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Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.Licensed Marriage/Family TherapistLicensed Alcohol/Drug Counselor405-707-9600/ peggyferguson@peggyferguson.com

Marriage Articles

Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.
Licensed Marriage/Family Therapist
Licensed Alcohol/Drug Counselor

Marriage Articles by Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D., Stillwater, OK

To access the articles, just click on the title of the article. It will open in a separate pdf document that can be saved to your computer and/or printed off.  All articles are copyrighted.  We welcome you to use them for your own information and to share them with others as long as you cite my authorship, provide website information/link, and do not edit them.

                     Table of Contents

Seeking Marriage Counseling Help Articles
Premarital Counseling
Benefits of Marriage Counseling: Ten Skills You Can Gain From Marriage Counseling
Why Seek Marriage Counseling: Whether High Conflict or No Energy Left, Marriage Counseling Can Help
The Key To Successful Recovery of Your Marriage

Infidelity Articles
How Do Affairs Happen?
Your Spouse's Infidelity Revealed - Of Course You Are Angry and Scared
Your Spouse's Infidelity Revealed - Getting Over the Shock and Getting to Recovery
Marital Infidelity:  Are CyberAffairs Infidelity? Are Internet Relationships Cheating?

Intimacy Articles
Using Gary Chapman's Five Love Languages to Reconnect and Repair Your Marital Closeness
If the Obamas Can Do It, So Can You - 3 Easy Steps to Having a Date Night
Learning the Secret of Establishing True Intimacy In Your Relationship
Eight Super Simple Things You Can Do Today To Begin To Restore Intimacy To Your Marriage
Restore the Interest and Intimacy to Your Lifeless Marriage
Seven Simple Changes to Make to Restore Love and Intimacy to Your Marriage
How to Get Your Spouse to Want to Spend Time With You
How Simply Talking Can Help Restore Intimacy
Excuses, Excuses, Excuses - What keeps You From  Spending Time With Your Spouse?

General Marriage Articles
The Valentine's Day Gift That Keeps On Giving
Keep Your Parents and Your Children Out of Your Marriage
Six Guidelines For Developing Patience and Tolerance For Your Family During the Holidays
Building Your Own Marriage Enrichment Initiative

New:  Avoiding Conflict At All Cost Can Cost You Your Marriage

Couples and Money Articles
Marriage May Equal Money In The Bank
The Meaning of Money in a Marriage
Bill Paying Guide Worksheet-
(Use this guide/model by editing it and making it fit your bills.)

Healthy Marriages Articles
Building Healthy Step-Families

Avoiding Conflict At All Cost

Can Cost You Your Marriage

By Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.

Conflict is not what kills your relationship.  How a couple manages conflict largely determines the quality and stability of their marriage.  If you come from a family where parental conflict was frequent, loud, and traumatic, you may have always promised yourself that you would never be like that or put up with that in your marriage. Or perhaps, your family represented the other end of the continuum where no one ever discussed feelings, or never negotiated for change, or ever seemed to be in conflict.  You knew that the conflict “management” or “resolution” behavior that was modeled in your house was not healthy, but you didn’t really learn how to appropriately deal with conflict.  To read the rest of this article, follow this link: New:  Avoiding Conflict At All Cost Can Cost You Your Marriage


Benefits of Marriage Counseling:
Ten Relationship Skills You Can Gain From Marriage Counseling

By Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.

We are not a high conflict couple but we are not really happy, either. How would we benefit from marital counseling? There are many benefits to marital counseling besides learning how to bring down the emotional level of arguments-although, this too, is a benefit.

Marital counseling with a licensed marriage and family therapist can help your marriage in many ways. It affords you a number of opportunities for change that you would not ordinarily know how to accomplish by yourself. With marriage counseling you will have an opportunity to identify the issues, feelings, and behaviors that are bothering you and to communicate them to your spouse in a safe and supportive environment.   To read the rest of the article, follow this link:  Benefits of Marriage Counseling: Ten Skills You Can Gain From Marriage Counseling



Building Your Own Marriage Enhancement Initiative


By Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.

Routine. Boring. Settled in. Comfortable. You love your spouse. You believe that she and the family are the most important people in your life. You have settled into a comfortable routine, accepting that you are loved and appreciated by your family. Your comfortable routine consists of an ongoing cycle of work, dinner, tv, bed. When you talk to this most important person in your life, your wife, you talk about replacing the roof, what the kids did that day, what you need from the store, or maybe something that happened at work that day. The conversation lasts maybe ten minutes. The reality is that very little real interaction takes place between you and your spouse on a regular basis.

You keep thinking that you want to do something special for Valentine’s Day, to really impress upon your spouse just how important she is and how much you love her. What you have come up with so far is the standard roses or heart shaped box of chocolates.  

Your creative thinking has left you scratching your head in frustration.

If you want to do something creative for Valentine’s Day this year, ask yourself these

questions:  To read the rest of the article follow this link: Building Your Own Marriage Enrichment Initiative


How Simply Talking Can Help Restore Intimacy 

By Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.


