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Date Night Tulsa

Welcome to our Marriage Blog! 

MARRIAGE COUNSELING | TULSA OK

When your not connecting with your spouse the way you know you can and have in the past, it can cause you to feel alone, resentful, and sometimes sad. To help you see the improvement you want I have limited my practice to focusing on just couples. The couples I see are couples like you and in situations similar to yours. When getting help for your marriage it's best, in my opinion, to go with someone who works with couples fulltime. 

If you go to a cardiologist for your heart and an OBGYN to deliver your children why not go to an expert who focuses solely on couple's issues for your marriage?  The average couple waits 6 years to get help for their marriage.  Why wait any longer?  Why not get the right help for your marriage the first time?

Give us a call.  918-281-6060

 

Friday
Nov282014

Avoid RISK & PAIN When Looking for a Couples Therapist

To Avoid Risk and Pain in your marriage you must ask the therapist these 5 questions:

1. What Kind of Training Have You Had in Couple Therapy since School? 

Something the general public doesn’t understand is that couples therapy is vastly different from individual therapy. Couples counseling as opposed to individual or family counseling requires completely different methods and theories. One can be a superior individual therapist but a weak couples therapist. It is important to find a therapist you can trust with your marriage. Does the couples therapist you’re looking at invest time and energy in developing themselves or is it something that they do with a bunch of other stuff?

A therapist who has a license to practice isn’t enough. You should be wary of therapists who are still practicing what they learned in school even 10 years ago. When you ask a therapist about his/her training, they may mention they went to grad school and have a license, but they should also talk about other training they have received in the years since. 

All of our therapist at Marriage Solutions have advanced training in working with couples. Some therapists take a home study course to improve their skills,  doing that isn’t good enough for your relationship, you deserve better from the person who works on your relationship. We’ve actually spent thousands of dollars and traveled to places like Chicago and Houston to learn from the best. You’ll have a far different experience with someone who has put their time and money where their mouth is. 

We’ve taken great strides to be excellent at what we do, because when you’re looking for help, you need the therapist to deliver, and we understand that. 70% of therapist say they do couples counseling, but only 17% have any form of advanced training. You can relax at Marriage Solutions knowing you are in good hands. 

 

2. What Approach Do You Use in Couple Therapy? 

At Marriage Solutions we believe if you’re going to put your relationship and money in the hands of a professional, you should know that the therapist is working from a clinical approach that has been researched, tested, and demonstrates positive results. 

We use Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy because it has strong research showing that 86%-90% of couples make significant improvement and 75% fully recover after a 5 month period. As it currently stands, EFT is the best method for couples therapy. If you’re considering couples counseling make sure your therapist has extensive training in EFT. 

Another popular method is Behavioral Couples Therapy, which unfortunately only has about 35% of couples improving. It helps some couples, but in our opinion that isn’t good enough. And we hope that isn’t good enough for you either.  Another method that is popular is the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy, as it currently stands there is no research published  on how effective the method is, sadly many therapists use that model because its easy to learn but their is no research to document its effectiveness. 

 

3. How many couples do you see a week? 

This is a telling figure. It will tell you if your therapist specializes or only says they do. You want a therapist that sees 15 couples a week or more, because that speaks volumes about their experience. It’s worth finding a therapist who focuses just on couple’s issues. 

 

4.  Do You Mainly Meet with Partners as a Couple or as Individuals? 

At Marriage Solutions, we do see individuals from time to time when their spouse has left them, or who have been caught in an affair, or have been betrayed, we do this to help manage the crisis and provide education on what may be helpful to resolve the crisis, but it is something that is typically short term. Contemporary couple therapy experts don’t recommend treating couples by working with individuals in isolation. Without both people in the room it’s difficult to change that relationship. 

 

You should be cautious of a therapist who says, “If your spouse won’t come to counseling, we should begin anyway until they decide to join us.” I consider that short sighted and dangerous simply because your spouse may feel like they are walking into a trap if they do decide to go with you to a counselor you’ve already developed a relationship with.

 

5. What Kind of Advice Will I Get? 

A. You will get advice that is current with contemporary experts in couples therapy. 

B. You will get advice that is pro your relationship working out. 

C. Advice that is respectful of your religious beliefs. 

Tuesday
Dec312013

2013 Year In Review

2013 has been an incredible year of growth for Marriage Solutions. 

