisions on seemingly insignificant options like where to go for dinner or who is picking up the kids.

You Feel in Your Heart the Relationship is Unhealthy

You’ve tried everything you know to do to improve your relationship. Talked to your friends and read too many relationship books. In your heart you know that you can’t keep going on like this. You can feel the energy between the two of you isn’t getting any better, in fact its either the same or worse. [More: “Are You Addicted to a Toxic Relationship?“]

Unwillingness to Change

It takes two to tango. You’re not perfect, neither is your partner. You both see areas in yourselves that need to change in order to make the relationship work. However, neither of you seems to have the motivation to make those changes.

Won’t Seek Help

You’ve begged your partner to see a counselor. Maybe you’ve gone to one or two appointments without much buy-in from your partner. Overall, you feel a strong resistance personally or from your partner to engaging in counseling.

Maybe you can identify with some or all of these red flags. You may be asking yourself, “What do I do next?” Every couple is different but if you see these things in your relationship, things have to change. The relationship problems won’t resolve on their own. Here’s what to do next:

Get support

Even if your partner won’t come with you, reach out to a couples counselor or relationship coach. Whether you stay or leave this relationship you need help to process your emotions, set healthy boundaries and expectations, and take steps forward. There are divorce and break up recovery groups online and maybe in your area. Do your research.

Get informed

I know its scary to think about all that will change and if you’re even up for it. Gain as much information as possible from an attorney or research the state laws. The more information you have the better decisions you can make about your future.

Take your time

Don’t rush a decision. If you don’t know what to do about your situation, then seek support until you find clarity. For many couples the problems have been ongoing for years. A few more weeks or months won’t change anything. Take this at your pace. There is a lot to grieve, process, and plan.

Every couple is different, as well as every situation. I believe that if both partners are willing to work towards a healthier relationship, there is hope, and there are tools. [More: How to Stop a Divorce and Save Your Marriage] Exhaust your options, arm yourself with knowledge, and have accountability. No matter how little the step, its still moving forward. You don’t have to stay stuck.

Warmly,

Sonya Jensen, M.A., LMFT

Infertility and Pregnancy Loss: How to Heal

Infertility and Pregnancy Loss: How to Heal

Infertility and Pregnancy Loss: How to Heal

Sonya Jensen, M.A., LMFTC is a kind, effective marriage counselor, couples therapist, and premarital counselor with Growing Self Counseling and Counseling. She specializes in women’s health, helping couples heal and grow, is devoted to helping you create the life and love you want.

How to Move Forward, After Heartbreaking Loss

So many couples deal with pregnancy loss and infertility, yet there is little support for women and couples going through this type of grief. Up to one in four pregnancies can end in miscarriage, and approximately one in 10 women struggle to get pregnant at all.

As common as this is, it can also feel very lonely and isolating. Many women struggle with grief and depression after a miscarriage, and couples going through infertility often struggle to support each other during this experience.

Miscarriage or infertility can be very hard to talk about, and the lack of support for women and couples going through it can make it even harder to know where to go for help. For this reason, we’re addressing this topic on today’s episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast with Growing Self couples counselor, therapist and life coach Sonya Jensen. We’ll address:

  • How the healthcare system fails to support the emotional needs of women and couples going through the experience of miscarriage or infertility.
  • What women who are grieving after pregnancy loss need from their partners, family and friends.
  • How couples are impacted by infertility and pregnancy loss, and how they can support each other through it.
  • How couples can protect their sexual relationship as they are dealing with infertility.
  • The difference between simple and complex grief, and how to heal emotionally after a loss.

If you’ve been dealing with this extremely difficult life experience, we hope that you join us and listen to this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.

Sincerely,

Sonya Jensen, M.A., LMFTC & Lisa Marie Bobby, PhD, LMFT, BCC

Listen & Subscribe to the Podcast

Coping With Pregnancy Loss and Infertility

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

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How to Heal Emotionally, After a Pregnancy Loss

How to Heal Emotionally, After a Pregnancy Loss

How to Heal Emotionally, After a Pregnancy Loss

Relationship Help

Are You Coping With the Pain of Miscarriage? You’re Not Alone…

It was a bright and sunny April day six years ago when I went back to the Doctor’s office for an ultrasound. I had a normal first pregnancy and had already seen this baby just a few weeks before. Everything was progressing normally and I had no reason to assume any different.

We all have those defining moments that change the course of our lives. We can look back and see the tell-tale signs and feel compassion for ourselves right before the life-changing event. That day, when I was told the baby’s heartbeat was gone, was one of those for me.

Dealing With Miscarriage

You won’t know how to think, feel, or respond until you are living the experience. For many women shock and disbelief will be the first feelings after the news of a miscarriage. How can the baby be gone if I still feel pregnant? Next, can come the desire to numb or feel nothing. Distraction becomes our friend or long stares off into the distance become the norm.

