Marriage and Motherhood

The real women — wives and mothers — of the online essay blog Coffee + Crumbs have recently offered up some of the best advice about seeking marriage counseling we’ve heard on a podcast. Listening to the three women sharing about their hard seasons of marriage and motherhood, and hearing them share about the power and helpfulness of marriage counseling, is encouraging and inspiring. (Our two favorite Coffee + Crumbs essays on marriage are When Marriage is Hard and Love Is A Verb.)

Be sure to take a listen to the whole podcast, (episode 24) Marriage is Good Hard Work, and here are a few of our favorite quotes:

On when to go to marriage counseling: should you go regularly so that you get ahead of problems bubbling under the surface, or on demand when things are at a breaking point?

“I think it also depends on your personality and your relationship with your counselor. I have [friends who] do marriage tune-ups…it’s almost kind of preventative. But [we] tend to go when it’s an emergency. So I think it depends on your personality and how you approach counseling in that way.” {19:30}

On proactive scheduling: the tip is to do the research to find a marriage counseling specialist who is a good fit for your budget and needs ahead of the “sensitive time” you anticipate needing help, like after the honeymoon or after a new baby is born.

“They scheduled [marriage counseling] for something like 6 weeks or 8 weeks after the birth of their baby…like “let’s just put this on the calendar so we don’t have to think about it.” Which is brilliant because when you have new baby you don’t know what is hormones, what is sleep deprivation, and it’s hard sometimes when you have a four week old to even find the counselor who you want to see or to make the appointment…So scheduling it beforehand is just super smart. Just make it your first date night [as new parents], line up a babysitter, go to marriage counseling and then go to dinner!” {20:27}

On the validating and supportive effect of marriage counseling: its power to normalize what you’re going through and offer real help for positive changes.

“If you’re not surrounded by people who tell you that [marriage and motherhood] is hard for everyone…that’s something I always get out of our [marriage] counseling appointments. It’s just so nice to sit in a room–with a professional–looking me in the eye and saying ‘lots of couples struggle with this” and “lots of couples feel this way.” There is something just so affirming and validating about that, not feeling like you’re the only one. If you go in for nothing more than that, it’s worth the money!” {21:32}

Don’t skip the rest of the podcast, which is full of more great conversations about sharing household responsibilities, creative ways to make time for each other as spouses, and real stories of the hard seasons in marriage. You’ll feel like you’re chatting with best friends at coffee shop (just try to stop yourself from saying, “me too!” out loud)– this podcast is definitely worth the listen!

And don’t forget to check out our practice’s recent blog post recommending three podcasts about love and relationships!

Seeking couples counseling during a hard season of your marriage is a brave first step in finding the relief you’re looking for. And new mamas — a new Mama Groove support group is forming this summer! Contact Caryn today for more details about the benefits of friendship and movement as you settle in to your new role as mama.

Ready to get started in couples counseling in Bethesda, MD with a marriage counseling specialist? It’s easy to schedule an appointment today. We can help!