Counseling Tips & News

Marital Infidelity Does Not Have to Mean it’s Over

Contrary to what you may be feeling right now, a spouse’s marital infidelity does not mean your relationship is over. Infidelity is likely a symptom of an ongoing problem that now needs to be addressed immediately. Although extremely damaging to a marriage, the damage of infidelity is not usually irreparable.

Marital Infidelity Does Not Have to Mean it's Over

After the dust settles, do you really want to never see your spouse again? Or if you have children, do you want to see your spouse with a new partner when he or she picks up or drops off the kids? You are hurt and humiliated and understandably so, but being too proud to forgive your spouse or trying to get revenge will not take away any of that pain or shame. Don’t compound what you are already going through by causing yourself even more problems.

Statistics show that divorce is bad for children. Even if you don’t have kids, the breakup will take its toll on you physically, mentally, and spiritually. Do whatever it takes to get your spouse into counseling with you for a last-ditch attempt to salvage the marriage.

Infidelity is a wake-up call, but after successful marital counseling, spouses can actually fall head over heels for each other all over again. Meeting with a therapist can force the two of you to address underlying issues and give you the tools to get past this.

For example, as wrong as adultery is, you may find that a little jealousy can help reignite the passion in your marriage. That said, you will need to learn how to avoid bringing up the subject of the affair. You will also need to communicate what each of your needs in the relationship. A therapist can help you work through all of these issues.

Marriage is a series of ups and downs. You have probably always loved each other, but it is natural to have fluctuations in your feelings for each other. A good marriage counselor can educate you in such a way that you will learn to prevent any future affairs even during the hard times. There is something about overcoming an obstacle that brings couples closer together than ever. People who have successfully pushed through after an affair will tell you that they are happier than they have ever been.

Contact us today for help with restoring your marriage.

5 Signs of Depression You Shouldn’t Ignore

A mood disorder that affects 350 million people globally, depression robs its victims of happiness, fulfillment, and energy.  The symptoms may surprise you, however. These are the top five signs of depression that shouldn’t be ignored.

5 Signs of Depression You Shouldn't Ignore

Enduring Sadness

This is not a case of the Mondays; it is a sadness that permeates every aspect of an individual’s life that lasts for weeks, months, or even years. There is nothing an individual does that alleviates the sadness, and often the sadness spirals down into hopelessness.

Loss Of Interest

If all of a sudden an individual loses interest in their normal activities, depression may be to blame. A loss of interest can appear in the form of withdrawal from social activities, sudden poor performance at work, or even decreased sex drive.

Fatigue and Sleep Problems

Fatigue and sleep problems are some of the physiological symptoms of depression and are some of the only symptoms that can be quantified. The body reacts to depression by becoming so tired that an individual cannot perform daily tasks, or sleeps far more than normal. On the other end of the spectrum, the individual may be fatigued, but insomnia grips them, and they are unable to sleep at all.

Irritability

Becoming irritated at things that are non-consequential is often an early sign of depression. Whether an individual is irritated by friends, family members, or even their boss, the general distaste for everything is difficult to shake.

Anxiety

The final symptom of depression that you shouldn’t ignore is anxiety. While anxiety by itself is a different mood disorder, anxiety coupled with other symptoms signal depression. An individual with anxiety constantly worries over decisions to make or decisions already made, and if they made the correct one. They worry about the future and about things that they cannot change, including other’s thoughts.

If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these signs of depression, contact us. You can get on the road to recovery with the professionals at Family Restoration Counseling.

Blended Families: Tips for Combining Households

While joining families seems so easy when a couple is dating, the reality is not always so beautiful and smooth sailing. Once everyone is living under one roof, things can get ugly between who gets the bathroom first in the morning and who has to take the garbage out. There are a few things to remember when combining households in blended families.

Blended Families: Tips for Combining Households

Establish Rules

Children often have a hard time accepting leadership from a step-parent. So, parents should establish the rules together and relay those rules to all of the children together. This can include things like curfews, electronics time-limits, and household chores. When children know what is expected of them and that both parents are on board with the expectations, it is harder for them to disobey the rules.

