“Loving someone is a very active process. Love is not a feeling you have; it’s supposed to accrue to the benefit of the loved one.”
– Dr. David Schnarch
Are you walking on eggshells and feel like anything you say might be misunderstood and set your partner off? Have the two of you drifted apart and you feel lonely and disconnected? Do you feel hurt and betrayed by something your significant other did? I work with couples that have reached the end of their rope and are motivated to make things better in their relationship and take control over their life.
The struggle to accommodate another person’s needs as well as maintain one’s sense of self eventually promotes growth. During this process though partners may start to feel controlled or unappreciated. As a result they start to disconnect, experience boredom and a general lack of sexual desire. This normal process is often misunderstood and If not addressed properly with the help of a professional who is informed about how to help it can lead to unnecessary separation and divorce.
Issues that can be explored or addressed in couples counseling are:
- feeling distant and disconnected
- having communication difficulties
- experiencing tension and conflict
- getting over a betrayal of trust
- struggling with infidelity or affairs
- Intimacy after infidelity
- creating deeper intimacy
- rekindling passion
- premarital counseling
- Intimacy after having a baby
- differences in parenting styles
- blended family dynamics
- alternative relationships- how to have a healthy open relationship
- discernment counseling- deciding whether to stay or leave
LGBTQ+ Couples Counseling
LGBTQ+ couples face the very same struggles as heterosexual couples do but being at a different stages of coming out and stigma and prejudice are factors that could act as additional stressors for LGBTQ+ partners. Occasionally, in a heterosexual relationship or marriage one partner comes out as LGBTQ+ and the couple might need help navigating this new territory and what it means for their life together.
“People marry each other for profoundly important reasons, and no one should divorce until they deal with those things that caused them to marry and then want to divorce each other.” – Carl Whitaker
Sometimes partners come to therapy because they don’t know what they want to do with their marriage. Do they want to try and make it work or do they want to separate? They might feel that they have tried for too long and they may be discouraged, hopeless and disappointed. One of them might be considering separation or divorce and the other could be devastated. Going to therapy to explore what ways there are to deal with what seems unsolvable and what options the future holds can be crucial in making the final decision. There are so many things to consider. Custody of the kids (and the pets), the house, the mutual friends, the favorite neighbors, the relationship with the in-laws, alimony and child support. The list goes on. Discernment Counseling can help you feel more secure in your decision to stay or separate after having thought, discussed, and agreed on how life could look like if you had to split or share all that.
Divorce does not have to be a failure. Choosing to end heartache and fighting and wanting to start a new life can be a good choice but it better not be premature. You owe it to yourself, your spouse and your children. Starting a new life with someone else that you could be would happier with certainly sounds appealing and a relief after what seemed pointless but if you as a partner have not learned anything about what actions, choices, and beliefs led you to your divorce then you won’t know how to prevent that from happening again in the future.