Marriage Counseling Expert Says: “Even With An Unhappy Marriage, 2006 Can Still Be a Good Year”

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Marriage counseling expert Nancy Wasson says even with a rocky marriage, 2006 can still be a great year.

Marriage counseling expert Nancy Wasson says, "An unhappy marriage doesn’t mean you can’t have a successful and satisfying 2006. The secret is having a plan in place, and then sticking to it."

“It’s not easy watching other couples have fun,” says Wasson. “They’re going to New Year’s Eve parties and smooching at midnight – and you’re mixed up in a marriage crisis.” Here is Wasson’s 5-step strategy for claiming a good year, even in the midst of an unhappy marriage.

  • Start the New Year with small changes that reap big rewards. Wasson tells about one woman who broke the habit of watching the 10 o’clock news before going to bed. “All the talk of crime and war depressed her. When she replaced the news by reading motivational books she got more sleep and woke up rested. This small change helped put her future in focus,” says Wasson. “She could make sound decisions about the direction of her marriage.”
  • Don’t put your life on hold. The New Year is about more than your marriage. Make new friends. Spend more time with your children – they’re growing up every day. See more of your parents – or see less of them if the relationship is stressful. Pursue a new hobby. Surprise yourself and others with the pleasure that comes from learning new things and meeting new people.
  • Tame your inner critic in 2006. One university study showed that 90% of the thoughts people have about themselves are negative. Critical self-talk has a deep impact on marriage and every other important relationship. Is it any surprise that others start believing what you’re thinking about yourself? Be gentle. Praise yourself often. Positive feelings show through. They can even change the way your spouse treats you.
  • Prepare for setbacks and obstacles. 2006 will not be the perfect year for anyone – not even for those mythical few who seem to have the perfect mate and the perfect home life. The stress that comes with disappointment can create self-defeating behaviors. The search for happiness is not a simple journey. More often than not, it is five steps forward and three steps back. The trick – with every stumble – is to regroup and go forward again.
  • Make your unhappy marriage a platform for self-improvement. Over the next twelve months, vow to live life with a positive outlook, tempered with realistic expectations. Really listen to what others are saying. Practice patience to curb anger.

Life is less than ideal for couples experiencing marriage problems, says Wasson. “Keep moving forward and do the best with what you have. Then you’ll be in the best possible place for good things to happen – and that could mean a happier marriage.”

Marriage counseling expert Nancy Wasson, Ph.D., has been a Licensed Professional Counselor for more than twenty years. She coaches couples in unhappy marriages and provides immediate help through the privacy of telephone and email consultations. Wasson is the author of “Keep Your Marriage: What to Do When Your Spouse Says ‘I Don’t Love You Anymore!’ ” She offers a free weekly marriage tips newsletter at

Lee Hefner, President

Adesso Press


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