Is Your Relationship In Trouble?

 Are you and your partner struggling to connect and communicate? Are you so busy with your own lives that you barely spend time together anymore? Perhaps you are new parents dealing with the time, financial and emotional demands of having a new baby. Or maybe you’ve been parents for a while, and routines and responsibilities have taken precedence over your relationship. Have one or both of you been unfaithful? Are you aching to reconnect with the loving and fun feelings you used to have for your partner? Do you wish that you and your partner could push through this challenging time as a team and reconnect with the bond that initially brought you together?

 Relationships Change, Just Like People

 Even though you are part of a couple, you are an individual first. As you and your partner change, mature and grow together, it is only natural for your relationship to evolve as well. But, of course, this is easier said than done. You may be facing completely different challenges than you did in the earlier stages of your romance. Parenting, careers, health issues and financial stress can wreak havoc on a relationship if you don’t make an effort to stay connected.

 You may have different ideas about how your partnership should work. If you are not on the same page about the division of household, financial and parental responsibilities, you may feel slighted, unappreciated or taken advantage of. You may wonder what happened to the person you fell in love with—the one who always anticipated your needs and made a strong effort to meet them. You may feel disconnected physically and emotionally and not know how to get those feelings back. And, if infidelity has occurred, it may feel like your relationship can never recover.

 Many of my clients say that whatever issues they already had become exacerbated once their children arrived. Your baby has to be fed, changed, provided for, and the bills must be paid. All these responsibilities come first, and your personal needs (such as sleep, food, and personal hygiene) come second. Then, if you have any energy left, comes your relationship. But by then, you may be so exhausted that the last thing you want to do is attend to yet another person’s needs. You may think sacrificing your relationship is what you are supposed to do when you become parents, but without keeping your partnership strong, your family can suffer. It’s important to take care of each other so that you can both give your best to the children.

 If you are feeling hopeless about your relationship, don’t give up just yet. Read on to see how couples counseling can help you and your partner get back on track.

 Couples Counseling Can Help Improve Communication And Rebuild Trust

 If you are ready to stop fighting, take ownership for your part in the issues and figure out a way to get back on track, couples counseling can be highly effective. In a safe, nonjudgmental space, I can help you and your partner work though challenging issues, thoughts and feelings, recapture intimacy and reconnect with your shared life goals and dreams.

In couples counseling sessions, you and your partner can learn how to communicate more effectively, which can be the source of much conflict. Often, both partners feel like they are making an effort that is not being seen or appreciated. Couples counseling can teach you how to express your needs clearly, and also how to listen actively. You can learn how your partner receives love and that the problem is not about what your partner is doing wrong. Rather, it’s about how you can both bring your best selves to the relationship and trust in the other do the same. Once you both start to bring your A-game to the relationship, things naturally get easier. Sometimes it’s as easy as simply asking your partner what he or she needs or how you can help, instead of assuming you know. Doing so can create a healthy cycle of genuine concern, respect and effective communication.

 I am a firm believer that counseling doesn’t have to be just about solving problems—it can also be an extremely useful self-improvement tool. You can learn to better understand yourself, how you react to certain situations and how to best respond to your partner (and others). You and your partner can learn how to operate independently to resolve conflict while also using each other as a source of strength and security.

 Your problems may seem insurmountable right now, but couples counseling has helped hundreds of my clients work through their problems. In fact, I’ve experienced my own marital issues, especially after the birth of my two children, and am happy to share what I learned from those personal struggles with you. I know from both personal and professional experience that if you are both still committed to the relationship, you can work through your issues and come out stronger on the other side. 

You may be wondering if couples counseling could work for you, but still have some questions and concerns…

 We can’t afford couples counseling.

 Couples counseling is an added expense, that’s true. However, I urge you to think of the cost as not only an investment in your relationship, but in your personal growth and happiness as well. The tools and perspectives that you can learn in couples counseling don’t just apply to your marriage—they can also improve work, parent-child, family and friendship relationships, too.

Marriage counseling won’t work for us.

 It may be very hard to think like this right now, but if you open your mind and heart to change, things can and will get better. You are with your partner for a reason—because you fell in love with all of his or her attractive and endearing qualities—and that person is still there. People change and grow over the years and that is completely normal. Couples counseling can help you navigate those changes.

 We don’t have time for couples counseling.

 Part of what you and your partner will learn in therapy is how important it is to make time for each other, no matter how impossible that might feel. When you are having relationship troubles, it is of the utmost importance to get back on track as soon as possible, before things spiral out of control and resentment rears its ugly head. 

 Also, you have children, you will be modeling how important it is for mom and dad to make time for themselves. Children don’t need to know where you are going or what you are doing when you come to sessions; you can simply say that you are spending time together.  

 If you still have questions about couples counseling and how it works, please call for a free consultation. I’m happy to discuss your specific needs and answer any questions you have about my practice.