Let Everyone Speak

Allow everyone in the family to specify their own limitations or needs. Sometimes there are simple things that kids don’t want to change from their previous lifestyle. If it’s something that can easily be continued like, “No one is allowed to borrow my clothes,” or “I need only Mom to read to me at night,” let them have their limit. Most importantly, make sure that everyone knows everyone else’s limits.

No Special Treatment

This should go without saying but all children need to be held to the same standard. There can be no special privileges for any that can’t be had by all. The negative effects of being left out can last a lifetime. In addition, consequences of negative actions should also be comparative, depending only on age and seriousness of the offense.

Schedule Family Time

Schedule family time and independent time. A family bond cannot be made when family members are never together. Put together a game night or a family dinner night so that everyone can interact in a healthy way. To the contrary, make sure that each individual is getting the right amount of private time. Being part of a bigger family can often mean never having your own space, which is equally important.

Protect Your Marriage

Keep the marital relationship strong. The children need to see a loving relationship with lots of positive communication. This is especially true when one of them comes to you with a problem. If you can work together to handle the problem for the child, they will value your bond and the family bond that much more.

Combining the households of blended families may seem challenging, but don’t worry, it can get better. If anyone in your household is struggling to adapt to the new living arrangement and would like to talk about it, or anything else, please Contact Us. Thanks.

Got the Blended-Family Blues? 12 Tips to Help Build Unbreakable Blended Families This Summer

5 Tips For Blended Families Struggling To Keep The Peace

Maintaining Your Sobriety Through The Holidays

As the holidays approach, many in recovery find the forced social situations less than enjoyable. As the work parties, social gatherings and family feasts begin, so does the steady flow of alcohol and in some situations, the drama and triggers which test one’s sobriety.

Maintaining Your Sobriety Through The Holidays

In a perfect world a person in recovery could enjoy these festivities with people who live their lives, in the same manner, the addict does but it is unrealistic to expect society to adhere to the same social restrictions. So, to walk, talk and play with others not battling an addition the addict needs a game plan. This holiday season, try these oldies but goodies to maintain your sobriety throughout the holidays.

  • During a party always have a non-alcoholic beverage in your hand so no one slips one with alcohol in it.
  • Let the host or hostess know ahead of time you plan on staying sober this year. If you aren’t comfortable talking of your sobriety tell them you are watching your weight or you’re in training.
  • Make sure you have a good support system with you wherever you go this season. Reach out to family and friends who are familiar with your plight. If you go to any support groups some have extra meetings this time of the year. If you need to attend five meetings a day to stay sober, do it!
  • If a trigger is an actual person you must see this holiday season think carefully before doing so. If you have a sponsor or friends to lean on before, during and after the required interaction, please do so.

You made the choice to be present in your life. Addiction waits for you. One drink, or using just once, places you right back where you were. You’ve come so far. The holidays are a time to celebrate and be thankful. Keep that in mind and be thankful for all you’ve done for you. Be good to you and stay sober. Please contact us if you ever need us. It’s why we’re here. Happy Holidays!

Pursue a Successful Marriage with Premartial Therapy

You’re getting prepared for the wedding, but what are you doing to prepare for the marriage? Marriage is a beautiful union between two imperfect individuals. As much as you may feel that your significant other is perfect, they just aren’t and neither are you. You may know this from previous experiences in relationships. There are arguments, disagreements, let-downs, and frustrations. However, you can pursue a successful marriage with Premarital Therapy.

Pursue a Successful Marriage with Premartial Therapy

We understand that new marriages come with past hurts, disappointments and require a new level of trust. Due to previous relationships, it can be difficult to move forward. With the help of a professional counselor, you can have a successful, happy marriage. No matter your past.

At Family Restoration Counseling, we want to set your marriage up for success with pre-marital therapy. We understand the statistics. Sadly, they are not in the marriage’s favor. 41%-50% of marriages, 60%-70% of second marriages and 74% of third marriages end in divorce.

