When you and your partner come to me for couples or marriage counseling, we will explore the stressors that impinge on your relationship. These are almost always a combination of challenges outside and inside your marriage.
Something changes and your relationship becomes unbalanced, altering the way you and your partner interact. You get a promotion at work or have a new baby, and the time you used to spend together is consumed by work demands or your child’s needs. The demands on you are greater at the same time the security and support of your relationship is less apparent. Feelings of insecurity and fear may result in poor communication and conflict with your partner.
To restore balance and security in your marriage, I will work with you and your partner to communicate, resolve conflict, repair rifts, and manage boundaries. Acquiring these skills can be more complicated than it first looks. While it may be easy to learn “the rules” of good communication, your sincere intention to play by them may be overwhelmed by the intense emotions triggered when you are disappointed by your partner.
This is because In relationships with partners and spouses, we experience disappointment similarly to how we experienced it with our primary caretakers. The impact of these early disappointments depends on their magnitude and our ability to cope with them at the time they occurred. If you and your partner have difficulty applying “the rules,” then individual or group therapy may be appropriate.