FEELING DISCONNECTED IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP OR MARRIAGE?
Does it feel like something is just missing from the relationship?
Has your relationship turned you into a nag, because you don't feel heard?
No matter how much you try, it feels like you just can't get it right for your partner?
Are you disagreeing about parenting and all the household responsibilities?
Has the long-standing disconnection making you feel less in love with your partner?
It’s because your relationship matters to you so much to you that seemingly small yet repetitive disagreements can eventually feel painful and isolating. You worry that the two young lovers from long ago are beginning to fade away. One of you has gone from making gentle requests (“Honey, can you remember to pick up some bread on your way home?”) to resentful demands (“I hope you remember to pick up some bread on your way home this time!”): Uh! You don’t even like the person you can become sometimes. Meanwhile, your partner or spouse has started to shut-down and check-out. One more work email, another weekend in front of the TV, falling asleep stroking the iPad rather than each other – to him or her, just about anything sounds better than the dreaded “talk.” No one completely feels good about the state of the union, but both of you are afraid of rocking the boat.
THE ROLLERCOASTER IS PART OF THE JOURNEY:
Every relationship and marriage goes through its own steps and stages of evolution that require a special kind of attention, care and nurturance. And there are definite times when you can see that things are taking a dip and it feels really scary.
In the earlier stages, you may be seeking to keep the flame alive and fine-tuning your relationship (things are mostly good, but they could be better). You want to get some of the kinks worked out before they become roadblocks to overcome. You want to get married soon or start a family together but recent tensions are getting in the way of taking that next step.
Sometimes, the same relationship that may have been strong at first can become unmoored after having children, experiencing loss, if intimacy wanes, or by the revelation of deceit. Just like that, the relationship you thought you knew and from which you defined yourself can transform into an alternate universe; one in which you are unequipped to thrive. Each of these unplanned life-transitions within the relationship requires a specialized attention. Ideally you would address them as soon as possible, but often they just slowly eat away at the relationship.
As marriages evolve, you may also step into another stage where parenting becomes all-consuming. In fact, we spend more time reading parenting books and articles than taking some time to prepare for how the marriage will evolve through those parenting years and how to keep it thriving. Instead, you're either feeling like you are no longer a priority for your spouse, or disagreeing about what's best for the children/family or feeling alone with all of the decision-making and responsibilities (“Did I have these kids alone?!"). There's just so much going on at all times that you can't even imagine having the energy to tackle this silent tension between you two. From the outside, your relationship seems like any other, but you know something isn’t quite right. These un-addressed conversations are becoming topics that you will have to face eventually, but when? how? ... It's just too much and too scary. What if things get worse if we talk about it?
The good news is that in the right hands, couples therapy can create the bridge you long for to meet one another half way and feel more securely connected than ever before.
COUPLES THERAPY CAN REVITALIZE YOUR RELATIONSHIP:
All couples go through challenging times or wanting the relationship to be the best that it can be. I have successfully worked with many couples that wanted more from their marriage and from each other. In fact, I’m not just a therapist who dabbles in couples therapy; couples counseling is my specialty -- I am certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy and Supervisor-candidate. This is the area where I focus all of my time and trainings because I believe that we all thrive in secure intimate relationships, because we define ourselves in and through them.
In fact, decades of psychological research conclude that satisfying relationships not only positively impact our sense of happiness, and act as protective agents against certain mental illnesses (like depression), but also help us heal from our early emotional wounds. In reverse, emotional isolation and insecure connection impede our ability to flourish into our best-selves.
Our sessions will focus on tracking the patterns that have created and perpetuated this negative cycle you find yourselves in. Each of your individual hurts and concerns will be addressed. Within a few sessions you will begin to recognize that you’re not really fighting about the toothpaste cap left open or the promises that never saw the light of day. Instead you will see that you are both speaking over the walls that you have slowly built around yourselves to cope with the hurt and pain.
In time, you will hear each other from a deeper and more vulnerable place that often pre-dates your relationship. You see, our relationships with our primary caregivers created some negative core beliefs about ourselves and about significant relationships. And today, the relationship you have with your partner is one of the most significant relationships where past wounds can be re-injured.
studies show THAT COUPLES THERAPY CAN HELP PARTNERS CONNECT WITH THEIR CORE EMOTIONS AND BELIEFS ABOUT THEMSELVES, WHICH NOT ONLY ALLOWS THE COUPLE TO FEEL CLOSE, SECURE AND RESPONDED TO IN A MEANINGFUL WAY, IT CAN ALSO HEAL THE WOUNDS FROM OUR PAST.