Whatever category you may find yourself in, we are here to support you. We are here to walk through the difficult questions with you. The topics are not easy, including money, kids, gender roles, living arrangements, in-laws, etc. Allow yourself to let go of the fear, learn new communication skills and pursue love again.

It isn’t fair to you or your new spouse to carry past hurts into a new marriage. Letting go, moving on and believing in your marriage once again is possible.

Contact us with any questions you may have or to meet with a counselor.

3 Ways to Help Prevent Marital Infidelity

Every marriage has its ups and downs, and a concern about infidelity is not entirely uncommon. If you’re reading this article, kudos to you. This is an excellent step in actively working to maintain a happy and healthy relationship. Here are three preventative measures to help keep your marriage free of infidelity.

3 Ways to Help Prevent Marital Infidelity

1. Prioritize Your Marriage

Life can be hectic and often gets in the way of personal or family time. Still, it’s important to find a moment to make your spouse feel valued and appreciated. Consider taking them out and enjoying some alone time together. Recapture the magic that made them choose you as their life partner. If ever you feel distant from one another, it’s vital that you find a way to reconnect. You may even need to make a few sacrifices in order to ensure your spouse is one of your top priorities. You’re certainly not solely responsible for their happiness, but you definitely want to try your best to be loving and supportive to keep them from feeling neglected. They should also strive to do the same for you. A home filled with this type of love leaves very little room to stray away.

2. Communicate Openly

No human being has the power to read minds, so this makes communication all the more important. If you feel certain concerning emotion, speak up about it and encourage your partner to do the same. Try to create a safe environment, free of mistrust and criticism. One that encourages honesty. If your partner is experiencing temptation in, let’s say, the workplace, they should be able to express this to you without fear, and vice versa. Open communication increases love trust, respect, and understanding.

3. Know When To Seek Help

If you’re struggling with communication and trust in your marriage, these tips may not be as effective. It’s important to know that therapists are here to help better your marriage as well as your overall quality of life. There may be some deep-seeded thought patterns or feelings in the mind of you or your partner that need to be dealt with before progress can be made. We would be more than happy to sit down with you and sort through any problems you may be having. Please contact us today to make an appointment.

Hitting Rock Bottom: Addiction Recovery

Addiction Recovery is something that you should be proud to say you are in.  Addiction, like cancer, is a disease in which the word “cure” does not really exist.  Instead, the word remission is used to describe someone who is no longer using what they were once addicted to.  The truth is, recovering from addiction is a lifelong process.  It does get easier with time, but the truth is that the urge to use may never completely die.  Accepting this fact is an important step in the journey to being clean.

Hitting Rock Bottom: Addiction Recovery

Addiction

Addiction is not just a disease that affects the addict; it affects the entire family.  At Family Restoration Counseling, we understand this and can work with everyone involved to help you and your family through this difficult time. Please contact us for more information and to schedule an appointment.

What is Addiction

Addiction is defined by Merriam-Webster as a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble.)

What Causes Addiction?

Research has shown a link between addiction and genetics.  However; addiction can strike anyone at any given time.  The causes of addiction can vary from person to person.  Some common reasons why people become addicted are to numb emotional pain, to fill a void, seek a thrill or ironically to feel in control of something.  Most drug addicts do not fit the stereotypical mold; they actually can maintain a job, have good families and look well put together.

A lot of people diagnosed with addiction also have a co-morbid condition-meaning another mental illness.  Post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, has a high rate of substance abuse as well as anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses.

Feel to Heal

We tend to get addicted to whatever numbs the pain.  So naturally, when we take away what is masking our pain we are forced to feel it.  It is important to remember that while drugs may make you feel good for the moment, it is only short lived.  Once your high wears off the demons return full force, maybe even worse than before.

One of the hardest parts about recovery is experiencing the pain that you used to have returned.  Often times, it feels like it is returning ten-fold.  The fact that your body is probably going through physical withdraw does not help.

When we start to recognize old feelings return, we go into crisis mode.  The urge to use will be strongest during this time.  It is a great idea to seek professional help from a therapist during this phase. Do not go it alone, there is an easier way contact us for more information. We can help you and your family get through this difficult time.  Remember, it will pass.

