It is often difficult to discover that relationships are not as easy as they were in the beginning. Many underlying feelings make getting along feel impossible at times.
-As a couple grows and moves out of the “honeymoon” phase, they discover more about each other and settle into patterns. People are often attracted to partners with traits that are different from their own. In the beginning these characteristics are endearing. After time, these same traits become frustrating and are often a source of conflict.
-In addition, old feelings from past relationships can influence how satisfied a couple feels in their current relationship. Early relationships with parents and family dynamics can also play a role in how each person relates to their partner.
-There is a push and pull pattern in relationships where one partner wants to be close (pursuer) and one partner moves away (distancer). Therapy can be the vehicle to bring each partner closer- the pursuer becomes more comfortable with space and the distancer becomes more comfortable with closeness.
Couples seek therapy for a variety of reasons:
- Intimacy & Connection– couples may find it difficult to feel emotionally and physically connected to their partners. They may feel they have nothing in common and may feel like they don’t really know their partner anymore.
- Trust- conflict around trust can be based on each person’s relationship to one other, past partners, and parents. Trust issues are either based on real issues in the relationship or on imagined threat.
- Sex- differences in sexual desire/ libido, sexual preferences, and sexual attraction are often concerns for couples.
- Breakdown in Communication– conflict and bickering become commonplace and couples find it almost impossible to discuss anything without arguing, shutting down, or criticizing the other. Communication breaks down and becomes threatening and hurtful instead of being an avenue for discussing needs and desires in a respectful way. Couples do not feel heard or understood by their partner when communication is not effective.
- Differences – couples find that one or more issues continue to create discord in an otherwise satisfying relationship- examples include: financial goals/ spending habits, parenting approach, personality, sex, and communication styles
My approach to working with couples is to help you identify triggers that emerge in your relationship, to explore how triggers developed, and to encourage mutual understanding. My goal is to help you listen and respond to each other’s needs to achieve intimacy instead of reacting and engaging in a negative pattern.