Is Your Relationship Skating On Thin Ice?
Are you and your partner stuck in a vicious cycle of endless arguments and power struggles? Do your attempts at communication leave each of you feeling angry and disappointed? As emotional disconnection sets in, have you found that your respect and compassion for each other are waning?
Perhaps you can sense something in your relationship is lacking but can’t pinpoint what it is. Rather than have meaningful and productive conversations about your challenges—such as finances, the kids, or a lack of physical intimacy—you and your partner might be arguing constantly. Although things might improve for a while once you cool off, eventually the tension that’s simmering just under the surface returns and you end up having the same argument again.
You May Have Drifted Apart
Conversely, although you avoid disagreements, maybe your relationship lacks unity and emotional connection. You may have grown distant from each other due to a breach of trust, not sharing the same life goals, or taking each other for granted.
Because you’re not on the same page, perhaps you make decisions independent of one another and lead separate lives. Feeling lonely, you or your partner may have formed an emotional bond with someone else or numbed your emotions with work, alcohol, or pornography.
Your negative dynamic can be a draining dance that leaves you confused, wounded, bitter, and estranged. The more times this cycle plays out, the more emotionally and physically disconnected you become, leading you to wonder if you should stay in the relationship anymore.
Luckily, you don’t have to go on this way. Counseling offers couples a safe environment to slow down communication and, with the guidance of a supportive counselor, reconnect with each other on a deeper level.
Most Couples Experience Bumps In The Road
Couples research highlighted in Psychology Today shows that approximately 33 percent of people found it difficult to maintain their romantic relationships. More specifically, “fading enthusiasm, long work hours, and a lack of personal time and space are the most common problems that prevent people from staying together.” Not surprisingly, approximately 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce in the United States, a statistic that doesn’t include unmarried couples in committed partnerships.
Life Transitions Can Often Strain Our Relationships
Life’s demands can take priority and cause us to turn away from each other. The transitions we experience—such as having kids, undergoing physical changes like menopause or sexual dysfunction, or facing challenges with mental health—can all take a toll on our relationships. And as we grow more comfortable with each other, we may begin to take our partner for granted without realizing the unintended consequences.
Growing up, we are rarely taught how to show vulnerability and honestly express our needs. Therefore, as adults, we don’t know how to sustain a long-term relationship with emotional connection and vibrant physical intimacy. Often, we don’t realize how the same arguments we keep having are a symptom of a deeper issue.
Although we may have already tried couples counseling to learn better communication techniques, superficial skills that merely teach us the correct phrasing to use won’t do much good. Unless we address what is fueling the miscommunication, we’ll likely find ourselves back in the familiar yet painful cycle of emotional disconnection once therapy is over.
Successful couples therapy explores the cracks in your emotional foundation that are keeping you at an emotional distance. Working from the ground up, we can help you understand the underlying issues that are causing disconnection so you can rebuild the bridge between you.
Couples Therapy Can Help You Reconnect And Revive Your Relationship
The relationship you forge with your partner is one of the most important in your life. Because your partnership evolves over time, couples therapy may benefit you no matter where you find yourselves on your life journey together. Whether you’re seeking premarital counseling with the intention of marriage, discernment counseling to decide whether to remain together or pursue separation and divorce, or general couples counseling to improve communication, we are here to help.
Counseling offers you a safe and supportive space to explore what is fueling your emotional disconnection and effective ways to get your relationship back on track. Recognizing how each of you may have built protective walls that prevent you from being vulnerable with each other will be the first step in fostering sustainable emotional and physical intimacy. Once you can identify where these protective parts of yourself come from and how to safely lower and eventually remove the walls that exist between you, you can begin to feel close to each other again.
What To Expect In Sessions
When working with couples, your therapist will request you attend the first one or two sessions jointly and then want to meet with each of you once individually. Thereafter, all subsequent sessions will be attended jointly. Because your therapist won’t hold any secrets that could be detrimental to your relationship, expect that whatever is discussed in the individual sessions will be shared with your partner in joint sessions.
We like to work from the philosophy that while learning basic communication strategies may benefit you in the short term, what’s most important is understanding why you struggle in your relationship. Understanding the root of the problems that exist between you, as well as how previous life experience influences your perception of these problems, will be much more effective for achieving long-term success.
Additionally, we take a systemic approach to couples therapy to help you make sustainable improvements in your relationship. We like to work alongside any other providers who may be involved in your care, whether individually or jointly. And if during therapy it’s decided one or both of you would benefit from individual counseling, your couples counselor will refer you to another therapist. Depending on who’s the right fit for you, they may be either within or outside of our group practice.
The Modalities We Use
One of our main approaches centers on Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). EFT is an evidence-based form of couples therapy that honors your true nature and innermost needs, while also showing you how to cherish and connect with your partner. EFT’s technique is direct yet gentle, powerful yet sensitive in its ability to shift the dysfunctional dance of fear, hurt, rejection and disconnection into genuine, lasting healing for both of you.
Rekindling emotional connection will change your dynamic. Counseling for couples can help you reestablish true understanding, giving you the tools to rediscover intimacy, reconnect, and revive your romance.
But Perhaps You Have Questions About Couples Therapy…
My partner doesn’t want to come to couples therapy with me.
It’s common for one partner to be reluctant to seek couples therapy. Even though you believe attending therapy together would be more beneficial, no one can force counseling on anyone else. However, your partner’s lack of desire shouldn’t hold you back from attending individual counseling. The hope is that by attending counseling individually, your interactions with your partner will improve and positively shift the dynamic of your relationship. When they notice the change, they’ll be more open to the benefits of couples therapy.
We were referred by an outside care provider to see a specific couples counselor but they currently have no availability.
If you were directly referred to our practice by another provider, they are usually familiar with our practice and its specialties. It’s likely that based on a previous positive experience, they have a specific therapist or specialty in mind for your couples or marriage counseling. If the therapist they referred isn’t available, we can consult with your provider to determine if another therapist with similar training might be suitable to work with you. Fortunately, all of our therapists are well-trained and able to help you and your partner reconnect.
Since our marriage relationship also affects our school-age children, can we expand marital therapy into family counseling sessions?
Select Counseling provides family counseling services, and have therapists who work with children under the age of 18. We can also refer you to other resources, such as the National Family Resiliency Center, if needed.
In addition, we work with couples who have not yet separated and are still in the discernment phase of deciding whether to remain together or separate. If you’re still making that decision, your counselor can impart helpful tips for how to broach this subject with your children.
Rediscover What’s Been Missing From Your Relationship
We are ready to support you in reconnecting with your partner on a deep level. To schedule a free consultation and learn more about couples therapy, please contact us.
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