Do You Love Each Other But Don’t Like Each Other Anymore?
Have you forgotten the reason why you’re in a relationship? Perhaps a growing disconnect and lack of trust have left you feeling like you’re living with a stranger instead of an intimate partner. It’s like your relationship is on autopilot, and your destination is anything but clear.
Are you enjoying the company of others more than being with your partner? Maybe you used to love staying home and spending quality time with each other, but now you’d rather stay at work or meet up with friends. Nothing excites you about your relationship anymore, and you feel too depressed and exhausted to do something about it.
Do you feel unseen, unheard, and undesired by your partner? Perhaps this lack of validation and appreciation make you feel betrayed and hurt. And as a result, you may find yourself dwelling on questions like: Why do I feel this way?, Who did I marry?, and What do I want? It’s hard when you can’t share your feelings or when you feel your partner doesn’t care about what’s going on with you. And when you aren’t getting what you need from your partner, it opens the door for mistrust, avoidance, and infidelity.
Perhaps you’ve tried saving your relationship on your own—as a couple or individually—but it didn’t work. Are you tired of going in circles and not accomplishing anything? Marriage and couples counseling can provide the hope and support you need to reconnect, boost intimacy, and make a difference in your relationship.
Relationships Fall Apart When We Don’t Put Work Into Them
Many of us tend to forget that a relationship is a living, breathing thing, and we have to work at keeping it alive and healthy. Much like growing a garden, the bond we share with others requires maintenance to stay in good condition, and it’s common for relationships to deteriorate when we don’t take care of them.
Unfortunately, seeking help from a marriage therapist to maintain or repair our relationships isn’t something that we’re taught. Society leads us to believe that marriage problems are a private issue, making us feel like we can and should figure out how to handle them on our own.
But that is a myth that needs to be debunked. There’s nothing wrong with seeking to educate ourselves with the help of a professional counselor and getting new tools to help us build a healthy, satisfying, and resilient marriage. It’s when we fail to reach out for this know-how that we run the risk of staying stuck in doing more of the same thing (which didn’t work in the first place!) and expecting a different result.
While you can’t control the world around you—we’re all affected by social injustice, uncertain and unexpected situations, and daily stressors—you can control what happens inside of your home. The first step is to leave the world outside at the door so that your home can be your sanctuary.
I would like to help you create the change to rebuild that sanctuary. While I can’t change your situation, couples counseling can help you see your relationship issues from a different perspective and give you the education and tools to achieve your goals.
Marriage and Couples Counseling Can Provide the Tools and Skills to Help You Reconnect
Not everybody seeks counseling services because something is wrong in their relationship; many simply want to improve their connection. Investing in your relationship is a worthwhile endeavor. If you’re willing to release the negative patterns that are hindering you and become open and excited about new tools to help you revive your relationship, that investment will pay off.
To facilitate that receptiveness, I provide a safe, non-judgmental space for you to be yourself and share your thoughts, feelings, and concerns—all kinks and conversations welcome. You are the expert on your relationship, and I will never obligate you to do anything “my way.” Rather, I simply help you reframe the connection you share and give you the tools you need to get a different view, let go of negative patterns, and reach your goals.
I understand that marriage and couples therapy is hard work, and my aim is for you to leave each session with a new skill, strategy, or resource tailored to your unique needs. We’ll start by clarifying your goals for each session—compassion, empathy, communication, etc.—and practicing concrete skills you can use to achieve that goal. By taking this solution-focused approach to therapy, you can stop focusing on what is wrong in your marriage, but rather look at what is right and how you can build on that. You can see that positive change is achievable before we get into the core of your issues.
During our first session, we’ll talk about the relationship issues that brought you here and what you hope to gain from meeting with a couples counselor. We will work together to understand and deconstruct harmful communication and behaviors that you and your partner may not realize are affecting your relationship. In essence, you have built your relationship based on what you’ve seen from others: your parents, siblings, or even on TV. By releasing that mindset, you can find a place of happiness that lets you be more authentic with yourself and your partner. You’ll discover that what works for others may not work for you, and you’re free to develop your own roles, responsibilities, and definition for your marriage.
In subsequent sessions, I’ll draw from scientifically-supported methods to tailor my approach to your unique relationship needs and goals. I’ll tap into the Gottman Method to focus on team-building exercises that facilitate a greater sense of trust and safety. If negative narratives are affecting your behaviors, I may utilize aspects of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help you recognize and replace harmful patterns. Alternatively, if you or your partner are struggling to connect with your emotions, I may draw from Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) so you can define your needs and communicate them clearly.
Of course, one of the most important and universal tools for interpersonal connections is communication skills. Communication is like lubrication for your relationship; when you learn to apply it liberally, everything goes smoother. Therefore, sessions will not only help you learn how to communicate your needs and sexual desires more clearly but also teach you to recognize if something is a “couple’s” issue or if it’s a pattern of communication you need to work on in yourself. The majority of times when it’s a “you” problem, you can learn practical steps to be less reactive and impulsive so that you can communicate with greater clarity and awareness of how it will impact your partner.
I recognize that every couple’s situation is different, and I take a flexible, eclectic approach to meet you where you’re at. Instead of using cookie-cutter methods that treat all relationships the same way, my 10+ years of experience as a couples counselor have taught me to draw whatever pieces are needed from my toolbox to help you achieve realistic goals and create the sustainable change you’re looking for.
No matter how bad your situation may seem—communication issues, emotional disconnect, living separate lives, lack of intimacy, or even infidelity—there’s always hope when you’re willing to get on the road to recovery. I would like to help you take that journey.
You may still have questions or concerns about marriage and couples counseling…
How long will this take?
I don’t think you should put a time limit on the evolution of your relationship. Rather, you should give yourself enough time to learn the skills necessary to maintain a healthy relationship, just as you would with job or career training. Why would you rush your relationship when you don’t rush other things? And an investment in yourself yields the highest return.
What if my partner doesn’t want to attend?
I understand that not everybody wants to participate in couples therapy. Some question if marriage counseling really does work. If your partner doesn’t wish to attend, I’d be happy to start you off with individual sessions to see how you can change your relationship dynamics. Sometimes, to stop the dance, one partner has to move a different way. Eventually, your partner may join you, and we can commence with joint couples sessions.
I’m worried I’ll be blamed.
I’m an affective listener—I listen to the context of the situation, not the content. My role is to give you suggestions on how to change the context, not to pick sides. I’m not here to say who is right or wrong, but what is right for the relationship. And that team approach to couples therapy means both you and your partner will get the attention you need to feel included in the process. It’s not a “you” problem, it’s an “our” problem, and everybody can be included in how to solve it.
Start Your Journey To A Better Relationship
If you’re ready to start marriage or couples counseling to reconnect with your partner and improve your relationship, or if you simply want to take your connection to the next level, I invite you to contact me so we can set up a free consultation to see if I’m the right guide for your journey.