Has Your Relationship Or Marriage Lost Its Spark?
Are you and your significant other struggling to navigate conflict? Do both of you feel like you’re just roommates now instead of romantic partners? Does every conversation seem to end in an argument, no matter how innocently it starts?
Maybe both of you find yourselves in a perpetual battle of “you did this, you did that”—trying to prove each other wrong instead of trying to understand each other. Perhaps your partner cheated on you and now you’re not sure that you can trust them. On the other hand, maybe you don’t even know what’s driving you apart—you just don’t feel deeply in love anymore. You might feel like the romance is gone and you’re just going through the motions together.
You And Your Partner Might Handle Conflict Very Differently
Oftentimes, relationship problems arise because two people have totally different ways of communicating and solving conflict. For instance, maybe one of you likes to address conflict head-on and the other tends to withdraw from it. When a fight happens, one of you wants to work it out and the other shuts down. As a result, neither of you can ever seem to resolve things in a way that satisfies you.
Conflict is inevitable in any relationship. The key is being able to work through it constructively and peacefully. In couples counseling with me, I want to help you and your partner solve your disagreements, increase your intimacy, and deepen your love for each other in the process.
Many Couples Get Hung Up On Relationship Issues That Aren’t Fixable
There are two different types of problems in a relationship: solvable problems and perpetual problems. Solvable issues include disagreements about household chores, finances, and where you’ll spend your holidays. On the other hand, perpetual problems generally involve fundamental differences in your personalities. For example, maybe you and your partner have mismatched levels of sexual desire. Or perhaps one of you is very emotionally expressive and the other is more withdrawn.
It's important to figure out if your relationship problems are solvable or perpetual. After all, it’s very common to get hung up on perpetual differences that can’t just be “fixed.” This doesn’t mean your relationship is hopeless—it simply means that your personalities are inherently different. And that’s okay. Couples therapy can help both of you respect each other’s uniqueness and compromise on the issues that are fixable.
On your own, it isn’t always easy to solve the problems in your relationship. After all, no one grows up with lots of different role models for relationships, so it’s very easy to copy the models you saw as a kid. If your parents tried to solve conflict a certain way, you might feel tempted to do the same. Counseling offers you a chance to recognize these limitations and expand your understanding of how relationships work.
Couples Therapy Can Help You And Your Partner Become Friends Again
When you come to therapy, you might fear that you and your partner will just argue the whole time or your counselor will “take sides.” As an experienced couples therapist, I am here to tell you that you don’t have to worry about any of that happening. With me, there is no bias. I will provide an environment for both of you to be seen and heard and will work to support both of you as you deal with your relationship challenges.
After all, you are coming to counseling to save your marriage (or relationship). It’s my job to give you the opportunity to do that. This means helping you work together instead of siding with one person over the other. My goal is to help both of you get to the root of your struggles, learn new communication skills, and fall back in love.
What To Expect In Couples Therapy Sessions
When therapy begins, I will see you and your partner together for a 90-minute session to get to know you and discuss your challenges. After that, I will meet with each of you separately for 45 to 60 minutes. Although these individual sessions are a chance to understand your perspective better, they are not a time to divulge secrets or try to form an alliance. For a relationship to truly heal and grow, there can’t be any secrets. I encourage you and your significant other to be on the same page regarding your goals for therapy.
After the two individual sessions are done, both of you will complete a short online assessment about your relationship’s strengths and weaknesses. When that’s done, the three of us will resume meeting together for the remainder of couples therapy.
Creating A Plan For Couples Counseling
Every couple is different and that’s why I draw from a wide variety of approaches in therapy. One of the main modalities I use is called the Gottman Method. This approach aims to identify the main difficulties in your relationship and figure out what draws you closer together. The Gottman Method can help you increase your intimacy, establish rituals of connection, and create a system of shared meaning.
Part of the Gottman Method involves building what’s known as the Sound Relationship House. This is an integrative approach with an emphasis on building friendship, managing conflict, increasing fondness and admiration for each other, and creating a shared meaning. After all, a relationship is at its strongest when you and your significant are good friends, not just romantic partners. Building a Sound Relationship House can help you work through everyday aspects of interaction by strengthening and repairing your friendship.
Regardless of which approach I use, my hope is that couples counseling will give you the skills to manage conflict, solve communication issues, and strengthen your relationship for years to come.
You May Have Some Questions About Marriage And Couples Therapy…
Are you going to tell us we should get divorced?
I am not here to tell you what direction your relationship should take. If you are coming to therapy to improve your marriage, then my goal is the same as yours. I want to help you communicate with each other in a healthy and productive manner. This doesn’t mean that you always have to agree, but that you should acknowledge and accept each other’s differences.
What if my spouse doesn’t take therapy seriously?
Many people are skeptical when they first come to therapy. They often think: “What will a therapist tell me that I don’t already know.” It’s normal to feel this way. Nonetheless, most people who are resistant to couples therapy eventually come around and actively participate. After all, therapy has nothing to do with how much you know—the key is understanding the other person and applying new skills to your life.
What if couples therapy is too much money?
Counseling is an investment, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s usually much cheaper and less time-consuming than separation or divorce. It’s a chance for you and your significant other to hone your strengths and overcome the challenges that stand in your way. What’s more, there is no pressure to commit right away. The initial assessment takes just three sessions. After that, you and your partner are welcome to continue or discontinue with therapy as you see fit.
You Can Fall In Love All Over Again
If you want to rekindle the spark at the heart of your relationship, I encourage you to connect with me. To get started, you can use the contact page or call 716-300-1977 to book a free phone consultation.