2024 Goals from a Marriage Counselor

marriage counseling goals new year

I’ve been a marriage counselor in Thornton, Colorado (a suburb of Denver) for a little over 14 years now. I’ve seen all kinds of couples: polyamorous, monogamous, dating, divorcing, flirting, “just talking” and more. In all my years as a marriage counselor, I’ve been very careful not to impose my own values on my couples. When a couple does ask for advice I have something that I’ve learned to tell them: “You don’t have to go home with me” I say while I’m pointing to their spouse. I follow up with “It’s up to you guys to decide how you want to do this”.  But this blog is going to be a bit different. Because it is a blog. And none of you are my clients. So I’m going to be a little bit more direct and give some advice for some marriage goals I wish for everyone this 2024.

Marriage Goals From a Marriage Counselor in Thornton Colorado

Goal #1: See your spouse. Really see your spouse. One of my specialties as a marriage counselor is working with couples through infidelity. In the digital age, infidelity has a lot more meaning than it used to. These days, infidelity can mean any number of things. From years of serial affairs to having an Only Fans account, to reaching out to an old flame, or following Instagram models on your personal feed. And one thing is in common with most of them: secrecy. As I’ve applied my work with couples recovering from infidelity with others, I’ve come to find that this is actually a common denominator for all couples. All couples have varying degrees of secrecy with each other.

One other things I’ve come to find out that one common denominator with all couples is that every partner wants to be seen. Even the ones who are hiding their Only Fans account. They want to share with their partner what they find exciting, boring, playful, and more. They want to be known. And they want to be known by their spouse. So, instead of being annoyed by your spouse and their habits or behaviors, try to see the person behind the behaviors. Ask yourself why they do this behavior? Is it because they’re afraid? Is it an old childhood habit that came during a hard time in their life? Try to see your partner for who they are. No judgment, just curiosity. Ask them. See them.

Goal #2 Reveal yourself to your spouse. In collaboration with #1 above, I wish that every couple would make it a goal to reveal themselves to their partner. That they would push themselves to share with their partner what they really think, what they really feel, what they’re really interested in and what they really want to do with their life.

When couples come to see me, the biggest complaint I hear is that “we have problems communicating”. After some time and some work, they come to realize that they’re not communicating well because they’re both hiding aspects of themselves and they’re beating around the bush about what they’re really trying to say. When they can finally be direct, they’re much more revealing about what they want, what they like, and what they don’t like, etc. And it terrifies them! Because what if their partner hears them, sees them, and decides they don’t want to be apart of their life anymore? No wonder they can’t communicate it to each other directly.  But I find that when couples do reveal more of themselves to each other their partner usually is okay with it. In fact, their partner is glad that they heard these things. It creates a feeling of closeness and intimacy for both partners that is indescribable.

Goal #3 More time together. On a recent trip to Estes National Park here in Colorado, I met with a local shop owner who had been in the same location for 23 years. He said he was hoping to hand down his shop to his son who also shared in the same trade as the shop owner. He said he spent 23 years building this shop to what it is: a thriving, small business in a gorgeous mountain town in Colorado. He said he sacrificed so much time when his son was younger blowing the glass in their shop that the only thing that would make it worth all that time missed is to see his son take it over so he wouldn’t have to go through all the hard work and missed time that he did as his son was growing up.

We’ve all heard that people on their deathbeds never say that they wish they had worked more during their lifetime. On the flipside, I’ve never heard someone on their deathbed regret spending too much time with their family. Time is the one thing that is truly scarce in this world. I wish for you in 2024 that you can spend more time together with your spouse just the two of you. Spend it in your backyard, on your porch, on a lake or just staring up at the stars. But spend it with each other. You married them for a reason, may you find out that you’re spouse is a lot greater than you’ve ever thought.

Goal #4: More Happiness in Your Marriage. Everybody deserves happiness. Every. single. body. Personally, I’ve found that I get no more happiness from any other place than my marriage. We are truly life partners together. We laugh together, we cry together, we struggle together, we love together, we make it through life together. For 2024 I wish for you make a goal to deepen your relationship with your spouse. Life’s too short for a bland marriage. May you find the happiness you’ve wished for and don’t settle for a “good enough” marriage.

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