Specializing in Marital Issues, Divorce, Separation and Affair Recovery
there’s no surefire way to guarantee that your relationship will never be impacted by an affair
Communication issues are often at the crux of any relationship problem. Let’s work on these together.
For those extremely difficult life challenges, often the most effective couples counseling is a collaborative process.
Do You Miss The Loving Connection You Once Shared With Your Partner?
Have you and your partner grown apart or even resentful or angry toward each other? Are you engaging in the same argument over and over rather than listening to each other and appreciating your differences? Maybe you’re engaging in power struggles as you both try to get each other to see and accept things from your respective perspectives. Or perhaps you feel overwhelmed and powerless in your relationship and react rather than respond thoughtfully when you feel attacked. Has your trust and sexual connection been threatened by an affair or diminished due to nasty fights and unspoken, growing resentments? Do you often feel lonely, frustrated, undervalued or sad and wonder what happened to the playful, intimate connection you once shared? Do you wish you could find a way to express your deepest self to your partner and feel loved, heard, valued and truly accepted for all who you are?
Feeling tension and disconnection in your romantic partnership can be a lonely, frustrating and painful experience. One or both of you may be harboring pain and carrying around silent resentments. Although you want to connect with your partner, ongoing, unresolved arguments may have you holding back expressing your needs for fear of creating more conflict. An affair or another breach of trust may have shaken the foundation of your relationship, causing you to question if recovery is possible. Or, you and your partner may have grown apart due to years of focusing on kids and careers. Money issues, broken agreements, division of daily tasks and differences in parenting styles may now dominate your conversations. At the end of the day, rather than turning to your partner for love and support, you may go to bed feeling angry, attacked and alone.
Almost All Couples Bump Up Against Challenges
If you are struggling in your intimate relationship, you are far from alone. Relationship problems are extremely common, and although it may not feel like it now, you and your partner can actually benefit from productive disagreements. A lot of us never resolved conflicts in our family of origin, and it’s through our intimate partnerships that we finally get to identify and address our personal triggers and heal from past hurts. While the movies and media may try to tell us otherwise, there really is no happily ever after without personal and relationship growth, work and healing.
In addition to what we each bring from our pasts into our relationships, we also create and bump up against challenges every day, all of which impact our intimate connection. With kids and prospering careers, sexual frequency often diminishes and money, parenting and family issues can arise. As real life takes over, most couples stop spending the quality time together that’s needed to nurture and sustain a healthy relationship. Over time, conflicts increase, resentments start to build and many couples lose sight of what it was that initially brought them together.
No couple is immune to challenges. While all couples could benefit from extra guidance and support, there are some times when relationship therapy can be particularly helpful and even necessary. If you and your partner are frequently angry, feel a sense of alienation or even deadness in your relationship or are living with increasing resentments, couples therapy can help you reconnect and begin living with harmony, trust and love again.
Couples Counseling Can Provide You With Support, Insights And Skills
I’ve been working with couples for more than 40 years, and I know from personal and professional experience how effective couples and marriage counseling can be. I’m a directive therapist and believe that the most effective couples counseling is a collaborative process. Through using innovative approaches and focusing on your relationship itself, I can help you and your partner begin communicating effectively. Once you learn how to really speak and listen openly, you can change the entire nature of your relationship.
In warm, safe and nonjudgmental relationship counseling sessions, I can help you and your partner develop specific, effective communication methods. You can begin to let go of resentments and blame and, instead, start expressing your feelings in healthy ways. Once you start really hearing and understanding each other, you can both lower your defenses. You can begin to connect with each other from a place of compassion and understanding so that you can make collective, mutually nurturing decisions.
Through our work together, you can also begin to recognize that your partner will at times hurt you, and that it’s normal to experience upsets and pain. Rather than repressing your feelings or acting in anger, you can learn how to feel your feelings and experience your hurt as the energy it is. Often when we don’t resist painful feelings, they dissipate. Furthermore, once you and your partner are able to accept your hurts, you can create the space needed to address the source of the pain in a healthy way.
As I begin to better understand you, your partner and the nature of your relationship, I’ll pull from different approaches and tailor-create a therapy strategy that best supports and addresses your specific needs, goals, history and personalities. I believe that there is no right way to address challenges or set ways of being, which is why we’ll work in the moment. I’ll support and guide you and your partner as you identify, explore and address unhealthy patterns as they arise, help you to pinpoint what’s not working and offer possible solutions to your most pressing issues. In addition to addressing challenges, we’ll also explore the strengths in your relationship and the gifts and value that you both bring. Over time, you can begin to experience increased ease in being with each other and trust that you can move forward with more love and understanding.
With the help of an experienced couples therapist and a willingness to explore yourself, your partner and your relationship, you can create an enjoyable, satisfying and loving partnership. With time, support and a little work, it is possible to improve your communication, deepen your connection and strengthen your intimate bond.
I’ve heard that relationship counseling is expensive and can take a lot of time.
I encourage you to consider couples therapy as a valuable investment in not only your relationship, but also in yourself, family and even career. The quality of your intimate relationship impacts all aspects of your life, and experiencing fulfillment and happiness is well worth the cost of therapy. Furthermore, once you and your partner shift into healthier communication, you’ll see immediate results. Some couples experience significant improvement in their relationship after just three or four sessions.
My partner refuses to join me in couples counseling.
Couples counseling is most effective when both partners are present and willing, but it is possible to affect change in your relationship by doing some work on your own. In individual sessions, you can explore what it is that you bring to your relationship and changes you can make to improve the communication and overall dynamic of your partnership. And, sometimes when one partner makes noticeable changes, it becomes easier for the other to look at his or her contribution to the conflicts and even join in sessions.
I’m worried that our relationship is beyond repair and that nothing – even relationship therapy – can help.
If you have children or if you still really love your partner and want to save your relationship, it’s worth giving couples counseling a try. If your relationship is truly over, I will not give you false hope, but rather help guide you through the separation process. That said, you and your partner might surprise yourselves and rekindle a spark as you begin to develop more effective and loving ways of communicating. If you are both committed to doing the work, anything is possible.