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A Happy Journey to a Lasting Marriage

Marriage Counseling in Southern Pines NC, marriage counseling, couples counseling Southern Pines NC, CCS

A Happy Journey to a Lasting Marriage


Many couples think that when they drive away with a “Just Married” sign on the back of the car they are journeying to live happily ever after. It is true that the “long road” of marriage has just begun after saying the vows. Being married to someone can help the journey to be more exciting. It feels good to have a partner to discuss plans, experiences or challenges. Unfortunately, there is no comprehensive manual on how to navigate through the complicated adventure of marriage.


The Obstacles Along the Road

Marriage is an adventure taken together by a couple. It is not a ride where you can always enjoy the beautiful vistas and lush meadows along the way. Once the honeymoon stage of marriage is over, couples traverse the daily routine of life. Sometimes there may be bumps in the road and steep hills to climb.

Some bumps may originate within the marriage. Some couples may become disillusioned and start to think about their love for each other. Other issues may involve parenting styles, illness, infidelity or substance abuse. Then there are bumps coming from outside the marriage, such as in-law issues or career paths.

The marriage road may also require you to make detours or navigate tricky sections that require special caution. As a couple on an enduring marriage journey, you may encounter dangers that should be avoided in order not to make a wrong turn or get lost. Life may also take marriages through rough and turbulent waters. There may be waves strong enough to capsize your ship at a time when there is no sign of an anchor.


Signs of a Marriage Off the Track

Admittedly, there is no such thing as a perfect marriage. How do you know if your marriage is just passing through a few bumps in the road or sailing through rough waters? Here are some telltale signs.


  • Disrespect – What used to be patience and love have been replaced by resentment and contempt. Both spouses avoid being together, and each one seems to be happier when they are away from each other.
  • Frequent fights and arguments – Couples fight and argue about the same subjects repeatedly. Spouses use each other to throw hurtful and insulting words for lack of something nice to say to or about each other. The fights have become personal and lacking in fairness.
  • Failing communication – There are fewer and fewer exchanges of meaningful communication between couples. Mutual problems and issues affecting the relationship are not discussed and resolved due to lack of communication between the husband and wife.
  • Lack of or non-existent intimacy – When intimacy becomes a thing of the past, partners who share the marriage bond merely live together as roommates. Apart from the absence of intimacy, couples who stop caring and feeling emotions for each other are at higher risk of a failing marriage.
  • Loss of trust – Trust is the central piece to a successful marriage. If couples do not trust each other, whom can they trust? Thoughts of unfaithfulness and divorce are signs that the trust level between spouses is low.


If these signs sound like a description of your marriage, why not start oiling the marriage machine to get it back on track. Along the way, take some actions for your relationship to work again. It may be the time to seek couples counseling to strengthen your marriage. Embarking on a marriage journey to have a lasting union is one of life’s greatest travel stories. There is no telling where the road may lead you and what you may discover once you take another tour in your relationship.


Finding the Hidden Treasure

Being married is not a mere label or “status,” but it is a way of life in which the husband and wife can take it as an opportunity to grow as a couple. Marriage is journeying together on a long, winding, and sometimes uphill road of joy, laughter, tears, fights, caring, selflessness, intimacy, etc. This awesome journey is not for the weary hearted. No one has “arrived” because marriage is a continuous journey, not a destination. Along the way, however, there are treasures to find.

One of the treasures of marriage can be found in the person you married. Perhaps you need to look closer to see that even amid your partner’s flaws, he/she has inner beauty and high values. You need to be a treasure hunter to unearth each other’s infinite and unconditional worth. Whether you realize it or not, you are each other’s hidden treasure that lies buried beneath the little mundane distractions that sometimes result in your marriage journey feeling like an arduous trek.


Signs of a Happy and Healthy Marriage


  • Spouses consider each other as best friends. Couples who enjoy doing things together and prefer to be in each other’s company have a good marriage.
  • Couples feel comfortable in expressing their emotions. No matter what emotions they feel at the moment, spouses can safely express them without fear of being contradicted.
  • There is freedom to grow. Spouses who feel safe in their marriage allow each other to spread their wings and explore opportunities for personal growth. You may both enjoy being together, but you allow each other to enjoy other things independently.
  • There is time for intimacy. Despite some physical changes, the spark between each other does not diminish through time.
  • Conflicts are resolved fairly. There may be arguments that can result in temporary reprieve from each other, but there is always a resolution to the conflict at the end of the day.
  • Spouses work as a team. Both spouses may be playing a different role in running the household, but each one is flexible enough to assume unfinished chore by the other one.


Marriage is indeed a journey worth taking. The expedition just becomes a little more fun, easier, and stimulating knowing there is somebody to enjoy the ride with. The trip can sometimes be difficult and may throw you off course, but there is someone to help you through.


