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Good Therapy Fosters Success in Marriage

Good therapy has helped countless women succeed in marriage. Often a women (or man) can get in her own way without knowing it. Ambivalence about marrying can cause her to stay involved with someone who won’t commit or reject one who will. For various reasons, she may become involved with a man or series of men who lack qualities essential for her happiness. After such a relationship or marriage, she may become stuck in bitterness and cynicism about committing.

Lana used to pine after men who weren’t interested in marriage and reject those who were. She was conflicted about marrying because she’d never recovered from the shock of her parents’ divorce when she was thirteen. Her mother’s words echoed through Lana’s teen years: “I gave him the best years of my life and he left me for another woman.”

Reversing a Pattern

Lana eventually recognized her pattern. Still longing for marriage, she was finally ready to get therapy. Had she not made that commitment, Jules — a shy, kind, marriage minded man — would have been beneath her radar.

When she complained to her therapist about Jules’ faults, he said, “There you go again.” Lana came to realize that her criticisms weren’t deal breakers; they were more about her own insecurities. She feared that, as her mother had been, she too would be tragically disappointed if she married.   

Therapy helped Lana transform her fear of failing into confidence that she would succeed. She and Jules have now been happily married for over thirty years. If you truly want to marry and something’s been holding you back, getting therapy to help you grow personally and create the kind of relationship and life that you truly want.

How to Choose a Therapist

Do you view therapists as larger-than-life experts who know what’s best for you? The good ones help you to discover this for yourself. If you are considering psychotherapy, think about what qualities you value in a therapist. Do you think you’ll be better helped by a man or a women? Someone from a similar cultural, religious, or spiritual background to your own?

Lana, in the above example, hoped to marry someone who, like her, was Jewish and wanted children. This is how she found her therapist: She collected names of some recommended professionals. Of the five male and female therapists she’d interviewed by phone, she met with two of the men in person.

Lana knew that her parents’ divorce and its aftermath was causing her to reject marriage minded men. She sensed that a Jewish male therapist who was still married to his original wife and had successfully raised children to adulthood would be best for her. She wanted a good therapist who was also a trustworthy husband and father, not someone like her father who’d left a wife and children. One of the therapists she met with matched her criteria. He was kind, insightful, and a good listener. She chose him to be her therapist. She continued to see him for a while after marrying and becoming a mother.

You’re Worth It

If you are interested in therapy, first make sure that the therapist you’re considering seeing is professionally qualified and licensed. Think about what kind of person you believe will be a good fit for you. If at all possible, don’t let money get in your way. The main thing is to find a professional who matches your needs. Good therapy could well be the best investment in yourself you’ll ever make.

Good Therapy Fosters Success in Marriage

Marcia Naomi Berger, MSW, LCSW

Marcia Naomi Berger, MSW, LCSW, author of Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love: 30 Minutes a Week to the Relationship You’ve Always Wanted (New World Library, 2014, audiobook, 2020), has a private psychotherapy practice in San Rafael, California. She offers and workshops for couples and singles, and continuing education classes for therapists at NASW conferences and online. She has taught also at the UCSF School of Medicine, UC Berkeley Extension, and Alliant International University. A former executive director of a family service agency, she earlier held senior level positions in child welfare, alcoholism treatment, and psychiatry.

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APA Reference
Berger, M. (2018). Good Therapy Fosters Success in Marriage. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 27, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 17 Nov 2018 (Originally: 25 Jul 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 17 Nov 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.