Has the Fun Gone Out of Your Relationship or Marriage?
Have fights over little things begun to escalate into long bouts of anger and feeling stuck?
Is sex happening less often ?
Are you feeling less intimate?
Has trust been damaged between you and your partner by an affair, or financial infidelity?
Has intimacy been diminished or interrupted because of you or your partner withdrawing from a job, or other outside interests?
It is both difficult and painful when relationships run into problems. You might find yourself wishing you could go back to a more intimate time, a more peaceful time, a more playful time. You could be dreading going home because of a fear of having to face a tense atmosphere. This can lead to you wondering if something is wrong with you, or your partner or your marriage. Conflict can become overwhelming, leading one of you to shut down or engage in angry outbursts, which can lead to further problems in communication. You may feel unseen, or that you no longer recognize your partner or spouse.
These seemingly unresolvable conflicts and communication difficulties in what is probably your most important relationship can lead to feeling lost, even hopeless.
Your are most likely wanting to return to a time in your relationship of less conflict, more intimacy, a time when you were more in touch with what drew you to one another in the first place. Perhaps you are wanting to bring the fun back into your relationship.
Every Couple Runs Into the Occasional Difficult Time
Almost all relationships go through conflict and other roadblocks. To be intimate requires us to be vulnerable. To be vulnerable requires us to expose our wounds, our deepest shame. After the honeymoon period, when it is easy to overlook concerns and conflicts, a deeper vulnerability begins to surface. This is the period where differences become more noticeable. These periods can raise your stress levels and can even trigger anxiety and depression.
There are very few humans that do not become defensive when their shadow self, the parts you hold in shame, begin to surface. You may have noticed yourself or your partner becoming more defensive in your communications. This happens all the time with couples as vulnerability increases.
Other factors leading to communication difficulties have to do with major life stressors. The loss of a job, a new job, a change in financial situation, a child birth, children leaving home, or a health crisis can lead to increased stress levels. When stress levels increase, the intense emotions of intimacy become more difficult to tolerate.
When relationships enter into difficult times, it can be scary and distressing. There is good news, however. A skilled, compassionate couple’s therapist can help you navigate these stormy periods. You can not only recover lost intimacy, in relationship therapy you can move to a deeper, more grounded intimacy. There will be a little bit more of each of you allowed into your marriage.
Couples Therapy Can Help You find The Joy You once Knew
I offer a warm safe environment to explore what is really happening in your relationship and how to move towards the type of relationship, or marriage, you are searching for. We will work together as a team, exploring where and how you are getting stuck, and how communication is working and how it is not working.
We will usually begin with some exercises that are designed to help speed the process along. These exercises will explore the assumptions you make about your partner and the needs each of you have that maybe are, or are not, being met. This helps each partner express their needs and concerns within the relationship. This also helps get to the root of any communication problems. You can then gain awareness of how the past is inserting itself into the present. Both you and your partner will learn how to separate the past from the present so that conflict is no longer charged with old wounds. I have been working in couples counseling since 1995. Over the years, I have watched scores of couples move from feeling stuck to being more intimate, more involved, engaged and lively. I incorporate a variety of approaches and techniques into my marriage therapy work. Some of my influences are: Imago Couples Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Applied Existential Psychotherapy, Existential Philosophy, Mindfulness and the work of John Gottman. This unique combination of approaches is effective in helping you find the relationship you are looking for.
Perhaps you and your partner have grown apart, but you can learn to grow together. You may feel alone and isolated, now you can once again feel connected. Your home can become a place of refuge, instead of a source of tension. Through working with a skilled couples therapist, being in a relationship can become a playful path to personal growth.
What If Our Problems Are Just Too Big To Fix?
You may be afraid that your marriage is too broken, or that the problems are too big for therapy. This often happens when we are in a state of feeling stuck. Or you may feel that analyzing the problems won’t help anything. Which is true, simply analyzing usually does not help. With a compassionate, experienced relationship therapist you can learn to draw on your own resiliency. Instead of analyzing, you can experience relating in new, dynamic ways. We are not broken. We have been fooled into believing we are. A little compassion can heal a mountain of shame.
You may feel that you are too stuck to recover. When you are moving forward, the feeling of being stuck is suddenly lifted. You begin to see possibilities in your future, instead of more problems.You will explore what is working, or was working, and develop that. If defensiveness enters into the conflict, we explore what is being defended and how to feel less threatened.Couples Counseling Is Too Expensive
You may be afraid that couples counseling will cost too much. Relationship therapy usually resolves much faster than psychotherapy and is therefor less expensive. Also, isn’t the return of joy and intimacy into your life worth it?
You may be ready to enter into couples or marriage therapy, but your partner is hesitant. That is not unusual. Often if you to come in for a couple of sessions, your partner will see the benefits.
Are You Ready To Reignite That Spark?
If you would like to schedule an appointment, or have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 720 841 1836.
I offer a free consultation so that you can see if we are a good fit, or to answer any questions either of you might have.