Is your marriage or relationship feeling bad?
Are you wondering if this is as good as it gets?
Are you feeling lonely or invisible in your marriage or relationship?
Are you feeling like you don’t know your partner anymore?
Has the talking stopped, tension taken over, arguing increased?
Do you have a roommate, and not the partner you used to have?
All couples go through difficult times. It’s actually normal for marriage to go through difficult times because marriage is like no other relationship.
It will force you to look at yourself and make some changes, or be unsatisfied, or divorced. In the words of Dr. David Schnarch, “Marriage is a growing machine for humans. It will ask (force) you to grow up.”
In couples therapy I will help you both identify areas of conflict: where you feel disrespected, uncared for, unimportant, not heard. Couples fall into patterns of relating to one another and often can’t see this, or know how this happened. We will uncover how this happened and help you create new patterns of relating that can improve your relationship. We will explore where and how each of you can take responsibility for yourself. This can be life changing for you and your marriage when you see your responsibility is to take better care of yourself and stop blaming each other for the marriage feeling “bad”.
Every couple is different, but some of the issues that bring couples into couples therapy include:
- • Communication issues
- • Frequent or hurtful arguments
- • Disagreements about parenting
- • Conflict with extended family
- • Disagreements about division of responsibilities
- • Money issues
- • Challenges of blending families
- • Lack of connection or intimacy
Sometimes partners may disagree about how serious an issue is within the context of the relationship, but in reality, if one person thinks it’s a problem, it is a problem!
You may be wondering…what if my partner doesn’t want to come to couples therapy?
Some people are quite resistant to therapy. They feel that therapy will be intrusive, not private (we are legally bound by confidentiality). Your partner may believe that the two of you can fix your problems. “We don’t need someone else to tell us what to do”, or “The therapist doesn’t know anything about us.” Even if your partner will not join you to see one of us, you can do a lot on your own in therapy to improve your relationship by changing some things about yourself. Having both of you participate in therapy is most effective; however, don’t let your partner’s resistance stop you from improving yourself. In time, your resistant partner can see the benefits you are getting and join you.
You may be wondering…what if my relationship or marriage gets worse after therapy?
That’s unlikely. Discussing honestly what’s not working is the first step in creating change. And yes, if you or your partner become defensive and argumentative then you may not feel good. But that’s where you learn to do things differently. Many couples go years never talking about what’s not working. Learning new patterns of relating to one another, will improve your relationship and marriage. Let us help you do this.
There will be times when something is brought up, like a past event, or decision that one of you made, a lie was told, and it has never been addressed. Revisiting past hurts is unpleasant, sometimes very painful, maybe embarrassing, or create anger. Discussing these issues will give you both an opportunity to express how this affected you. You may even want to say how sorry you are. So while the initial feeling may be bad, the result can be healing.
What if we aren’t married?
I work with all couples – our goal is to help all people have the kind of satisfying relationships they want and deserve. If you are in a relationship, you are experiencing challenges that you may not be able to overcome on your own. And, if you are considering marriage, premarital counseling is particularly important to help you know you can wholeheartedly enter into commitment, with the understanding and skills to make it last.
Do you work with same-sex couples?
Absolutely! See comments above.
Is Couples Therapy expensive and time consuming?
Improving your relationship and in some cases, saving your marriage has a value that only you can determine. Couples therapy is an investment in yourself, your relationship, and your quality of life. I am a trained, experienced therapist who is available to help your relationships and marriages improve.