Are you and your partner(s) no longer on the same page? Are the stressors of daily life bleeding into your relationship and leading to more fights and disagreements? If communication between you has broken down, do you wonder how you will ever restore the connection you once had?
Whether the challenges you face are related to finances, household chores, or issues with the kids or other family members, when you’re not getting along, the life you share becomes harder to manage. Because you seem to butt heads over every little thing, inconsequential differences in opinion may quickly escalate into heated arguments. Unresolved resentment may be causing your conversations to devolve into criticism, defensiveness, or personal attacks.
Perhaps a breach of trust has tarnished your bond and caused a rift to build. Without your partner’s unquestioned loyalty and support, maybe you no longer feel closely connected. Lacking passion or intimacy, you might be feeling alone in the relationship with no safe harbor.
The growing pain and frustration you feel could be made worse if you are no longer able to communicate how you’re feeling. Rather than risk another argument, maybe you purposely avoid each other to keep the peace. In the meantime, you can sense your emotional connection waning and a sense of isolation taking hold.
If only you could restore the loving relationship you once had before tension and conflict took hold. The good news is couples therapy offers you a forum to explore what caused you to lose your footing and how to get your relationship back on track. Even if you are reeling from the pain of infidelity, couples counseling can help you rebuild your bond and even make it stronger than it once was.
Most couples in long-term relationships hit a slump now and then. After all, life can be messy—even the most committed relationship can be tested by stressful jobs, financial hardship, and the transition experienced when kids enter the picture and change the status quo.
Not surprisingly, research highlighted in Psychology Today found that approximately 33 percent of couples surveyed had difficulty maintaining their romantic relationships . The most common issues that prevent people from staying together are usually related to finances and sex.
Part of the reason we struggle can be traced back to the false narrative perpetuated by our culture that our romantic partner will fulfill every need we will ever have. In books, movies, and TV, time and again we’re shown that once we find our perfect “one,” the world will melt away and we will live happily ever after. But this unrealistic notion about what a healthy relationship looks like can impose expectations on our ourselves and our partners that cannot be met, unintentionally setting us up for disappointment.
What’s more, no one teaches us how to function in a healthy relationship. Because we usually model our relationships on those of our caregivers, perhaps we didn’t form the most positive role models. And even if we did, what we experienced was different from what our partner(s) lived through. Combining two separate pasts means that there will always be differences in our communication and attachment styles.
Fortunately, couples counseling can help you understand how your communication styles differ With this understanding, you can identify ways to improve communication and resolve ongoing conflict.
Every relationship will experience conflict at one point or another—it’s a given. But knowing how to clearly express yourself without jeopardizing your loving bond is what distinguishes successful partnerships from those who may break up, separate, or divorce.
Couples therapy is a safe place to learn how to communicate effectively so that you can handle a disagreement without it devolving into a fight. Once you have taken the temperature down on your conflict, you can reconnect emotionally and remember why you fell in love in the first place.
In sessions, we will ask each of you to define what your ideal relationship is and determine what is currently getting in the way of achieving it. We might also go back and examine what used to work and determine what has changed. By identifying common goals you have for the relationship, we will develop a plan for therapy to reach your desired relationship goals and get you back on the same page.
Throughout couples therapy, your counselor will establish an unbiased and judgment-free environment. You will be encouraged to be open and honest with each other without assigning shame or blame. It is within this environment that we can explore the past that each of you brings to the relationship and the ways your unique attachment styles influence your communication and interaction dynamics. Through mutual validation and acceptance of each other’s strengths and areas for change, you can rediscover intimacy, connection, and healthy interaction.
The therapists at Whole Health offer an integrative approach to couples therapy that draws upon various evidence-based modalities. The methods we decide to incorporate into therapy will depend upon what will work best for you and your partner(s).
For example, we may utilize Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT), a modality that helps you connect what was formed in childhood to what you are experiencing now. With IRT, we will focus on the five Rs—reimagining, re-romanticizing, restructuring, resolving, and re-envisioning—to help rebuild your bond, heal, and grow as a couple.
For couples to get on the same page, each of you must look at what is most important to you and those things you can choose to accept and surrender to. By being open to finding a middle ground and what the things bothering you are really about, you can bridge the distance that has grown between you.
Once you commit to couples therapy, you can change the trajectory of your relationship. With healthy communication and mutual understanding in place, you can get back to that place of loving friendship you started with and rediscover what you’ve been missing.
Understandably, you might worry that your couples therapist will take sides. However, that’s not the way couples therapy works. One of the leading tenets we adhere to is remaining unbiased. Throughout couples counseling sessions, your therapist will be a neutral party and never side with one of you over the other. The safe environment created in therapy allows both of you to work on your relationship issues openly and honestly.
The idea of letting someone else into your relationship and divulging your struggles to them can be daunting. However, the problems that couples experience typically have common themes. Our therapists are well-trained at recognizing and understanding your patterns in relationships and helping you identify helpful ways to work through them. At Whole Health, we aim to be understanding and nonjudgmental. We will never impose our views upon you.
As long as you and your partner(s) are both committed to improving the relationship, couples therapy is never a waste of time. Even if your time is limited and it’s difficult for you to schedule sessions, this small investment is well worth the effort. Just carving out one hour per week where you can focus on each other can be very beneficial in the long-term. And if the logistics of in-person sessions aren’t convenient, we also offer telehealth.
Therapy is your chance to repair the damage and restore your bond. If you would like to find out more about couples therapy with Whole Health Psychological Center, please visit our contact page or call (561) 721-6400 to schedule a phone consultation.