Guide to a Successful Marriage Road Trip

Just like a car that needs a motor tune-up, taking your marriage engine to the “shop” may be beneficial in promoting a happy and long-lasting marriage. Other couples going aboard the marriage journey may seek tips or advice from long-time married family members and friends on how to have a successful voyage. While everyone’s journey is different, seeking marriage counseling as help to make a marriage last may be a wise option to strategically guide you in overcoming the obstacles and challenges along the way.

When the going gets rough, seek help from a marriage counselor/therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC. Studies show that couples who seek counseling when experiencing rocky paths have higher chances of resolving marital issues than those who do not. Start the journey toward a great marriage with the help of the right fit professional independently contracted with CCS – Southern Pines, NC.


Regardless of how long you have been married, seeking professional intervention to improve your married life is as smart as having a mechanic to put your car back on the road again. All you need to do is to call now to request an appointment!

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC

Counties: Moore county, NC, Lee County, NC, Montgomery County, NC, Richmond County, NC, Randolph County, NC, Chatham County, NC

Cities: Southern Pines NC, Pinehurst NC, Aberdeen NC, Taylortown NC, Pinebluff NC, West End NC, Seven Lakes NC, Eagle Springs NC, Ashley Heights NC, Ashmont NC, Five Points NC, Wind Blow NC, Jackson Springs NC, Whispering Pines NC, Vass NC, Cameron NC, Carthage NC, Eastwood NC, Lakeview NC, Narrow Ridge NC, Robbins NC, Roseland NC, Tramway NC, Troy NC, Zion Grove NC, Biscoe NC

We are located at:

Carolina Counseling Services - Southern Pines, NC
780 NW Broad St. Suite 210
Southern Pines, NC 28387

Our Mailing Address:

PO BOX 9909
Fayetteville, NC 28311

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: (910) 725-6336 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: (910) 308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
  • Click here and use our Contact Form (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
  • Call or Text for your New Patient Appointment Anytime!
  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:15pm
  • New client appts may be scheduled when therapists have openings, which may include daytime, evenings and weekends.
  • Established/Standing Appointments are made directly with your therapist!
  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!

Choose your Therapist

  • Kristin Vernon, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Children, Adolescents, Couples, Families, Anxiety, Depression, Self-Esteem Issues, Grief and Loss, Communication Skills, Divorce, Adjustment Disorders, Mood Disorders, Coping Skills, Parenting, Family Conflict, Marital Conflict, Relationship Issues
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare, cash
    Location: Southern Pines, NC
  • Gretchen Montesanto, MA, LPC, NCC

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Teens, Individuals, Anxiety, Depression, Self-Esteem Issues, Grief and Loss, Stress, LGBT, Adjustment Disorder, Motivation, Life Transitions, Mood Disorders, Military Spouses

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Southern Pines, NC
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare and Cash
    Location: Southern Pines, NC
  • Jaime J. Fitzpatrick MS, LPCS, LCAS

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Adults, Families and Couples, Anxiety, PTSD, Trauma and Abuse Recovery, Depression, Military Life Issues, Adjustment Disorder, Relationship Issues, Marriage Counseling, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Trauma Focused Therapy, Addictions, Emotional Disturbance, Coping Skills, Impulsivity, Grief and Loss, Self-Esteem
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Southern Pines, NC
  • Kelly ErkenBrack, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 3+) Children, Teens, Adults, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Loss, Mood Disorders, Trauma, Adjustments and Life Transitions, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting, Relationship Concerns, Self Esteem
    Insurance: BCBS, Medicare,  Tricare Prime/Select and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Pinehurst, NC and Southern Pines, NC
  • Kathryn Wiens, PsyD. HSP-P

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Adult, Individuals, Couples and Families.
    Insurance: BCBS, Medicare, Tricare Prime/Select, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Pinehurst, NC and Southern Pines, NC
  • Tracy Goldberg, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Individuals, Adolescents, Adults, Couples, Children and Families. Attention Deficit, Oppositional Defiance, Behavioral Issues, Peer Relationships, Family Conflict, Depression, Anxiety, Parenting Anxiety, ADHD, Self-Esteem Issues, Family Conflict/Divorce, Marriage Counseling, Adjustment Disorders, Relationship Issues, Grief and Loss, Communication Skills, Behavioral Issues, Coping Skills, Mood Disorders, Parent Skill Building, Christian Counseling upon request
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare, Cash, HRA and FSA accepted

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Southern Pines, NC
  • Robin Caswell, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 5+), Individuals, Adults, Anxiety, Depression, Grief, Loss, ADHD, ODD, Trauma/PTSD, LGBTQ, Self-Harm, Military Family Life, Mood Disorders, OCD, Phobias
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Southern Pines, NC