When distance or conflict take root in your relationship, it's very difficult to see things from your partner's perspective, and very easy to feel mistreated and misunderstood.
- a young couple adjusting to parenthood
- trying to decide how or whether to continue your relationship after an affair
- struggling with one another as your teenager is pointing out each of your flaws
- fundamentally disagreeing about money or child-rearing
- in a long term marriage that needs invigorating
- in a problematic relationship, but your partner refuses to go for help
Moving from being a two-some to being a family is a huge transition. Sexual frequency and satisfaction can plummet. Disagreements about childrearing and juggling the running of the household can arise. And all of this against the backdrop of sleep deprivation and hormonal swings. Therapy can help couples navigate these rocky waters - pointing out and normalizing even extreme challenges, and providing much needed advice and understanding.
Marital challenges of raising teenagers: "A wolf in denim clothing"
In The Good Marriage, marital expert Judith Wallerstein coined this phrase to describe how even the most robust marriages can get shaken when children become teenagers. Since teenagers are often preoccupied with separating from their parents, and it's often difficult to separate from people you love so much, a common coping mechanism is to notice and often speak up about all the things that are wrong. Knowing you as well as they do, your teen will point things out about you and your partner that really are annoying, and that are probably true. You may have managed to ignore those traits for the past decade or so - but your teenager is having none of that. Therapy can help you keep your bearings during these tumultuous times.
Long Term Marriages:
Long term marriages can become flat. It can seem like you've already said all there is to say. Or perhaps you've decided it's not worth asking for what you want. You may have stopped expecting your partner to grow, or you don't think they're capable of growing. Therapy can help you figure out what limitations and differences you just need to accept from your partner- and when you each need to ask one another to grow and stretch - even if it causes some disruption and discomfort. On the other end of that disruption may lie renewed respect, interest, and passion.
Couples therapy when your partner won't come for help:
This is a very common situation. While it can feel hopeless, it rarely is. Since so much of what goes on in relationships has to do with your interaction with one another, one of you making changes will inevitably change the dynamic between you, and often change it dramatically. People will ask me "Why should it be up to me to change when he's causing all the problems? When she's just impossible?" Sometimes, in cases of physical abuse or serious drug or alcohol addiction, working on yourself will not make enough of a difference. But usually, if you can get past the "It's not fair!" feeling, you'll discover that there are many things you can do on your own to significantly improve your relationship, without your partner ever stepping foot in a therapist's office.
Call now for a free phone consultation.
I'm happy to answer your questions about couples therapy.
For over twenty years I've helped couples move from conflict or distance to renewed understanding and intimacy. It's a great pleasure to help couples laugh with one another, and rediscover that love and joy are once again possible for them. Couples tell me they appreciate my ability to be fair and objective, to allow both of them to be heard and to translate what each is saying so the other can hear it too. You'll learn to understand what underlies the repetitive, unproductive fights and will develop more empathy and compassion for one another. You'll also learn practical, down to earth ways to break patterns that aren't working and to start making immediate changes that will make a difference.