Marriage is Hard Work

Having a successful marriage is the hardest thing that the average person works to achieve.  Going to war is harder, but the average person doesn’t go to war.  Only about 1% of our population goes off to war.  What makes marriages so hard is that we attract an opposite.  If you like to save money, your spouse likes to spend it.  If you like to sleep until 10 a.m., your spouse is most likely to want to get up around 5 or 6 a.m. with the hope that you will get up soon.  These are just a couple of examples of how we can be opposites.  Opposites attract because each person brings a unique set of qualities to make their marriage work.  When the two become one we now have all the qualities to have a successful marriage. 

We need our spouse’s positive qualities to have a successful marriage, but in that there is a problem.  We are each flawed.  Each of us comes with baggage from our pasts.  Each of us have unrealistic expectations of our spouse, marriage, and even happiness.  Our flaws tend to be different than our spouses’ flaws.  When the two become one we now have all the flaws to make this marriage fail.  In our society we are socialized to focus on our spouses’ flaws rather than or own.  This is a recipe for divorce and why half of new marriages end in divorce.

Divorce rates don’t go down.  Second marriages end in divorce around 67% of the time and 74% of third marriages in end in divorce.  Fourth marriages divorce rates are in the 90% bracket and a fifth marriage is almost a guarantee of a fifth divorce.   Marriages get harder because we are carrying more and more baggage from the past while using the same old strategies to cope with an opposite.

Counseling is an effective tool to help you remove baggage from the past and help you develop new strategies to have a successful marriage.  Marriage can be one of the most rewarding aspects of our lives.  To have a spouse to share our burdens and successes with, to have a spouse that is supportive and encouraging, to have a spouse where you feel you’re striving forward as a team means that you will most likely have better physical health, better psychological well-being, and more likely to live longer.  

I encourage you to address baggage from your past.  I encourage you to check out some of our recommended readings on our website.  I encourage you to replace old ineffective coping strategies with proven strategies that work.  Each of us deserves to have a healthy and loving marriage.  You can, but it will be one of the hardest things you ever do.      

Jeffrey Robbins, President, LCSW


When we experience hurts from others, so often we are instructed to “forgive, let it go and move on.” What does that really mean to forgive? How do we just let go of a hurt? How can we just say it’s okay when we have been wronged? The answers lie in the way in which we choose to define forgiveness. The act of forgiveness is NOT about excusing someone else’s behavior. It is NOT about saying that the infraction was acceptable, or didn’t matter. It is NOT about suppressing the way we feel about the situation. It is NOT about leaving ourselves open to further hurts.
 Forgiveness IS about taking our power back!

It IS about acknowledging the hurt and grieving through it. It IS about giving the person responsibility for their actions but no longer allowing their actions to dictate our thoughts and choices, as we move forward to healthier, happier chapters in our lives. Forgiveness IS about saying that we no longer choose to carry the burden of someone else’s choices, actions, or mistakes. Forgiveness IS about the courage to set ourselves free!

Wishing You Much Health,
Jaime Jones, LCSW,CCH/AC

Missing pieces

I was recently walking in my backyard and noticed this tree with what appeared to be bark growing in different sections and missing pieces.  How can a tree grow with missing bark I wondered.

I don’t know anything about these trees. Has something attached to it in sections?  How can bark grow in these uniform sections?

When I look at the missing sections, I think of what we go through in life with losses and significant struggles.  It feels like pieces of us are missing, but we can choose to be like these trees.  The trees continues to grow. 

We can continue to grow despite feeling like parts of us are missing. 

In the second picture it looks like the sections are forming to become whole.  Talking about our losses and our struggles can help us become whole again. 

Jeffrey Robbins, President, LCSW

Call us today at 254-526-7272 for an appointment.


In the day and age that we live in there are many events that can bring us to the point of tears and even crying, but we fight them back.  When we can’t, many of us are quick to apologize.  Why are we driven to hold back tears and apologize when we can’t?  Are we doing something wrong? Are we showing weakness?  I’ve seen people in my office apologize.  I’ve seen people in church and even on TV apologize.  

God gave us all emotions for several reasons.  Crying helps us to flush out toxins.  It removes bacteria.  It improves vision.  It relieves stress.  A 2008 study from the University of South Florida found crying can be self-soothing and elevate mood better than any antidepressant.  It can improve communication.  Crying can show what words cannot express.

When we cry we are not being weak.  It is just the opposite we are being strong.  To have a full range of emotion is a strength.  I’ve heard people say that they don’t cry because they want to be strong for their children or their family.  Teaching our children that it is good to cry at times, by being the example will help them far more in life than showing no emotion.  

I encourage you to fight against societal and family’s beliefs about crying.  I encourage you to be strong and be a leader.  Demonstrate to others that it is healthy to have tears.  Show them what real strength is!  O how our world would be so much better if we all learned to better embrace our emotions.  

Jeffrey Robbins, President, LCSW

We treat each person, not the label, with dignity and respect

In the world of psychology when someone has a problem it is labeled a “disorder”.  The word “disorder” stigmatizes the person.  Why is it a “disorder” to go through a hurricane or tornado and worry that another one could occur at any time?  Why is it a “disorder” to have your vehicle hit by an IED while deployed and have nightmares about the event?  Why is it a “disorder” to be on the lookout for more bad events to occur?  The psychology community calls it a “disorder” because the effects only happens to a small percentage of people.  This is not true.  Most of us are affected by these events.  I believe a person who is not affected by these events has much bigger problems.  

The insurance companies require therapists to use the “disorder” label when billing insurances.  They’re aware that labels stigmatize and this stigma discourages people from seeking help.  It saves the insurance companies millions of dollars and millions of people suffer unnecessarily with the effects.  

There are very good reasons people struggle with depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress, etc. At Professional Counseling Service we want to remove the label and the stigma of seeking help.  We treat each person, not the label, with dignity and respect.  We offer many strategies to overcome struggles.  We encourage you, while in your struggles, fight against the label and the stigma and seek help.  

Jeffrey Robbins, President, LCSW