Interview with Dawn Wiggins – Marriage Counseling, Couples & Family Therapy
The healthiest marriages are those where both people are willing to learn and grow in all areas of life throughout their lives!
Recently we did an interview with marriage and family therapist Dawn Wiggins. She is the founder and owner of Dawn Wiggins Therapy and Help Towards Hope. And is known for her work as a relationship columnist, writer, workshop facilitator and national speaker. She lives in South Florida with her daughter and husband. Read the interview with Dawn Wiggins to find out more!
What did you discover about relationships being an experienced marriage therapist?
The health of a marriage relationship is directly related to personal health. If one or both members of the relationship are neglecting their emotional, psychological or physical health, the marriage automatically suffers. The healthiest marriages are those where both people are willing to learn and grow in all areas of life throughout their lives! When couples do this while practicing love and acceptance of each other, they are unstoppable!
What is the biggest challenge married couples go through?
It’s not a specific event that creates the biggest challenge for couples. It’s the way a couple responds to a challenge that is so powerful. Whether the challenge is infertility, infidelity, death or finances, if they blame and judge each other, it only gets worse. If a couple can face challenges with a willingness to take individual responsibility and to automatically offer empathy to their partner, they increase their chance of rising strong. It can’t be just one member of the marriage, it has to be both.
What practical tools would you give to Newlyweds?
Resist the urge to change your partner. Instead, be the change you want to see in your marriage! Trying to change your partner triggers feelings of “not good enough” and typically creates resistance and resentment. Focus on your personal growth, you will get better results!
Sooo many people get married thinking “They will grow out of this.” or “We can deal with this thing later.” or “The good outweighs the bad.” These are all HUGE red flags. When your instincts tell you something is wrong, get your butt to counseling! If you wait till things fall apart, it’s usually too late. Early intervention, like before you even get married is best! We often use excuses like time, money and blame. Ignore those and ask for help. Even if it’s only for you.
How can women create healthier emotional boundaries in their marriage?
Get clear about what a healthy emotional boundary is! Most people think a boundary is a line you draw so that other’s cannot cross. Wrong. A boundary is a self-caring choice designed to focus on personal healing, not controlling someone else. And, it doesn’t work if its a bluff! For instance; “You cannot speak to me that way” or “if you drink again I’m leaving” are ineffective boundaries. They begin with YOU instead of I or ME. Healthier boundaries would be “I will go somewhere peaceful when I hear you speaking this way.” or “I will find an Al-anon meeting to cope with alcoholism and call a supportive person when you drink.”