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Marriage Counseling: Promoting Partnership
Promoting a Partnership Marriage
As you attend marriage counseling, you and your spouse will work to find ways to support each other. You are both busy people. You might be juggling work, school, kids, hobbies, friends, church, and more. Supporting each other probably feels overwhelming, and it can be hard to know where to begin.
With your busy schedules, a common conflict is likely to arise- are your workloads equal (Related Article: Emotional Labor and What’s Really Upsetting Women)? Maybe it seems you are working at your maximum capacity. But, you don’t feel the same effort from your spouse. Maybe you are overwhelmed and it seems you can’t keep up with your spouse’s workload. Either way, it is possible to find balance and harmony in your marriage when it comes to working- in or out of the home.
Today, you will learn some ideas that can help you and your partner find balance when it comes to work (Related Article: Marriage Counseling- Team Building).
Building a Partnership
To start, it will be important for you and your spouse to understand each others’ definitions of work. That might seem strange. However, your beliefs about roles, responsibilities, and home life are based on your individual experiences. You and your partner have different perspectives, and will likely have different expectations about work. This is especially true for your views of home life.
Let’s say your partner grew up with a stay at home mom and a dad who worked full time as the breadwinner. On the other hand, you grew up with two working parents. Your home life experiences were likely very different! Maybe your spouse believes stability means a homemaker wife who runs the home, and a husband who manages finances. Adversely, you likely view stability as two incomes and shared responsibilities around the house. You can probably already see where a conflict will arise, especially after you have kids. That is why it is important for you and your spouse to understand your expectations for home life and marriage.
Thankfully, there are different approaches you can take to work on aligning your expectations and finding understanding with your spouse. Researchers have found that a good strategy for finding balance is for you to work on creating a “partnership family”. (Source: Bringing Partnership Home: A Model of Family Transformation, Hanks). A partnership family is one with shared responsibilities at home. Building your partnership can help you feel more connection, satisfaction, and trust in your marriage.
All for One, One for All
Your partnership family will develop through trying to create shared goals and vision for your life together. An important part of creating shared vision for your life is actualization. Actualization is your “highest potential to inspire, support, and empower yourself and others” (source). That can seem vague. But prioritizing actualization will help you and your spouse to create goals that are fulfilling for yourselves, your marriage, and your family.
For example, let’s say you and your spouse want to set career and family goals. You might pay special attention to making sure you each have the resources you need to successfully finish school and start a career. If you have recently had a baby and you want to figure out how to navigate household responsibilities now that you have a child, you might work on understanding each other’s needs and where you each have resources to fill those needs.
There are many more examples of how you and your spouse can work as a team as you plan your shared future. As you create integrated goals that keep each others’ best interests in mind, you will create a greater sense of trust, compassion, and empathy in your marriage. An “all for one, one for all” approach can help you take steps to make a greater sense of partnership with your spouse.
Marriage Counseling: A Valuable Resource for a Partnership Family
As you take steps to create a partnership family, marriage counseling can be an important tool (Related article: How Couples Counseling Works). You and your spouse can improve communication and work towards your goals with the help of your therapist.
Ready to get started? Start couples therapy today in Orem, South Jordan, or Spanish Fork.
Written by Lauren Adkins