Old Habits Die Hard

It is unrealistic to think that you will not have moments, even long into remission, where you are tempted to go use again.  Maybe you think, “just one time will not hurt me.”  That mentality will lead you quickly to a relapse.  Instead, think about how far you have come.  You are clearly a strong person to have made it to this point.  Also, do you want to go through the whole process of recovery again?  This would be a great time to launch into a new activity.  An exercise is a great option, plus it releases endorphins.  Calling a friend who is supportive will help.  Also, your therapist or counselor understands what you are going through and can talk you through it.

One of the hardest parts about addiction recovery is that you are not always sure you want to recover.  That is OK.  It is healthy to admit that.  You will have good days and bad days.

Find Purpose

Purpose and meaning are what makes life great.  If you can find meaning and purpose out of your journey through addiction I guarantee you will be able to stay clean for the rest of your life and you will actually have the desire to remain drug-free.

The best way to help yourself is to help others.  Try and find a support group who has members that you can sponsor, or coach.  Trust me, talking to people who understand first-hand what you have been through, and are going through still, is the best way to keep on the right track.

Writing may not be for everyone, but nearly everyone can do it.  You would be surprised at how therapeutic writing can be.  Write your life story.  Talk about your struggles and strengths.  What makes you, you.  Show yourself in a positive life and show off how strong you are.  Who knows where it will take you.

You are Strong

Addicts in remission are the strongest people I know.  Remember, not everyone has what it takes.  Not everyone can do what you are doing.  The temptation is everywhere and you still do not give it.  Think about it, who doesn’t want to take a pill, snort, inject or whatever it was you did, to feel better?

Take this experience for what it is.  Learn something about yourself.  If you are wise enough to know that you have a problem and need help and brave enough to go get help, you can accomplish anything.

You are strong enough to continue on.  Maybe you were given this burden for a reason that you do not yet understand.  You can take your weakest and lowest moments and turn them into defining moments.  You can get through anything if you can get through this.  Write about it, talk about it or help someone else through it.

Recovery

Anyone can recover from addiction.  The secret is wanting to get well.  Addiction recovery is a process and it may take some time to feel back to your old self, or maybe even better than you did before using drugs.

“I understood myself only after I destroyed myself.  And only in the process of fixing myself, did I know who I really was.” Unknown

Christian Counseling in Marriage: How is it different?

The American Psychological Association reports that 40%-50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce. Even with headlines screaming the messy details of Brangelina’s breakup or the end of the Blake Shelton/Miranda Lambert marriage, these statistics are still staggering. How many marriages could be saved if the couples sought marriage counseling? The answer doesn’t exist. Neither does the data to show how many couples try counseling before divorce. Marriage counseling is an ambiguous concept and depends on a couple’s personal beliefs. However, Christian counseling will differ from any type of secular advice. What can a Christian couple expect while attending marriage counseling? Below are a few key concepts.

Christian Counseling in Marriage: How is it different?

Marriage is a Covenant

For Christians, the concept of marriage is not based on a paper contract that is easily torn up and thrown away. Instead, marriage is a covenant. Merriam-Webster defines covenant as a serious agreement or promise. For a Christian couple, marriage is more than that. Theopedia gives an alternate, Biblical definition based on the Hebrew and Greek origins of the word. For a Christian couple, marriage is a promise made to each other and God. It implies a commitment that will remain in the worst of times, allowing death as the only entity ending the covenant. It is not simply a contract, but fusing two lives into one.

It’s Not About You

Humans, by nature, are selfish creatures. Individuals focus on what they gain from others. This selfish attitude bleeds into marriage as well. Many spouses enter the relationship for what they can get out of it instead of what they can contribute. Scripture contradicts this selfish attitude. Living the Christian life implies that the individual models their behavior after Christ. As indicated in Ephesians 5:1-2, he focused his actions on giving to others. The writer goes on to discuss the specific roles of a husband and wife in marriage. These scriptures indicate that marriage is about honoring, edifying, and giving to each other. It is not about self.

