Happy marriages, families can and do happen!

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As a marriage and family therapist in embryo (I’m getting my master’s in preparation for licensure), I often work with couples and families in the midst of their darkest hours. In fact, all of us at ACHMI, whether through own life experiences, therapy, or facilitating courses, come into contact with the pains and trials that can accompany family life. Taking a momentary breath from our emphasis on problems (and our attempts to prevent/solve them) and focusing on the good we see and experience has, for me at least, given me the motivation to keep pushing through. Many couples leave therapy a great deal more competent and happy than they started. Many marriages, parent-child relationships, and teenage interrelating skills are improved and strengthened by attending the courses our facilitators provide. And we all know (or are part of) couples and families that do just fine on their own. In my nonprofessional (and professional) life, I frequently observe supportive and loving parents, appreciative children, and marriages which only get better with age. At times, with the work we do and the pain we observe, it may be tempting to give way to hopelessness and despair. However, any time I see or experience a cherishing relationship, I’m reminded of the words of Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings: “There’s some good in this world. And it’s worth fighting for!”

Jonathan Decker, Graduate Research Assistant

Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative

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