Boston Marriage Counseling Therapy

Whether your marriage is in crisis, or you just want to protect a good thing, read on to learn a counseling technique that could save your marriage.

Call us to schedule a session: 617-395-5806

What if you woke up tomorrow and a miracle had occurred overnight?

What if, while you were sleeping, the problems that have been bothering you and your spouse were gone? Money conflicts. Parenting challenges. In-law issues. Communication problems. Even infidelity. What if everything was resolved? Take a few seconds and think about it.

  • What would your life be like?
  • Where would you and your spouse both be when you woke up?
  • How would you feel toward your spouse?
  • How would your spouse feel toward you?
  • What would be the first thing you would do?

It's an interesting question, isn't it? It's called "The Miracle Question" and it's often used to help new marriage counseling clients, like you, determine what you really want (and need) to change in your life and marriage. One more question:

  • What would be the first thing you would do?

Do your answers to the questions above seem impossible for you and your marriage? You're not alone. In fact, many people have felt the same way.

However, what the marriage counselors at Thrive Boston have found (after helping literally thousands of couples improve their relationships and marriages) is that once you identify the core and specific problems in your marital relationship, and also identify clearly what you want your marriage to be, it is often very possible to draw a line between where your marriage is right now and where you want your marriage to be.

Many of our clients have found that change in their marriage is more within reach than they ever thought possible.

Marriage Counselors at Thrive Boston

The marriage counselors are Thrive Boston are true leaders in the mental health field. In fact, marriage counselors from our team been featured in professional and national publications including the following:

Thriveworks featured in

More importantly, the team at Thrive Boston are caring, experienced, and available to help you and your spouse make lasting improvements to your marriage.

It's no secret that today nearly 50% of marriages end in divorce. Add to this the number of couples that find themselves in emotional divorce. With emotional divorce, you and your partner are still together technically but emotionally you couldn't be more separate.

This shouldn't surprise us, as the challenges marriages face today are staggering. Consider the following:

  • Communication Problems
  • Unresolved or Destructive Arguments
  • Dependency / Co-dependency
  • Parenting Conflicts and Challenges
  • Jealousy
  • Painful Pasts (from before the marriage)
  • Adultery / Infidelity
  • Overburdened Schedules / Consistent High Stress
  • Uncertainty About the Marriage's Future...

These are just a few of the common things that can cause serious marital problems.

Do these symptoms sound familiar to you? It’s no secret that marriages today are hurting. It is not uncommon to open a magazine or newspaper these days and see a headline that reads something about "The End of Marriage." This, of course, is a extreme hyperbole.

Marriage Counseling Exercise

World-renowned author and marriage researcher Dr. John Gottman has developed a simple, but effective, practice known as "Love Banking." When practiced, love banking is one of many exercises that can help couples, regardless of their marital problems, build trust and positive energy within their relationships.

This is how it works: Think about the way your relationship with your spouse as having a bank account. That account can be either rich with funds, or it could be overdrawn. Every interaction you have with your spouse is either a "deposit" or a "withdrawal."


Couples experiencing relationship challenges often make a lot of withdrawals. A withdrawal is any conflict, request, demand, or criticism between you and your spouse.

  • If you say "Please turn off the garage light." - That is a withdrawal.
  • If you say "Wait one second, I'll be there in a minute." - That is a withdrawal.
  • If you say "You always forget to hang up your towel." - That is a withdrawal.

These sound like simple statements, don't they? Make no mistake—and we’re not trying to be dramatic—but they are withdrawals. And we haven't even begun to talk about the arguments, insults, lies, affairs, and serious problems marriages too often experience.

Without deposits, withdrawals mean the same thing for your marriage account as they do for your bank account. It gets empty fast.

When your financial bank account is empty, you start bouncing checks. When your emotional bank account is empty you feel angry, lonely, dreadful, and you feel like being around your spouse makes you emotionally worse than being alone.


Here's the cure. Dr. Gottman's research reveals that your relationship, to stay healthy (i.e., not overdrawn) needs to have 5 deposits for every 1 withdrawal. That's right, the ration is 5-to-1. It can be tough to make that ratio, especially if you and your spouse haven’t been getting along…but it works.

You make a deposit anytime you communicate love or caring for your spouse. There are 5 ways you can do this:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Gifts
  3. Acts of Service
  4. Quality Time
  5. Physical Touch

They are each described below:


This love style uses words to build up the other person. One way to express love is to encourage the other person. With persons who have this love style, even the smallest affirmation goes a long way. Whether spoken or in writing, the goal is that the other person feels affirmed.


This love style involves tokens of appreciation. Gifts (even inexpensive ones) tell people that they are important and loved. It is not materialistic or selfish. Sometimes thoughts about someone are best communicated in a gift, a tangible reminder of being loved.


This love style involves one persons doing things that another person will appreciate. Even small acts count. Asking what can be done to help a spouse or child, and then responding to small requests, is a great way to begin loving through acts of service.


Going to breakfast, sitting on the couch together, having a conversation, and taking a walk; the love style "quality time" is about giving undivided attention to another person. The activity that takes place during the quality time is really unimportant-focusing on the other person is what counts.


An embrace, a kiss, holding hands, and a hand on the shoulder are all expressions of love. At a love style, "physical touch is about tender, caring human contact. Both young and old, people can benefit emotionally from loving physical touch.

It's best for you to learn what way your spouse best receives love and overdose them with that kind of deposit (for example, one spouse might love getting gifts, while another might see gifts as being bought off.

The key though is to make sure you are giving 5 times the deposits than you are giving withdrawals. We teach this to every couple that comes to Thrive Boston for marriage counseling, and we help clients to practice and perfect this exercise.

Your First Marriage Counseling Session Within 24 Hours

We want you to find the help and healing your marriage needs. At Thrive Boston, we have a No Waiting List Policy for marital counseling. They way we think about it, if you're ready to begin a marriage counseling process, then we're going to make sure that we're ready to get you and your spouse an appointment ASAP.

We are now accepting most major insurance plans.

Call us to schedule at: 617-395-5806


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Dr. Anthony Centore

and the team at Thrive Boston Counseling