Do you and your partner struggle to talk about the challenges of monogamy? Are you dealing with the pain of betrayal? Are you exploring alternative relationship lifestyles and dealing with jealousy and other uncomfortable issues that arise? Perhaps your relationship is suffering because you and your partner cannot agree on important decisions. Do you keep having the same conflicts over and over without resolution? It’s possible that tensions have risen to the point where you are avoiding one another. Do you wish you and your partner could regain the love and connection you once had?
You may yearn for a satisfying relationship, but the stress of daily life may constantly block you from establishing a secure connection with your partner. You both may struggle to acknowledge and express your wants and needs to each other. You or your partner’s childhood experiences may be holding you back from a loving relationship.
The good news is couples counseling can help shed some light on the inner workings of your relationship that exist just below the surface of awareness. With a little exploration of yourselves and a desire to connect more with your partner, couples counseling can help you and your partner fortify your bond and move forward in a healthy relationship.
With 90 percent of the US population marrying and nearly 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce, it is clear that relationship challenges are common. Some statistics estimate that 30 to 60 percent of married people are unfaithful at some point in their marriage. In addition to affairs, other sources of betrayal can cause pain. Differences in parenting styles, failing to emotionally support your spouse and addictions are examples of betrayals that can create tension in a partnership. In long relationships, hidden resentments often build up over time, creating layers of mistrust and conflict that become super charged and difficult to acknowledge.
Couples counseling offers struggling couples a safe space in which they can learn more about themselves as well as craft new ways of understanding and relating to one another.
Through couples counseling, you can learn what triggers your tension, how to manage your emotions when problems occur and how you can effectively communicate with your partner in a variety of scenarios. I will create a safe environment for you to explore yourselves and your issues. By focusing on creating a healthy relationship, I will encourage risk-taking that can help you learn more about yourself and share what you know with your partner. In my relationship-centered approach to couples counseling, you will create goals for what you want your relationship to look like. Then, we will tailor a plan for you and your partner to build a fortified and fulfilling relationship.
Even though you or your partner may have fears, chances are you both yearn for deep connection. On some level, we all desire to be seen and loved. And having received love, we wish to return that love to our partner. To do this, you and your partner must build trust in one another by becoming trustworthy, caring people yourselves. This is not an easy task because personality characteristics, needs, wants and fears all may get in the way of strengthening your bond. During couples counseling, you can practice the art of creating trust in your relationship. You both can learn conflict transformation skills to solve relationship problems in a new way. You will also have opportunities to heal the pain of betrayal and find ways to renew your commitment to love each other.
I can help you see things in your relationship that you can’t see. In your willingness to be open to seeing something new, you will have the chance to move toward new possibilities. I will help hold the energy in the room when anger and fear surface, allowing you both to explore powerful emotions with guidance and support. I will also point out intergenerational family dynamics that can provide you with insight into your current relationship with yourself and your partner.
In the event your relationship is headed toward dissolution, couples counseling affords you the opportunity for meaningful conversation and ritual that can lead to a more amicable ending.
I have helped couples fortify their relationships since 1998. My work has expanded through the years as my own experiences with relationships have deepened and matured.
When your relationship problems create pain and confusion, you don’t have to attempt to solve them on your own. With commitment, couples counseling gives you and your partner time to intentionally work together to create something better, more fulfilling and more sustainable than what you have now. Through opening your eyes to something new, delving into challenging emotional areas and gaining insight, you have the opportunity to improve your relationship.
I don’t want to admit my marriage/relationship is in trouble.
One common reason couples avoid or delay counseling is because they do not want to admit there is a problem. Shame, embarrassment and fear of the unknown all contribute to ambivalence or outright denial. These emotions all make a lot of sense. Relationships are very tender, precious entities and acknowledging you need help can be very painful. One thing to remember is ignoring your issues can quickly add tension and pain to your relationship. While you and your partner may need to confront your emotions during couples counseling, you will know that you are being proactive.
Isn’t couples counseling expensive?
Couples sessions are typically longer than individual sessions, so they do cost more. If you are concerned about the cost of couples therapy, it is important to note that the emotional and monetary cost of a divorce is often much higher. In addition, by choosing to invest in couples counseling, you have the chance to gain skills that last a lifetime and can be applied to many areas of your life.
What if therapy doesn’t work?
While therapy doesn’t help all couples, you will never know unless you try! And if you try therapy and it doesn’t seem to be working for you, you should always feel free to talk to me about it. Perhaps you and your partner could benefit from a different therapist or different approach. I will work with you to find the right type of couples counseling to support your relationship.
Entering therapy is a courageous step! It is typical to feel unsure and ambivalent, just as you would when embarking on anything new and important. If you are still undecided, check out my blog on this website, and sign up for my newsletter, “Vitality Weekly.” As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
If you are ready to learn more about your relationship and gain the insight to strengthen your bond, I invite you to call me for a free 15-minute phone consultation to discuss your relationship’s needs and how I can help.
You can learn more about me and my approach by signing up for my weekly e-newsletter, “Vitality Weekly.” This short email offers ideas, skills and thoughts about living a fulfilling life. When you sign up online, you will also receive a free meditation download.