The ability to convey love, affection, and commitment rests on the ability to effectively communicate and problem solve.

Without appropriate communication, relationships struggle to maintain the affection, the connection, and the sense of belonging and acceptance that are so important to all individuals.  With around half of all marriages ending in divorce, it is especially important to take steps to maintain the individual and family benefits of a marriage. A pro-active stance in maintaining the good will, good feelings, and individual happiness of partners goes a long way toward keeping marital stability.  To read the rest of this article, follow this link:  How Simply Talking Can Help Restore Intimacy



Using Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages

 To Reconnect and Repair Your Marital Closeness

By Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.


            In his popular book, The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman identifies five different ways that spouses show love. He points out the importance of communicating
love to your spouse in the way s/he wants to be shown. Different individuals express love in different ways. Different people look for evidence of being loved in ways that fit
with their world views and life experiences. Individuals want to be shown love in ways that mean (to them) that they are loved. 

            A communicational disconnect can occur when one person is looking for signs
of being loved by the spouse in the particular ways that mean “I love you” and the other person is demonstrating his love in his own preferred style. If these styles do not match, the action or gesture and its meaning (i.e., “I love you”) can get lost along the way because the two people are not speaking the same language. Their behavior has different meanings to them. When one person expresses loved in a language different from the love language used by the receiver, the message of love is not received.  To read the rest of the article follow this link:  Using Gary Chapman's Five Love Languages to Reconnect and Repair Your Marital Closeness


When Your Sandwich Generation Marriage Feels Flat and Lifeless

By Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.


If you are in the age group referred to as “the Sandwich Generation” you know what it means to be spending your time and energy on assisting your aging parents and in-laws while juggling the continuing demands of parenting late adolescent and “adult children”.   This is also a time when you are thinking about your own retirement and trying to figure out how to accomplish it and keep from eating cat food on a regular basis.  Your resources of time, energy, and money are constantly being used to take care of people other than you and your spouse. 

You may be working together as a team with your spouse to accomplish this nearly impossible balancing act.  Or, you may be missing your spouse, since by the time you settle in at bedtime, you’re brain dead and unable to have a reasonable conversation, much less engage in passionate sex.  You are just as likely to be dealing with your stress and unilaterally and blaming or criticizing your spouse for not being more helpful.  As you individually problem solve, you may have difficulty effectively asking for help.  You may not even be able to recall the last time you really had a conversation with your spouse about anything but “care giving”. Your marriage may seem flat and lifeless. To read the rest of this article, follow this link: When Your Sandwich Generation Marriage Feels Flat and Lifeless


Predicting Your Own Divorce: 

Why You Should Never Use the D-Word

By Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.


If you want to give your marriage a chance to recover from whatever is bothering you at the moment, don't use the D-word.  Don't say, "I want a divorce" in the heat of an argument.  Don't use it as a punishment, a threat, a dirty fight tactic, or as a joke.  When you do, you are setting the stage for that very thing to come true.

Marital partners in conflict, often use all manner of dirty fight tactics as they try to get their spouse to see things their way.  Both are typically trying to accomplish the same thing, or one is trying to escape from the conflict all together by withdrawing.  The words, "I want a divorce!" definitely has impact and gets the other person's attention.  If you say "I want a divorce" or if you hear "I want a divorce" long enough, it loses its shock value and it becomes an idea that you get used to.  It becomes real.  Then it becomes a possible solution.  Eventually, it can feel like the only solution.  To read the rest of this article, follow this link:  Predicting Your Own Divorce:  Why You Should Never Use the D-Word

Find the Books that I recommend for Marriage Issues on
"Recommended Readings" page

The Honey Jar - A Couples' Communication Exercise

For More Information on

The Honey Jar

Go to The Honey Jar Page

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"Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate." - Barnett R. Brickner





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Copyright: Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D., 116 W. 7th, Suite 211 , Stillwater , OK   74074 , phone 405-707-9600, fax 405-707-9601, email peggyferguson@hotmail.com, http://www.peggyferguson.com

Serving Stillwater (74074, 74075, 74076), Perry (73077), Perkins (74059), Cushing (74023), Pawnee (74058), Guthrie (73044), Ponca City (74601, 74602, 74604), Morrison (73061), and other local communities.

Providing services for Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, Chemical Dependency, Sex Addiction, Mental Health Issues, Depression, Anxiety, Stress Management, Addiction Recovery, Drug Abuse, Spouse of sex addict, Relapse prevention, Drug cravings, Family Business Issues, Couple Money Issues, Co-dependency, Adult Children of Alcoholism Issues, Cross-addiction, Co-occurring disorders, marital family therapy, marriage family counseling, step-parenting, step-family issues, couple money issues, grief, mid-life issues, infidelity.  Providing individual, group, marriage, family, and couples sessions.  Providing professional supervision and training and consultation services.




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