Marriage Dissatisfaction – Why Therapy Helps

Marriage Dissatisfaction – Why Therapy Helps

Updated: Apr 28, 2022

Behavior patterns can develop over time in a marriage that can foster feelings of dissatisfaction. In turn, this dissatisfaction can lead to anxiety and depression in one spouse or the other. Parenting behavior pattern differences are a major cause of friction in marriages, as well as anxiety and depression. In fact, mental health distress in one spouse can result in marriage dissatisfaction in both spouses, per study findings published in a journal of the American Psychological Association (1). However, entering therapy can help to reduce marriage dissatisfaction that all too often leads to separation or divorce.

How Behavior Patterns Formed in Childhood Affect Marriages

The role of women as the primary “caregivers” is typically instilled by kindergarten age, and men often do not learn the housecleaning, cooking, and homecare skills taught to females. Based on their annual ATUS survey, the Department of Labor in 2016 reported that women were still doing more of the household activities (85 percent for women versus 65 percent for men) (2). One spouse may also be more comfortable with messiness than another, and not care as much if the children perform their household chores. These types of differences can cause frustrations to develop over time.

As most adults well know, behaviors patterns formed in childhood are difficult to change. Even couples with good communication skills can still become frustrated when the other spouse reverts to bad habits formed in childhood.

Individual or Couples Therapy – Which Type is Better?

Marriage dissatisfaction may not be experienced by both spouses. For this reason, either individual or couples therapy may help the dissatisfied spouse to deal with feelings. While behavior patterns may be better dealt with in individual therapy, an increased understanding of the other spouse’s viewpoint may more easily occur in couple’s therapy—which can save the marriage from spiraling toward a break-up.

However, it may be difficult for a couple to make the time in their lives to go to couples therapy. Especially in these rough times (with so much destruction following the hurricane), it may be difficult to prioritize seeking mental health treatment in Florida or other affected areas.

The problem is that most couples wait until their marriage is strained to the breaking point before agreeing to attend therapy together, per an article in the Wall Street Journal (3). Going to therapy sessions—whether alone or as a couple—can aid the marriage, and especially in coping with the stress that can lead to depression and embarrassing fits of rage. Psychotherapists in Florida, also well-recognize that the added stress from the hurricane’s destructive statewide effects can place an additional stress on already-frayed marriages and family relationships.

The Benefit of Choosing Clarity Health Solutions

The quality of mental health treatment in Florida (and by all psychotherapists in Florida) is not one and the same. Some psychotherapists may only offer individual therapy to their clients. Additionally, psychotherapists in Florida differ in their educational backgrounds and perspectives. Yet others are only geared to one age group (e.g., seniors).

It is an especially good idea to choose a Florida counseling center that is located at a reasonable distance from one’s home, so that transportation issues do not prevent attending sessions—or become the excuse to avoid sessions! On the other hand, an important benefit of choosing Clarity Health Solutions in Jupiter, Florida instead of a more nearby Florida counseling center is that individual therapy, couples therapy, and family therapy are all offered in one place—so traveling to different Florida counseling centers for each type of therapy is not necessary!


1. Whisman MA, Ueblacker LA, and Weinstock LM. (2004). Psychopathology and Marital Satisfaction: The Importance of Evaluating Both Partners. 72(5): 830-838. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 72(5): 830-838. Webpage: http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/ccp-725830.pdf

2. US Department of Labor. American Time Use Survey Summary (ATUS Summary). (June, 2017). Economic News Release: American Time Use Survey – 2016 Results. Webpage: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/atus.nr0.htm

3. Bernstein, Elizabeth. (March 6, 2012). Couples Therapy for One: To Fix a Marriage, Some Go Alone. Wall Street Journal Webpage: https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970203458604577263303967929424



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