Couples and Marital Therapy
Remember when you two were crazy about each other? The very things you initially adored about each other now seem to drive you nuts. There’s a reason that you selected your spouse out of all the available mates out there. Even though it feels incredibly challenging, change and healing can happen.
During our relationships, there are opportunities and needs for growth. To allow for change and growth, we need to acknowledge the collection of unspoken beliefs and expectations we have brought into the relationship:
our individual childhood experiences;
past relationship experiences;
attitudes about roles, responsibilities, and power;
ideas (and ideologies) about sex; and
our own inherent strengths and weaknesses.
These personal collections of beliefs and values can sometimes clash.
When they clash, our interactions become arguments over who does the dishes, who manages the money, how we parent the kids, how we handle the in-laws, how often we have sex, and a myriad of other arguments. In my experience, these arguments are typically the surface details driven by something deeper.
Often underneath are issues of:
feeling less connected and lonely (“I feel alone in parenting the kids,”) or
feeling invisible and not heard (“I don’t feel heard or understood when I come home from a stressful day at work,”) or
feeling like you are no longer valued or cared about (“I am worried that he or she doesn’t love or care for me anymore,”)
or feeling that I don’t matter anymore (“I don’t feel important to him or her.”)
Ouch! This is where our hurt lives.
Luckily, we don’t have to stay in these wounded places! Often the first step is uncovering the patterns that are keeping us stuck. This process is usually only possible if both partners are able to maintain a sense of curiosity and compassion for one another while navigating daily life. These two components will forge the connection, which allows for the shift in your relationship. Over time, these two ingredients become the glue that keeps you two together. When it comes to relationships, this is not something we can learn from movies or in popular culture. Many times, our parents aren’t even aware of these special ingredients. We simply aren’t taught these things.
My hope is that you will learn how to cultivate these ingredients along with many other relationship-saving techniques during our sessions together. I hope you will also learn that, in the end, we all want to be seen, heard, and know deeply that we are prized and cherished. With a fresh perspective and some curiosity, this is truly possible. Many of the couples with whom I’ve been privileged to work have been able to achieve this very thing. I want you to achieve this, too.