  • We have added Daniel Hoffman and Tom Sanders to our practice bringing our total number of therapists to 3. 
  • We started hosting our own radio show in April discussing affair recovery on AM 970 at 9:30 on Wednesday mornings. 
  • Brad and Morgan’s radio show, has been made available for purchase from their website.
  • We have helped about 250 couples this year. 
  • This year Brad, Morgan and Daniel traveled to Chicago to work with Sue Johnson directly. She is the author of “Hold Me Tight” and is the co-creator of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. 
  • Brad, Morgan and Daniel have been back to Chicago for additional training with some of the best therapists in North America. Including the authors of “Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy for Dummies” by Brent Bradley and Jim Furrow. 
  • Morgan has gone back to school to become our first female couples counselor. 
  • We moved into our new office to accommodate more couples. Our new space is 3x larger and has allowed us to see more couples and have more privacy in our waiting room. 
  • We started an affair recovery support group. 
  • Brad was interviewed for his expertise on affair recovery by the website “BounceBackFromBetrayal.com” along with Sue Johnson and Dave Carder.  

 

 

Saturday
Dec142013

The Pain of the Betrayed After an Affair

What Past Clients Have Told Me

An affair can the most devastating person experience the betrayed spouse experiences in their lifetime. I’ve had people tell me they would rather go back to Iraq and be shot at than to experience their spouse’s betrayal again. I’ve had a woman say that her husbands affair was worse than her child passing away. Just because an affair is so devastating doesn’t mean a marriage can not be rebuilt. An affair can be put behind you if the trauma is properly dealt with.  

If the Involved spouse doesn’t really know how traumatic their actions have been for their injured spouse, that can serve as a severe hinderance to recovery. The involved spouse just won’t “get it” and fail to be a resource of support and compassion. 

Research has shown that at least half of betrayed spouses have high levels of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression after an affair. 

You're Not Crazy

Many times, injured partners feel they are going crazy after discovering their spouse  had an affair. But instead of going crazy they are exhibiting very normal and healthy defense mechanisms that are meant to help them survive.

Some of the common feelings and reactions include:

  • Intrusive memories about the affair, feeling like their mind can't control the onslaught of questions about the affair. 
  • Flashbacks, or reliving the discovery of the affair, and feeling like they did the first time they heard about the affair. 
  • Nightmares about the traumatic event.
  • Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the affair. 
  • Feeling emotionally numb.
  • Avoiding activities they once enjoyed.
  • Hopelessness about the future.
  • Having problems with their memory. 
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Difficulty maintaining close relationships.
  • Rage, irritability, or anger. 
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame.
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Being easily startled or frightened.
  • Hearing or seeing things that aren't there.
  • Experiencing amnesia by forgetting all of the affair or parts of it. 
  • Feeling like the affair did not really happen, as if it were a dream or "covered by a fog."
  • Feeling like they are outside observers, like they are watching this happen to someone else. 

These are symptoms of trauma can come and go. Individuals may have more trauma symptoms when things are stressful in general, or when they run into reminders of what they went through. They may hear a car backfire and relive combat experiences, for instance. Or they may see a report on the news about a rape and feel overcome by memories of their own assault. And if they feel like their spouse is talking to their affair partner again they will freak out. 

Recovering from an affair for most people is difficult, but not impossible. 

What is Trauma?

Trauma is a deep emotional wound. It is something that combat veterans experience as well as those who have been raped, mugged, physically and sexually abused, held hostage, hijacked, victims of cult abuse, terrorism, bombings, witnesses of homicides, the sexually assaulted, battered, and tortured, and of course, those who have discovered their partner has had an affair.

What specifically makes this so hard to recover from? Intentional human causes are the most difficult traumas to recover from, followed by unintentional human traumas. Recovering from an affair isn't as easy as recovering from being mugged or witnessing a riot. The simple reason for that is the injured spouse thought he or she knew the betrayer. The betrayer was someone he or she once thought was safe and dependable. The pain of an affair hurts worst when injured spouses feel their partner was someone who wouldn't in a million years have an affair. 

The betrayed partner’s pain from an affair creates feelings of being stigmatized, being marked or different, or feeling like an outcast. This type of situation can cause betrayed spouses to lose faith and trust in humanity, in love, and in themselves. 