No One Is Perfect

A Christian couple must also accept that no one is perfect. Scripture speaks this truth in Romans 3:23. Everyone makes mistakes and couples should anticipate their spouse’s failures. Christian counseling will reiterate Christ’s call to offer grace and mercy instead of anger or resentment. No human can achieve fulfillment of the soul from another person. A Christian must seek fulfillment through a relationship with Christ, not from their spouse.

Christian Counseling involves many more in-depth topics than those listed above. If you are a Christian couple interested in building a healthy marriage, please contact us and request one of our Christian counselors. Family Restoration Counseling Services strives to serve the entire Dallas community, strengthening the lives of both individuals and families.

Life Abundantly: How Christian Counseling Can Help You to Break Free

 

When it comes to helping, there are so many things that we Christians do and do quite well. However, if we are honest, one of the things that we do not do well AT ALL is receiving the same help that we give.

Life Abundantly: How Christian Counseling Can Help You to Break Free

Though we know that our churches and fellow Christian friends would be more than happy to help us navigate problems in our lives, we are all still incredibly human. Sometimes our unwillingness to share is an unfounded worry. Other times, we may have been conditioned to keep things to ourselves because sadly, even Christians can be judgmental though we all already know that this kind of judgment breaks the heart of the very God that we serve.

In most cases, it boils down to this – we fear the stigma that comes when we let people see into the spaces of our lives that hurt most – the lonely places, the angry corners, the dark halls that lead to the ugly stuff… These are the things that we dare not speak.

However, it is where we fail to shine the light that will always remain dark.

Jesus Himself said it best…“The truth shall set you free.”

We love that quote here because the truth is not always spewing your deepest wounds for the world to see, but just faithfully letting them out into the air someplace where you feel safe, somewhere where a friend is on the other side of those words to hear and, then guide with wisdom. This breaking open of ourselves was always what Christ had in mind when He spoke about bearing one another burdens. It is not, perhaps, that we need human support… but that these supporters are a visual sign to us that God is already holding us up on every side. This is all a very vital part of the Body of Christ – that together we are His hands and feet.

If we truly want to take up our crosses daily, we should not only be willing to give help but also to receive it. We must speak our truth and let God work behind the scenes for us… because whether you know it now, He is. Whatever you are going through, whatever is keeping you from living life to the fullest, remember Whose you are and why you are here. You, us and every child of God knows better than anybody else that Jesus paid a great price for us not so that we could live in fear, shame, guilt, condemnation, sadness or anger…

But so, that we could have the life He died for us to share in because He wanted us to have life and have it abundantly.

If you need that helping hand to help you navigate the rough waters, our Christian counseling can help. It would be a blessing to us to help you on your journey in a way that is in line with The Way, The Truth and The Life. Together, we can find that “abundantly” Jesus spoke so much of. It is out there and it’s waiting.

3 Steps To Dealing With Depression

The United States reports more than three million cases of depression each year.  Chances are, that you or someone you know is struggling with depression.  Far too often, those struggling with depression do not know where to begin to get help.  Here are three helpful steps in dealing with Depression.

3 Steps To Dealing With Depression

1.  Take the time to get healthy.

Depression is frequently linked to many physical causes.  A first step toward dealing with depression is a visit with your family doctor.  Get a physical and be sure to honestly share your feelings with your doctor.  Your doctor may suggest a number of ways to improve your overall health and he or she may also prescribe you a medication.  He or she may also refer you to a Psychiatrist in order to address the medical causes of depression.  Taking the time to get healthy is a great first step.  Address your diet, your exercise, and any medical problems you may have.

2.  Identify your support group.

Who can you be honest with and have them love you just the same?  It is wonderful if this is your family, but it is important to find a group that can love and support you.  Churches, clubs, and depression support groups are a great place to start looking for that place.

3.  Find a good counselor.

Just like anyone else, counselors come in a wide range of personalities.  They also have different approaches to counseling.  It is important that you find one with whom you can be honest and with whom you are comfortable. To begin your journey, contact us today!

Depression seems overwhelming, but with good health, good support, and the right therapy, there truly is hope!