Is Your Relationship In Trouble?
Does it feel like you and your partner are arguing about anything and everything? Are you having trouble communicating, solving issues and connecting with each other? Perhaps one or both of you has been unfaithful and you’re wondering if the relationship can be saved. Or maybe kids and careers have swallowed up the time once reserved for each other and you now feel more like roommates than lovers. Do you disagree about finances or parenting styles? Is one of you dealing with anxiety or depression? Do you wish you could talk to your partner without fighting and make him or her truly connect with you and understand how you feel?
All Couples Have Problems At Some Point During Their Relationship
As your relationship changes, it may encounter some road blocks. Maybe you and your partner disagree about parenting issues, such as house rules or when to give consequences. If you are in a blended family, these issues can be even more prevalent as you learn how to share household responsibilities. Another common issue is arguing about money. If one person makes or spends more than the other, this can create tension. You may disagree on how to spend, save and prioritize purchases.
Perhaps you and your partner are having a hard time figuring out a life balance that works for you as a couple. Time allotted for friends, family, kids and social functions may not hold the same level of importance for both partners. This can be especially difficult if one partner travels often for work. The partner who is left at home can feel overwhelmed by his or her own job and the responsibilities of managing the household alone. If infidelity has occurred, trust may be a big issue in your relationship, especially when you’re apart.
Relationship issues don’t just affect you and your partner. If children are involved, they may feel like they need to play peacekeeper. They may also be reluctant to share their own problems because they don’t want to stress you out even more. Children are very observant and know when their parents are tense, whether they are witnessing a full-blown argument or just a weird vibe in the room. Many times when I counsel young people for anxiety or depression, I find out that their home life is the source of much of their distress.
Regardless of what’s causing the tension in your relationship, you may be feeling fed up, taken advantage of or like nothing will ever change. Or maybe you aren’t terribly unhappy, just generally unsatisfied in your partnership and wondering if you’re missing out on something or someone more exciting or fulfilling. Perhaps you feel disconnected from your partner and wish you could recapture the fun and intimacy you once shared.
If you are tired of being tired, don’t give up on your relationship just yet. Couples therapy can help you and your partner navigate your differences in a way that honors both of you and strengthen the bond you share.
Couples Therapy Can Help You Better Understand The Dynamics Of Your Relationship
I offer a nonjudgmental and compassionate space where you and your partner can learn to reconnect and communicate much more effectively. With the help of an experienced couples therapist, it is possible to see your relationship with your partner improve in a relatively short time.
In couples therapy, you and your partner will not only learn how to be a better partners, but you’ll also gain a better understanding of yourselves and your roles in your relationship. You can learn what you have control over and what you don’t, which can help you stop worrying or blaming yourselves for certain things. We’ll talk about daily interactions – what they are like now, what you want them to be like and how you can achieve goals as a team. Focusing on how you can improve your contribution to the relationship instead of what your partner is doing wrong changes your perspective and often has a huge impact. Even if your partner doesn’t want to come to therapy at first, learning more about yourself and how to express your needs can drastically improve the dynamics of your partnership.
Sometimes clients get caught up in the drama of their relationship. I might listen to this for a while to get a sense of how you communicate, but it is important to understand you’re in therapy to fix your problems, not just rehash them in front of your therapist. You are not in couples therapy to fight, rather to learn how to communicate more effectively with one another and ultimately to address each of your relationship needs. I’m a direct person, and I won’t let you slide back into old habits during our time together. In sessions, we will define your relationship goals and identify specific actions you can take to help meet them.
With the support and guidance of a skilled and compassionate therapist, you and your partner can feel more acknowledged, supported and understood by each other. You can learn how to establish personal boundaries as well as how to honor and respect your partner’s boundaries. If both you and your partner are committed and willing to do the work, you can have a happy, healthy relationship again –even if it seems impossible right now.
You may be curious about couples therapy, but still have some questions and concerns…
My partner is the problem and he or she won’t change.
In couples therapy, we focus on what you can control. It’s hard to make changes, and it’s true that people often resist. But what you can control is how you view your partner and how you express yourself to him or her. Those things can open your partner up to you more than you might think. If you have been trying the same things over and over to fix your relationship and they are not working, why not try something different? The structure of couples therapy holds people accountable instead of letting them return to unproductive behaviors.
I’m not sure what I want from my relationship.
If you’re unsure about what you want from your relationship – or any relationship really – it may be helpful to start with individual counseling. An important piece of getting what you want from a relationship is knowing what you want in the first place.
We don’t have time for couples therapy.
Coordinating three schedules can be difficult, but I offer flexible scheduling. I work in the evenings and, starting in the fall, will have more daytime appointments available.
Couples therapy is an investment in your life and your partnership. If the problems you are experiencing already have you searching for a therapist, they will likely worsen over time if not addressed. It’s important to make your relationship a priority just as you would any other important aspect of your well-being.
If you are still wondering whether couples therapy might work for you, please call me at (703) 554-2882. I offer a free 15-minute phone consult to potential new clients. I can answer any questions you may have about my practice and how couples therapy works.