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Taking Marriage Seriously

          October, 2018

Quote of the month  

" To make a relationship last, couples must become better friends, learn to manage conflict and create ways 
to support each other's hopes 
and dreams." 

by Dr. John Gottman, American 
psychological researcher and clinician

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Pre-Marital Counseling
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Redefining Life Purpose
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I welcome the opportunity to help you work through current issues and to look at your future with a sense of hope and purpose.


Masters Degree - Applied Psychology from Seton Hall University


Post-Masters Degree-Marriage and Family Therapy from Seton Hall University


Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist


Private Practice 

since 2008


Married 30 years


Mother of 2 young adult daughters 


Passionate about 

what I do



Whether you are currently married, thinking about marriage or have already been in a not-so-good marriage and are thinking of the commitment again, please understand the value of knowing what you are getting into. I see many individuals enter into marriage with no clue what it means. I hear the, "We'll try it and if it doesn't work, we will get divorced." I hear of young couples today who are getting married and within a year, already getting divorced. I am saddened to also understand that no matter the age, couples are not talking about the serious topics before committing to marriage. They are not viewing that commitment as life-long. Sure, all long-term relationships are hard at times. Sure, there are challenges but take it from someone who has now been married for 30 years...to the same person...it is possible, if you both work at it and keep communication going. Marriage can be a very positive experience with the right person.  

Read below some things to think about before entering into that marriage or things you can discuss in your current marriage. This is by no means a complete list of topics, but it is a start. If you are not able to discuss these issues with an existing or potential spouse, please seek help with someone who can guide you through the process. Think about how this decision will affect children someday. Think seriously before acting. Your decision does not affect only you, it affects those around you who will be putting time and effort into your special day and those who are yet to come as well. Marriage is not about the wedding day...it's about what happens after the wedding day.

Please pass along to family and friends who may be interested in the monthly content of this newsletter. Creating a web of knowledge helps those in need.
Maryellen Dabal, MA, LMFT
305 Miron Drive 
Southlake, TX 76092
Missed previous newsletters??
Go to www.dabalmft.com.  Click on the newsletters link at the bottom of the home page. Enjoy.....
From The Positive Perspective......    

Consider discussing these topics ( and many others) in order to help create a marriage that looks at life from a Positive Perspective:
  • Have you discussed your Families of Origin? Where do you both come from and how does that upbringing affect you today? What to you want to continue from that Family of Origin and what do you need to change?
  • What values and beliefs do you each have? What are the morals you want to pass on to the next generation? What do you admire and see in each other as far as morals, values and beliefs?
  • People do not change once they get married... unless they want to. You cannot change your spouse. If he/she sits and plays video games for 5 hours a day now, that most likely will not change when you get married. Are you OK with that? If your future spouse is a planner, they will not change into a spontaneous person once you get married.
  • Do you know how to resolve a conflict together without one person feeling like they are giving in or losing all the time?
  • Can you be honest with him/her, even if what you have to say hurts them?
  • Do you know how to forgive or do you hold grudges for a long time? That's not going to work in a long- term relationship.
  • Do you have honest expectations financially of each other? Are we counting on Mommy or Daddy's money to keep us afloat?
  • Discuss where you each want to be in 5 years and 20 years. How are the plans the same and how do they differ? Do you want to relocate if the job is good enough or is that not an option?
  • What are your deal-breakers? If porn is out of the question, then that has to be known. Is infidelity something you can work through or not? Define infidelity...it means different things to different people. Some people are chronic liars. Is that acceptable to you? If not, make it known now.
  • Do you understand what each person wants sexually? Looks don't last forever. What is beyond the romantic relationship? Are you friends? If sex was to be absent for medical or other reasons, what's left? There should be A LOT left...if not, the marriage will probably not last too long. You need to build intellectual intimacy, spiritual intimacy, verbal intimacy and financial intimacy as well.
  • If you have any doubts.... pay attention to them and talk them through. Many people can have wedding day jitters, but that should be nervous excitement, not questioning your decision.
Keep in mind what others sacrifice in order to prepare for that wedding day. Their time, talents and money are all valuable. It is a gift to them that you have talked about all marital issues as best as you can before you invite them to invest in your future. Take marriage seriously and prepare for it as if it is a life-long commitment....not just an "I'll try." That is a gift you can give yourself, too.

If you need assistance in sorting out a possible marriage situation, please connect with me or your local church or counselor to be sure you are investing time in your decision before you are investing in the "wedding day." If you are already married and want marriage to be even better, consider discussing some of these topics as well with your spouse.
Until next time.....lets look at life and marriage  From The Positive Perspective.

Stay well.
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I welcome feedback regarding the newsletter or questions about my practice.  I can be reached at maryellen@dabalmft.com .  I cannot, however, give advice through email. For more information on my practice please visit my website: www.dabalmft.com

I wish you well...