Have You And Your Partner Been Struggling To Communicate?
Do most conversations you have with your partner or spouse result in arguments? Have you been having the same fights over and over again, with no hope of resolution?
Maybe one or both of you have been harboring increased resentment as “little things” explode on a regular basis. Deep down, perhaps you know that the arguments you’ve been having aren’t really about the “little things” your partner does to annoy you, but they are in fact rooted in deeper, more serious issues. Arguments about not putting dirty laundry aren’t really about the laundry but about not being truly heard or respected by your partner.
As the emotional disconnect grows, perhaps you’ve become more like roommates. Maybe one of you has “checked out” and spends more time at work or with friends, while the other feels “put upon” by having to stay at home with the children. And the lack of connection and intimacy only seems to worsen, pushing you two further and further apart.
Do you wish you could get your partner to pay more attention to you? Would you be more satisfied in your relationship if your partner stopped “nagging” you all the time?
Relationship Ruts And Marital Problems Happen To A Lot Of Couples
When you’ve been with someone for a long time, it’s natural for intimacy to come and go. It’s especially common for a loss of connection to occur after a recent life change, such as moving to a new location, having a baby, or losing a job. This doesn’t mean that you are no longer compatible; you’re just facing uncharted territory, which could reveal a side of you or your partner that has never been seen before.
For some people, the inability to resolve conflict in relationships is rooted in childhood, as they were exposed to unhealthy examples of relationship patterns, perhaps by their parents or other relatives. Some people unknowingly carry the baggage from their parents’ marital problems into their own marriage. Consequently, they may have unrealistic or problematic ideas about conflict management, not knowing how to compromise or resolve conflict in a healthy way.
Communication issues can also occur when both partners are speaking through the lens of their own life experiences, which the other has not lived. It is possible to love someone and, yet, not understand the perspective they are coming from—even if it’s deeply connected to who they are.
I understand how painful it can be to feel lonely and alone in a relationship. But with the help of a couples counselor, you can have a deeper connection and intimacy again.
Couples Counseling Can Restore The Intimacy And Connection In Your Relationship
If you are struggling to communicate with your partner, a counselor can help you fill in the gaps with helpful rephrasing strategies to better clarify your needs. The benefit of having a licensed couples counselor observe a common argument is that I can point out subtle ways one of you might be hurting the other’s feelings or blocking a resolution without realizing it.
I help couples look at their relationship dynamic in real time. That is, I will ask about a common issue that you two fight about and can’t seem to resolve, and then observe how you communicate—from tone of voice to word choices to body language. I want to see how you receive each other’s comments in order to point out ways that your communication can improve, or may be making a situation worse. While responsive behaviors matter, my focus is more about the intention of the behavior rather than the behavior itself.
I can help you change communication patterns to help you connect in an “open” state, rather than “closing” via silence, changing the subject, blaming, or what have you. Usually, these behaviors are the defenses picked up from childhood and years of being chronically hurt and disappointed with the opposite gender.
Beyond forming new communication patterns and resolving communication issues, I will help you recognize the energy behind certain body languages such as eye rolls or turning away, and focus on intentionally opening up to your partner when it’s easier to close instead. In these situations, it may feel safer to contract. I may ask, “What would happen next time there is a conflict if you wouldn’t do that? What if you tried to remain open?”
Sometimes, changing body language can “turn the temperature down,” so to speak, and lessen some of the tension in the room. Changing habitual responses to conflict may not solve the actual problem at hand, but can put you both back on the same team, working together instead of against each other.
No matter how hopeless things may seem for your future together, couples therapy can help you go from roommates to soulmates. Your marital problems don’t have to define your relationship; I can help you restore your intimacy and connection once again.
You May Have Some Concerns About Couples Counseling…
My partner doesn’t want to come to counseling.
This isn’t an unusual situation to be in. I would still recommend that you show up by yourself, but let your partner know that you are going. Often, the other partner gets on board with couples counseling once they start to notice positive changes in behavior.
Isn’t couples therapy expensive?
Therapy is an investment in yourself and in your family. The tools you will learn during your sessions will change the tone of your arguments so that you and your partner can solve them with less anger, and less resentment. Furthermore, the investment you make in therapy is a lot less expensive than the monetary investment of a divorce.
Why would we air our dirty laundry in front of a stranger?
You may be surprised at how helpful it can be to have a neutral, objective third party who is not directly involved listen to your problems. Other people who know you may be too emotionally invested in you or your partner to have an objective view of the situation. A couples counselor doesn’t have this disadvantage.
Call To Schedule Your Appointment For Couples Counseling
To best assess your needs, I offer a free 15-minute consultation via phone or at my office. You can reach me at 336-207-8921.