Wednesday
Oct302013

Shame

Shame 

A common roadblock to rebuilding after an affair is the relentless emotion of shame in the betrayer. Most people are aware of how painful an affair is to the betrayed spouse, but few are aware of what it does to the spouse who had an affair. I’ll try to give a nice concise summary. Commonly the betrayer starts with guilt and a harsh critical voice of self-hatred. Many times betrayers refuse to think or discuss the affair because doing so brings up such strong feelings of disgust that is directed at themselves. They are in pain when discussing it because they do not want to see their injured spouse struggle with the devastation they caused and they don’t want to think of themselves as someone who could do something so inhuman. Once guilt has crossed the line into shame, spouses who had the affair commonly feel repairing the marriage is hopeless. 

Guilt says “I feel bad about what I did.”  Shame says, “I am bad, because of my actions.” People who experience shame commonly feel embarrassed, unacceptable, inferior or inadequate about themselves. Shame is a problem when rebuilding the marriage for one specific reason (and there are others), it causes people to hide and withdraw and makes it difficult to be vulnerable with their spouse. It creates a barrier to intimacy. It’s believed, “If only you knew how bad I was you’d reject me.” Shame also makes it difficult to recover from an affair because the betrayer is so distraught they don’t want to discuss it or talk about any aspect of the affair. Typically the spouse who has been betrayed has a need to discuss the affair and ask questions to make sense of it. The shame filled betrayer commonly has a problem discussing the affair. Often it makes them sick to their stomach to think about their actions. It’s believed, “Why talk about it when I’m disgusted by it and it hurts you?” Clearly this can lead to a couple experiencing a negative cycle every time the affair is discussed. 

Shame usually crystallizes for most betrayers after the affair is over. Guilt and shame can be experienced while the affair is ongoing. In fact it may be what causes the betrayer to end the affair. 

Commonly Shame is Experienced Like This:

  • Feeling uncertain and insecure
  • Being afraid to be seen as stupid or incompetent
  • Feeling inferior
  • Feeling like you don’t fit in
  • Feeling like an imposter
  • Feeling unwanted and rejected, ineffective or deficient. 

Someone who is experiencing shame may say something like this, “I don’t like him crying, I think I hurt him enough, I feel I let him down. I don’t feel adequate for him. I’ve done nothing, but pull him down. I’m convinced you'd be better off without me. I’m afraid of discussions about the affair coming back up. I know I need him, but he is better off without me.”

The antidote to shame is self-compassion, and the adoration and praise of the non-shamed spouse. 

Monday
Oct282013

Different Types of Affairs Pt. 8

Earlier in our blog I discussed two other common affairs in the blog series on "2 Different Types of Limerent Affairs." It is worth reading to get a completely rounded view of the different types of affairs. 

 

The Emotional Affair

Although some would not consider an emotional entanglement an affair, this type of relationship can be just as devastating and destructive as a sexual affair. Emotional affairs are not commonly discussed, and frequently, their lack of sexual involvement is used as a rationalization as to why it’s not an affair. But technicalities in no way absolve the reality of the situation. 

The notion that a lack of sexual involvement somehow prevents this type of relational intimacy from being an affair is baffling. Anytime someone other than our mate is permitted to enter the most intimate areas of our life, we are giving something that we have no right to give; we have already given and committed our heart and being to another. 

Questions to ask to determine if it is an emotional affair:

 

  • Am I keeping details about my relationship secret from my spouse?
  • Am I saying and doing things with this person that I wouldn't do with my spouse watching?
  • Am I sharing things with the other person that I don't share with my spouse?
  • Am I making an effort to arrange time to spend with this other person?

 

Characteristics:

 

  • Boundary issues are a factor.
  • The betrayer is better friends with that individual than with his or her spouse.
  • The betrayer keeps secrets with this friend instead of with his or her spouse.
  • The betrayer does not want to choose between the friend and the spouse.
  • The betrayer wants to stay married.

 



Monday
Oct282013

Different Types of Affairs Pt. 7

Earlier in our blog I discussed two other common affairs in the blog series on "2 Different Types of Limerent Affairs." It is worth reading to get a completely rounded view of the different types of affairs. 

The Shared Interest Affair

In this situation, the betrayer is involved with the affair partner, but at the same time, the betrayer does not want to leave the marriage. The betrayer considers the affair partner a soul mate. 

