Do You Feel Alone In Your Relationship?
Are arguments and misunderstandings driving you and your partner to your breaking point? Or, are you generally happy in your relationship, but feel increasingly frustrated every time you fall into the same old pattern of conflict and isolation? Are you worried about what might happen if you don’t find a productive way of working out relationship problems before they become unmanageable?
Is your last argument still reverberating through your mind, causing deep emotional pain? Maybe you feel trapped and helpless, knowing that any word or gesture could reignite the conflict.
It may be becoming increasingly clear that neither of you knows how to bridge the distance. No matter how badly you want to feel close and connected, you may feel that you’re only drifting further and further apart.
Do you just want to trust that your partner loves you and is there for you, no matter what challenges you face? Deep down, do you just wish your relationship could be your sanctuary, where you and your partner take shelter from the storms of life?
Almost All Relationships Have Conflict
It’s extremely common for partners to feel stuck and disconnected at one point or another. In fact, it is very uncommon not to have conflict with your partner, whether it takes the form of heated exchanges, chilly silences, or some combination of the two.
The truth is, a committed long-term relationship requires building and maintaining a deep connection. This takes some hard work! Once you are squeezed by the pressures of work, parenting, household responsibilities, family dynamics, and other challenges life throws at you, that work gets even harder. So, over time, instead of being a source of strength and support, interactions with your partner can start to feel like just another stress.
To make matters more complex, you learned what to expect from relationships from the family environment you grew up in, as well as your closest relationships in early adulthood.
Unfortunately, few people model healthy ways of working out relationship problems. You may have learned to respond to conflict by avoiding it—seeking to keep things peaceful—and feel frustrated when your partner insists on trying to resolve an issue before you’re ready to discuss it. On the other hand, if you grew up in family that dealt with conflict head-on, you might feel abandoned when you partner withdraws by walking away or going silent.
Even if you don’t realize it, the ways of interacting you both learned long ago might be creating challenges in your relationship today. The good news is, it’s possible to gain a new understanding of what’s happening in moments of emotional disconnection. You and your partner can begin to de-escalate conflict and connect with one another on a deeper level than ever before.
With the support of a skilled therapist who’s trained in the most current couples psychotherapy methods, you can cultivate a closer bond with your partner.
With Couples Counseling, You And Your Partner Can Find Shelter In One Another
For over 20 years, I have been helping couples repair and deepen their connection. No matter how stuck and distant you and your partner feel right now, it is possible to build a foundation of shared trust, understanding, and love.
Learning how to communicate productively, without accidentally wounding one another or falling back into old patterns, is part of this work. With that being said, cultivating a lasting intimate bond is about more than improving communication on the surface. It’s about learning a new language of emotional connection. I use emotionally focused therapy (EFT), which is a highly effective therapy approach for helping couples restore their connection and deepen their bond.
In sessions, I don’t take sides or assign blame. My first priority is to build a space of emotional safety where you both feel respected and heard. During our sessions together, we can explore how each of you feels when things go awry, rather than focusing on who’s right or why either of you said what you did. The enemy is never either of you; the enemy is “the cycle” of disconnection.
The first goal of couples counseling is not to eliminate arguments or moments of discord, but to help you and your partner recognize when you’ve both been sucked in by “the cycle.” Only when you become aware of this negative cycle—this dance of disconnection—can you slow it down and begin to move in sync.
With my support and guidance, you can begin to see each other’s softer feelings—including the longing for connection that drew you together in the beginning. I will help you hear and respond to each other in ways that bring you closer instead of pushing you farther apart.
In my work with couples and within my own marriage, I have seen how EFT strengthens relationships at the core. With the right help, you and your partner can rediscover that connection that brought you together. It is possible to build a bond that is deeper and more resilient than you’ve ever experienced.
You may have questions or concerns about couples psychotherapy…
Can I come to therapy alone?
Many people tell me that their partners won’t come to therapy. Oftentimes, the reluctant partner fears they will be blamed for the challenges in the relationship. Or, it’s possible they’ve had a bad experience with counseling in the past. If you think it might help, I am happy to talk to your partner about my unbiased approach, which is centered on respect, support, and safety for you both.
If your partner still does not wish to come to therapy, I welcome you to come on your own. Together, we can explore options for your personal growth and wellbeing. Some clients find it useful to identify and work with me individually on issues that may be fueling personal distress and relationship difficulties, including anxiety and depression.
If you’re already in couples therapy and looking for an individual therapist, I can help. As long as I am not already working with you and your partner, I am happy to provide one-on-one support that can help you make progress in couples sessions.
I’ve had these same problems with all of my partners. Maybe healthy relationships just aren’t possible for me.
No matter how discouraged you may feel, you don’t have to settle for conflict and disconnection. Together, we can explore your experience and identify the factors shaping and fueling this unwanted pattern.
I can help you find greater compassion for yourself and understand how and why you get stuck in relationships. Then, you can learn how to express your deepest needs to your current or potential partner, so they understand where you are coming from—and so you can both begin to develop deeper empathy for one another. Once you are in the place of mutual understanding, you can lay the foundation for a loving, enduring connection.
This is just a stressful time. We should be able to get through this on our own, right?
When life gets stressful, disagreements can become harder to navigate. This stressful time is likely revealing patterns that have always existed in your partnership, as well as ways of interacting that each of you learned before you ever even met.
I invite you to use this period of stress as an opportunity to work on those patterns so that your relationship is a source of shelter, not further frustration. Therapy can help you and your partner repair hurts and face life’s challenges as a loving, united team.