Is Your Relationship Falling Apart?
Are you struggling to communicate, connect or feel intimate with your partner? Does it often feel like you’re leading parallel lives, both too caught up with kids, careers and projects to make time for each other? Maybe you feel like everything in your partner’s life takes priority over your needs and feelings. Or perhaps an infidelity or another breach of trust has shaken the foundation of your relationship. Do you and your partner have the same arguments over and over without effective resolution? Have you started avoiding certain topics or even each other out of fear that conversation will erupt into a major fight? Do you wish you could find a way to share your true feelings with your partner, knowing that he or she will hear you, love you and be there for you as you work through your relationship issues?
Struggling in you primary relationship can be a lonely, stressful and harrowing experience. What was once an exciting, satisfying and intimate partnership may have given way to a relationship that feels disconnected, bleak or even painful. You may feel unheard, uncared for and lonelier than you ever have in your life. Alternatively, you may feel frustrated, angry or stifled by your relationship. Kids and careers may take up the time that was once reserved for each other, increasing disconnection and feelings of isolation. Affairs, substance abuse issues, one or both of you spending more time at the office or with friends than with each other or other harmful behaviors may also be contributing to the breakdown of trust, respect and communication in your relationship. You may desperately want to connect with your partner again and rekindle the spark that brought you together, but don’t know how or if it’s even possible.
Almost Every Couple Bumps Up Against Challenges
Very few of us actually know how to have really healthy, loving, long-term relationships. Most of us did not have parents who modeled a healthy relationship when we were growing up, nor were we taught effective ways to express feelings, communicate clearly or resolve conflicts. In a way, many of us are like babies trying to figure out how to have healthy relationships.
Breakdowns in communication and a growing feeling of disconnection cause many once satisfying, passionate and close relationships to begin to fall apart. Once the “honeymoon stage” is over and day-to-day life sets in, suddenly new feelings and disappointments begin to develop. We are no longer trying to impress our partner or put our best faces forward. Reality sets in, and both partners wake up to who the other really is. A behavior that was once considered cute may now feel like needles under the skin. Kids and careers take precedence over romance. Doubts, insecurities and fears arise. As the disconnection begins, a growing pile of resentments and unresolved conflicts keep being pushed under the rug. The pile grows and grows, and it may continue to grow for years before one or both partners realize how much pain they’ve been storing and far they’ve grown apart.
While almost all couples go through some iteration of the above during some point in their relationship, there are some couples who are able to work through these complex issues on their own. Most of us, however, could benefit from the guidance and support offered through couples counseling. And, some of us really need the direction, clarity and compassion provided through therapy. If you’re struggling to talk with your partner about your thoughts, feelings and needs, if your relationship has been rocked by a breach of trust or if you feel perpetually sad, lonely or angry in your relationship, seeking help may be imperative to your wellbeing and the future success of your relationship.
Couples Counseling Can Help You And Your Partner Reconnect
Regardless of if you and your partner are bumping up against seemingly minor challenges or if you worry that your relationship is beyond repair, couples counseling can help. With the right approach and the support and guidance of an experienced couples therapist, you and your partner can reconnect, repair your relationship and develop the insights and tools necessary to navigate the ups and downs of your life and love together. You can begin to better understand each other, cultivate more empathy and compassion, resolve conflicts effectively and start working as a team again.
In couples counseling sessions, I’ll hold nonjudgmental, grounded space for you and your partner as you work through challenging thoughts, feelings, issues and patterns. While I can facilitate and direct conversation, I will encourage you to talk directly to each other. I’ll help you slow your communication down and pay attention to your body language, facial expressions, how you look (or don’t) at each other and the words you choose in order to begin to understand where the disconnection is occurring in your relationship. By taking things slower, not only am I able to help point out blind spots and patterns, but I can also help you dissect and address disconnections and destructive patterns in real time. The goal is for you both to understand and then reframe your negative patterns of communication. Doing so allows you to interrupt negative patterns yourselves, avoid going down the “rabbit hole” and break ineffective, destructive cycles.
Since 2002, I’ve helped many couples work through their issues and find a healthier path forward. Throughout the years, I’ve developed an eclectic, practical and compassionate approach to working with couples. While there are issues, such as disconnection and communication breakdowns, that affect most couples, I also understand that each couple is unique and comes to therapy with specific issues, needs and desires to be addressed. Insomuch, I’ll draw from a wide variety of tools and approaches to devise a therapy strategy that best meets you and your partner’s personalities, history and goals.
No matter how bad things may feel right now, there is always hope. With support, the right couples counseling approach and the willingness to honestly explore your relationship, you and your partner can rebuild trust, repair the damage to your relationship, strengthen your connection and enjoy more intimacy.
While you may believe that you and your partner need extra support during this challenging time, you still may have questions or concerns about couples counseling…
I’m worried that our relationship is beyond repair.
It sounds like you’re sad and frustrated, but you’re also on this site, which suggests that there is still at least some part of you that wants to see if it’s still possible for you and your partner to work through your issues and connect on an emotional level. Maybe you’re not done and/or want to make one last attempt to heal your relationship.
I believe that we desperately need couples counseling, but I don’t think that my partner will agree to join me.
In all honesty, couples counseling is most effective when both partners are present, willing and ready to do the work. That said, if your partner refuses to join you, I can offer you support and help you identify what it is that you bring to and need from your relationship. There are things that you can discover about yourself and changes that you can make that may improve the dynamic of your relationship.
We tried counseling in the past and it didn’t work. How will therapy with you be any different?
I can’t say with certainty that it will be different. What I can say, however, is that I’d be interested in learning what didn’t work for you last time, about how counseling made you think and feel and why you quit. I’ll do my best to ensure that we don’t repeat past mistakes and that we work together to develop a counseling strategy that supports you and your partner’s specific needs and goals.
You And Your Partner Can Cultivate A Healthy And Connected Relationship
You don’t have to try to navigate your relationship challenges on your own. I invite you to call me for a free 15-minute phone consultation to discuss your specific counseling needs and to answer any questions you have about couples counseling and my practice.