These affairs frequently spring from a relationship in which the two individuals share something in common such as music, art, movies, video games or another interest. Typically, this interest is something they don't share in common with the spouse, so they turn to the affair partner for understanding, companionship, and support.

It is as if the betrayers develop two lives; they share one part of themselves with their mate and then they reserve another aspect of life for their affair partner. Daily activities and information are divided into two realms: that which will be shared with the spouse and that which will be shared with the affair partner. Usually, this type of affair indicates that there are other deficits in the marriage, but like I stated before, these marital problems in no way excuse the infidelity. They are areas that will need to be addressed in order to strengthen the marriage.


Monday
Sep302013

Different Types of Affairs Pt. 6

Earlier in our blog I discussed two other common affairs in the blog series on "2 Different Types of Limerent Affairs." It is worth reading to get a completely rounded view of the different types of affairs. 

The Revenge Affair

This affair occurs after an injured spouse feels like they are not healing and they want to make their betraying spouse understand the pain they are in. Typically this occurs after several months of trying to recover from the affair and they feel like are not getting answers as to why it occurred. The betrayer may have an affair in this scenario for several different reasons i.e. to boaster their self-esteem, feel desired, or they rationalize, "I'm a person too you can't keep treating me this way." 

Characteristics

 

  • Want the attention and support of their spouse
  • Doesn't care if they remain remarried or not
  • Is getting burned out and using their own affair as a means to get their spouse's attention. 

 


Monday
Sep302013

Different Types of Affairs Pt. 5

Earlier in our blog I discussed two other common affairs in the blog series on "2 Different Types of Limerent Affairs." It is worth reading to get a completely rounded view of the different types of affairs. 

The Burned Out Affair

Most affairs have characteristics of this type of affair, but this also can be its own separate category. 

This is an affair that occurs because the spouse doesn’t care about the future of the marriage. They have reached a place where they simply don’t care about being with their spouse. The betrayer feels beat up by the negative cycle the couple has experienced and as a result they start to feel resentment, alone, sad and simply start caring less about the marriage. They get into an affair either as a way to end the relationship or they are very susceptible to an affair because they are investing so little into the marriage. When working with this type of affair the betrayer may experience the feelings of ambiguity about staying in the marriage. 

Saturday
Sep282013

Different Types of Affairs Pt. 4

Earlier in our blog I discussed two other common affairs in the blog series on "2 Different Types of Limerent Affairs." It is worth reading to get a completely rounded view of the different types of affairs. 

The Sexual Abuse “Affair”

This type of affair occurs when somebody has been raped or forced into sex by another individual, but the spouse doesn't believe that he or she has been taken advantage, as a result the spouse was sexually coerced is in a horrible position because they've been sexually assualted and their spouse believes they were an active participant in an affair. 

Characteristics:

  • Sexual contact was attempted or forced on a spouse. 
  • It is possible the spouse may have started to be a willing participant at first, but changed their mind at some time during sexual activity. 
  • It is possible the spouse was a passive participant to the abuse. 
  • Because this is rare the spouse who wasn’t "involved" doesn’t believe they were raped or taken advantage of, which only leads to more shame for the “involved” spouse. 
  • This happens with both men and women. I’ve seen these couples in my office. 
Saturday
Sep282013

Different Types of Affairs Pt. 3

Earlier in our blog I discussed two other common affairs in the blog series on "2 Different Types of Limerent Affairs." It is worth reading to get a completely rounded view of the different types of affairs. 

The Philanderer’s Affair

The Philanderer’s Affair occurs because the betrayer believes that having an affair is “normal.” These betrayers are different from sex addicts and those who have one night stands. They believe that cheating is a way of life. They were probably taught cheating is okay by a parent, coworker, or friend. They live by the motto, “As long as no one gets hurt, it’s okay.” Often times couples who have clearly defined “roles” as a husband and wife, (such as the man is the provider and the wife is a stay at home mom), can easily fall into this trap. As distinctions between roles diminish and spouses share roles affairs  of this type will be less likely. This type of an affair feeds off of their being an unequal share of power in the relationship. 

Characteristics: 

  •  The betrayers want to stay in the marriage.
  • Betrayers will have multiple affairs.
  • They want to feel attractive to the opposite sex and know they still “have it.”
  • They experience low self-esteem.
  • Cheating is morally acceptable to them—as long as it isn’t done to them. 

Some cultures have an unsaid expectation that men will have women on the side.