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- Are you tired of fighting?
- Do you feel like you keep having the same fight over and over again?
- Does it seem like ending the relationship is your only option?
- Has it been more difficult to make up after a fight?
- Are you worried about taking the next step with your partner?
You’re not alone.
Relationships can be challenging. Two people coming together, working hard to meet one another’s needs while still trying to get their own needs met, trying to blend two different worlds, and learning how to resolve conflict without feeling compromised can be complicated.
While romantic relationships can and should feel safe, healing, stable, and secure, they can leave us feeling alone, anxious, sad, and unsettled. When a relationship is good, it is good. When we’re getting along we feel on top of the world, take on new challenges in our personal lives, and reach out goals. But when a relationship is bad, it starts to wear on us. Work can suffer, friendships may be neglected, personal goals get pushed to the back burner, and we do not feel like ourselves. Being in a relationship that is conflict ridden, full of resentment or contempt, or void of emotion, will break you down.
Since many couples get off to a great start and easily fall in love, the crash that can come when things take a turn can feel devastating. We are not taught how to be in love or stay in love when we’re growing up. Most of us just do what our parents did – which isn’t always good. But today there is a lot of great information out there that can help a couple learn how to share their lives together in a healthy way.
If you love the person you’re with, but need something to change, it may be time to get counseling.
Couples counseling will teach you effective conflict resolution skills, improve your overall communication, repair damage from past wounds, and increase your sense of safety and connection.
Mark and Melissa started couples counseling at a tough time in their relationship. They had met two years earlier, quickly moved in together and felt that they were headed for marriage, but recently found themselves stuck. They both wanted to get married and start a family, but they shared in counseling that they had started to fight more and more and that their fights were getting worse. Mark and Melissa worried that this relationship had run its course and feared that maybe they should just walk away from one another.
While in counseling, Mark and Melissa shared more about their relationship dynamics. They shared that they had met after both coming out of serious relationships. They told each other at the time that they didn’t want anything serious from the other and both stated that they were “having fun.” Well the “fun” continued and after about 6 months of “having fun”, they decided to move in together and found themselves completely in love. They shared that they enjoyed one another’s company, had a lot in common, liked each other’s friends and families, and just felt at ease with the other.
Of course, this was Mark and Melissa still felt about each other when things were going smoothly, but Mark and Melissa shared that the fighting had become more frequent, that the same issues kept re-surfacing, and that the fights were lasting longer – they were having a harder time making up after fights.
After committing to couples counseling, Mark and Melissa began to learn more about themselves and their relationship. They both realized that they were harboring some old pain from past relationships and both were afraid of getting hurt (being left or rejected). At the beginning of the relationship, they found it easy to connect because they both agreed that they were just “having fun”, but once they moved in together, the stakes increased and fear kicked in.
Once Mark and Melissa started to recognize their own fears and understand where there fears were coming from, there were able to share it with the other and gain the reassurance they both needed. They also started to learn effective methods for conflict resolution, improved their daily communication skills, understood the importance of being vulnerable, and started to have tough and important conversations about their future.
In just a few months, Mark and Melissa began to feel closer than ever and started to trust another more and more. Mark soon proposed to Melissa and they were able to start planning their future together as a couple with new tools and confidence in the relationship.
We have broken up a few times and are uncertain if counseling will work. Do you think it can help us?
Couples counseling can absolutely help couples change unhealthy interaction habits, improve communication, and increase intimacy and connection. Those couples who really want to make their relationship work and are willing to look at their own contribution to any relationship issues definitely experience change and progress.
How long will it take for us to work through our issues?
Every couple is different, but if a couple is committed to making change and is invested in the relationship, change can begin within the first few sessions.
We love each other so much, but our fights are ruining our relationship. Should we walk away?
One of the most common issues couples work on in couples counseling is their ability to resolve conflict. Understanding your unique “argument dance” and learning how you can change these patterns is extremely powerful. Once you practice stepping outside of the fight, learn to identify what you are really upset about, and apply more effective conflict resolution tools, the fights become less severe and do not last as long.
I’m ready for couples counseling, but my partner is not. What do I do?
This can be common in a relationship. One person is ready to get help and the other is not. Sometimes it can be helpful to begin individual treatment on your own. Taking the time to talk about your feelings about the relationship and working on your side of the “argument dance” can still lead to change in the relationship.
We want to improve our relationship and get started in couples counseling, how to we begin?
Getting started is simple. Just EMAIL or CALL ME and we will find a time that works for all of our schedules. I also offer a complimentary 15 minute phone consultation to address any questions or concerns.
Your relationship is the most important relationship in your life. It should bring you joy, happiness, a sense of safety, stability, and security. If you love each other, but continue to struggle with the same old fights or fear moving forward together, it’s time to get help.