Often times relationship problems with your partner can leave you both feeling like you’re unheard and misunderstood. Couples therapy aims to enhance your relationship by improving your communication skills; dissolving pent-up resentments by uncovering the hidden relationship issues that are causing the anger and frustration; and teaching how to peacefully resolve conflict.
We Don't Have a Problem
Often one partner feels that there is a serious problem in the relationship, while the other partner doesn’t view the issue as problematic. It is important to know that if your partner is unhappy to the point of seeking help for your relationship, there is a problem. Couples therapy provides a safe, non-judgmental setting for each partner to focus on the relationship and hear how the other partner is feeling. It is an “us” time that is free of distractions.
The Blame Game
"Our life would be better if (he/she) would just change" is another obstacle in couples counseling. Blaming your partner for the negative aspects of your relationship usually ends up pushing him or her away. Couples Therapy allows us to explore what is behind these negative feelings and realize how the negativity gets perpetuated. This understanding leads to positive steps that both of you can take to accentuate the positive and minimize the negative.
Things will Never Change
Some couples feel “stuck” with situations or behaviors that will never change in their relationships. Couples Therapy helps us to find hope in a seemingly hopeless relationship by looking back at what brought you together in the first place, taking a journey together to help realize how you moved into your current relationship state, and creating strategies to rekindle the feelings that brought you together.
Secrets and Lies
Many couples seek counseling when they are in a state of crisis and are considering ending the relationship. Couples in crisis often keep things from one another, sometimes lying to maintain the secrets. This lack of transparency becomes a violation of trust and leads to feelings of disrespect. Couples counseling provides a dedicated time and place for honest, open conversations where partners can realize the hurt and disrespect perpetuated by keeping secrets.
Not Doing the Work
The first few sessions for couples in crisis may focus on lowering the emotional barriers between partners so that the work of repairing the relationship may begin. Sometimes couples are resistant to do this work, stating that things are much better because the emotional roller-coaster has leveled out. It is important to understand that until you work towards setting and achieving goals for a long-term harmonious relationship, the same problems will start to arise regardless of the temporary emotional relief from the initial crisis counseling.