are you struggling to feel connected in your relationship?
does it feel like your partner is just a roommate?
are you worried your marriage may not survive?
Maybe it seems as though you and your partner can’t have a conversation without it dissolving into an argument. You may feel like you are stuck in the same conflict, but your partner never really hears what you’re saying. Or, maybe you and your partner hardly talk at all. It might seem like there’s no intimacy left in your relationship, and physical affection between you and your partner is a distant memory. Does it feel like you’re living with a roommate instead of the person you once fell in love with?
Struggling with relationship issues can be a frustrating, overwhelming and lonely experience. Maybe your faith in the success of your relationship has hit an all-time low. Perhaps a serious breach of trust has made you question everything you thought you knew about your partner. You may be thinking that it could be easier to cut the ties and just walk away – even after years of working hard to make the relationship last. Maybe you’ve tried couples counseling before and worked on your communication, only to wind up in this place again. Maybe you think that you just aren’t right for each other.
Most couples face periods of conflict.
Relationships can be some of the greatest teachers in life, but that does not mean they are free of challenges. If you’re experiencing chronic issues in your relationship, such as emotional distance, lots of conflict, incompatibilities with sex or sexual desire or deeply-rooted resentments that haven’t been addressed, you’re not alone. In the lifespan of a relationship, many of these things are normal and simply point to a place where you and your partner have the potential to grow together.
Couples therapy can change the way you and your partner communicate.
So many couples come to me with the same doubts, fears and worries that you are experiencing right now. For 15 years, I have been helping people identify and better understand the issues in their relationship. Although it can take time, you and your partner can eventually arrive at a place that you may doubt even exists – a place of comfort, compassion and care. I often hear my clients say that they can’t believe how much has changed since they first started coming in.
In couples counseling sessions, I’m direct and will hold you and your partner accountable without taking sides. Ultimately, I have great respect for the journey that you are are on in the midst of relationship difficulties.
Even though you may believe couples therapy can help your relationship, you might not be fully convinced. You may have heard yourself or your partner ask some of these questions:
Can’t we just figure this out on our own?
You may be wondering if you and your partner or spouse even need a couples therapist. Can a stranger help? What if you can work through it on your own?
Chances are there are patterns and dynamics that have been preventing you from feeling fully at home in your relationship. These dynamics lead to anger, arguments, issues that never resolve, hurt feelings, avoidant behavior, and many other things that negatively affect the relationship. Maybe there are issues with the kids that seem to continue to surface, or ways in which family members intrude into your relationship. Sometimes, we can’t even see what the cause is.
Couples therapy helps to identify the issues and work through them in a new way. Often times the insight a couple receives is even deeper than they thought possible.
What if I have to change?
Couples therapy is not about changing who you are, or who your partner is. The process is about working with each individual in the relationship to understand, gain compassion, repair wounds, and learn the skills necessary to move forward in life, together.
What if couples therapy causes us to break up?
Many couples worry that through this process they will discover something that causes them to break up. In most cases couples find that they become closer, more trusting, and more loving of each other, rather than more distant. There may be moments when things get uncomfortable, or when you see a side of your partner you didn’t know was there. Experiencing this in the container of therapy is always better than if you were alone; the safety and security offered by a therapist, in a neutral space, can be a crucible for the growth and change that are integral to true healing.
Therapists don’t understand my identity or my relationship dynamics, what makes you any different?
I work with all types of couples: straight, gay, lesbian, gender queer, polyamorous, partnered, married, and separated. For some people it helps to know that I’m married to a woman, and understand certain intricacies of lesbian relationships. I also have an informed perspective on living in our society as a member of the LGBTQ population.
When it comes down to it, however, all relationships have common threads and dynamics, attachment patterns and wounds, that contribute to how a couple responds to each other. I work from a deep and skilled place in approaching how two people can strengthen their relationship.