I didn’t know many women at the time of my miscarriage that had endured the same loss. It was something no one ever shared. The days following people would say awkward and sometimes even dismissive things to me. I felt something was wrong with me or that it wasn’t ok to share what I had been through. My husband didn’t know how to comfort me and seemed strangely distant from the whole experience.

Emotional Support After Pregnancy Loss

Are you experiencing the same feelings of isolation, shame, and loss after a miscarriage? Many people experience feelings of sadness and depression after miscarriage. Here are some beliefs and practices I used to support myself in the grieving process after my pregnancy loss, and which I now routinely employ as a pregnancy loss counselor:

  1. Don’t Blame Yourself: You did nothing wrong. You may be thinking to yourself, “well I was really stressed out” or “I could have taken care of myself better”. You’re trying to make sense of it, and blaming yourself may be the only way you can find closure in the process. As Doctors like to remind us, a miscarriage is the way your body terminates a pregnancy where there may have been significant birth defects. In man,y cases we may never know why a miscarriage happened, but that doesn’t change a woman’s desire to find a reason.
  2. Share Your Story: Even though I didn’t know many women who had experienced a miscarriage I still kept sharing my story. Some people were dismissive or callous. Others were supportive and were able to share their stories. I was able to form bonds with other women and couples which brought with it much needed support.
  3. Seek Support After Pregnancy Loss: The best thing you can do for yourself is build a strong support system as the grieving and physical healing of miscarriage take time. A pregnancy loss grief support group, pregnancy loss counselor or coach, or support group for pregnancy loss are the best options.
  4. Develop a Self-Care Strategy: Pick a few activities that you can practice when strong feelings begin to pop up. This could be music, movies, journaling, exercising, or any other variety of enjoyable activities.

Each woman and couple will process a pregnancy loss differently. Talk with your Doctor if after a few months you’re still experiencing intense grief emotions or feelings of depression after miscarriage. Individual and couples counseling after pregnancy loss can be extremely helpful for support, education, and emotional processing for both you individually, as well as for your relationship.

There is no set amount of time it takes to start feeling normal again. However, the intensity of the emotional response should reduce as you practice some of these strategies and build a strong network of support around yourself.

Sonya Jensen, M.A., LMFTA

The Art of Self Care

The Art of Self Care

Self Care Ideas: How to Take Care of You

Let’s check in with you: What is overwhelming you at this moment? Who or what is occupying all the space in your
head throughout the day? Is it one person or thing? Are there multiple people and things vying
for your attention? Do you ever feel that you’ll never be able to slow down and just enjoy life? Maybe a
relationship went south and you’re going through a breakup. You’re in a high-stress career with a job that is inundating you with to-do lists. Perhaps your child may have special needs. The list can go on and on. You may feel more like a human-doing instead of a human being.

Many of us feel like our value and worth comes from the titles we hold, relationships we have, and the events on our calendars. Our seasons of life are measured by these things and let’s face it, some seasons are better than others. You may be in one of those “off seasons” right now.

When we feel overwhelmed, disconnection from the people and things we love often follows.
This is where self-care comes into play. Have you ever thought about what the word self-care
means to you? My definition of self-care is the discipline of actions that help me stay true to
myself. Now, your definition may be different from mine but take a moment to think about what
it means to you. When working with therapy and life coaching clients dealing with challenging situations I find that the
vast majority of them are greatly lacking in self-care. They can’t identify the things they love to
do and their relationships are not in the healthiest of places.

So how do you fit self-care into your life again? Here are some simple self-care ideas:

1. Think about the things you used to love to do (i.e. write, read, exercise, hang-out with
friends). Write them down.

2. Identify some new activities, things, or places you’ve always wanted to try or visit. Write those
down.

3. Master the 5 minutes. This is my tool for helping clients get on a routine schedule of self-
care. When choosing things you want to add to your life on a daily basis like reading, meditation, or exercise you start with a goal of 5 minutes per day. This may sound too simple but if you’re able to commit to 5 minutes you’re more likely to complete it than say
setting aside an hour every day. If you do more than 5 minutes, great! If not, at least you’re
getting in the habit. When you’ve consistently hit your 5-minute habit for one week progress
to 10 minutes. Slowly adding 5 minutes every week until you’ve hit a goal time (i.e. 1 hour
of exercise a day). Choose from the activities you listed in Step 1.

4. Research the class availability or schedule that relates to the activities you listed from Step 2.

5. Add one event/class/place from your list from Step 2 on your calendar for this month.

6. Make it fun! If you want to exercise but you hate the Stair Stepper, sign up for a dance
class. If you want to read more, choose a genre that you enjoy.

7. Get support and accountability! As we all know, it’s harder to keep commitments to yourself than it is to others. Enlisting the support of an accountability partner can help you follow through.

These are just a few self care ideas to get started on your journey. As you get in the discipline
of practicing the steps you’ve chosen you’ll find you may want to take on more. If you find it difficult to follow through, consider enlisting the support of a great mentor or life coach to help keep you on track, keep you creative, and keep you aware of sticking points or unrealistic
expectations that may limit you.

Blessings!

Sonya Jensen, M.A., LMFTA

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