We will take a strength-based approach that will go well beyond “communication skills” to treat the original hurt rather than put a band-aid on it to send you on your way only to find yourselves right back to that awful disconnection.
Because couples counseling is my area of expertise, I have extensive post-graduate training, including countless sessions that culminated to becoming a certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy. I continue to hone-in my skills with various other couples therapy modalities, as well as mindfulness practices to ensure that my clients find safety and security in their marriage. My goal is to set you up on a solid path together where you no longer need me in order to have those important conversations and be able to repair the bond when other disagreements arise.
YOU MAY STILL HAVE MORE QUESTIONS… HERE ARE SOME COMMON ONES:
“Isn’t couples therapy for couples that are at each other’s throat? Our arguments aren’t that bad. Would we really benefit from this?”
Absolutely! Like all relationships, yours has and will continue to evolve in the face of life’s many transitions. Ideally, what you want is for each of you to grow and adapt to those transitions together – in a way that let’s the other know “we’re in this together.” The sooner you address those smaller disagreements the stronger your foundation will be to face any future challenges as a connected unit. When couples wait a long time to address the issues that are getting in the way, the more entrenched they become, and the harder it is to find a way back to each other. What could have been a few sessions can turn into months of therapy. Think of it as tending to a garden that will bear flowers for years to come regardless of the ever-changing weather.
“As disconnected as we are right now, I’m afraid that things will get worse if we come for therapy.”
This is such a common feeling that many couples find themselves in: a version of the devil you know versus the devil you don’t. Yes, it is true that marriage therapy can uncover issues that have been buried away for years, but until those are addressed you’re really never going to feel safe around one another. When you are in the hands of a specialized therapist who has worked with many of the similar challenges you’re facing, you can trust that you will each be attended to with compassion and supported to work through anything. It is truly possible to make your marriage better than ever regardless of what you’ve been through, as long as you both want more than the iceberg that stands between you right now.
"How do we know that this is going to work?"
This is an important question, because couples therapy is an emotional and financial investment. You want to know that this process will work for you. Whether you come to see me or someone else, please make sure it's someone who truly specializes in couples work. Please do your research to ensure that the therapist is using evidence-based therapy and has more than a master's level course in couples therapy taken 15 years ago.
I have extensive training in couples counseling, more specifically in Emotionally Focused Therapy, which is an internationally renown couples modality that has decades of empirical research behind it.
EFT is considered the gold-standard of couples therapy modalities. In fact, 90% of couples showed significant improvement in their relationship and 70% of couples shifted from distress to recovery, with lasting results (for heterosexual and LGBT couples).
Most couples experience a noticeable improvement in their interactions after 10 to 12 consecutive (weekly) sessions (when the whole couple is committed to the process both in and out of therapy).
You may be wondering about the process, length of therapy, and other specific aspects of counseling. I invite you to take a look at my FAQ’s page where I have addressed some additional common questions more extensively.
“My partner has dropped the D(ivorce) word. He/she doesn’t want to be in couples therapy. I don’t want the marriage to end and I don’t know what to do?”
Approximately, 30% of couples are described as “mixed agenda” couples — one partner feels like they’re done, while the other really wants to fight for the relationship. This is where Discernment Counseling comes in. It’s not marriage therapy; Discernment Counseling is a structured and empirically studied model to gain clarity and confidence about the future of the relationship, while recognizing your individual contributions to the state of the marriage. If you would like to hear more about Discernment Counseling, contact me for further information.
YOUR RELATIONSHIP DESERVES BETTER:
I will provide you with honest and focused guidance that will open your eyes to what your relationship can be, as well as maintain your connection. After all, it's not about not arguing, it's about recognizing what you long for, asking for what you need, and trusting that you will come back to a secure base even during instances of disconnection.
No matter where you are on your marital journey, you can have the relationship you’ve always craved that will help both of you to grow together and find a way back to the love that leads you to each other.
*** To find out more, I invite you to book a FREE consultation with me. I offer in-person psychotherapy in Westport, CT (Fairfield county) and online counseling throughout Connecticut and New York ***
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