Hope, Help and Healing Are Available With Couples Counseling!
Do You Feel Alone In Your Relationship?
- Are you suffering and just going through the motions, pretending in your marriage?
- Is your stress level overwhelming?
- Do your fights quickly escalate out-of-control?
- Are you competing for your partner’s attention or time, and losing?
- Have you tried everything you know to solve relationship pain and nothing helps?
“Couple distress (an increasing level of emotional strain between partners) is the single most common reason for seeking couples counseling (Bradley & Furrow, 2013, p. 271).”
No one I’ve known gets married so it can bitterly end. No, we hope and pray for a forever love like Adele’s, Love Song. Adele paints a beautiful picture of love, fun, being whole, feeling young, and clean again. Her song concludes with, “I will always love you, ‘Cause I love you.”
It is easy to believe your love is a forever love in the early years. Time flies and for some relationships, the stress of raising kids, getting ahead, and getting along wears your bond thin. Your relationship changes. Subtle shifts move you away from connecting. With severity, you learn what the two of you cannot talk about. Couples counseling can help.
Is it like this for the two of you? You used to both be in the same boat, rowing together toward a common destination. You weathered the storms. You even laughed in the face of storms. Now it’s as if you are in separate boats. Try as you might to get together in the same boat the undercurrent pushes you further apart. Thus, foreboding sets in that it is too late for the two of you. Is it like that for you?
All Couples Experience Difficulties
It is normal for two complex individuals who live together to have conflict. In fact, world-renowned couples’ researchers, Drs. John and Julie Gottman, have found that 69% of couple conflicts are unending; their findings do not alarm me. To the contrary, if 69% of the conflicts my wife and I have will never resolve, it makes space for us to relax and figure out a way to talk about problems.
What do you do with the relationship pain? Do you pray? I hope you do. Do you talk to your friends? Of course, you do. You can’t talk with your partner. When friends hear about what’s going on they agree with you about how horrible your relationship is. Am I right? When your coupleness is suffering, you find ways to comfort yourself (why wouldn’t you).
At this point, it is common for partners to pour themselves into all manner of activities. The busier you are the less time you feel the lonely heartache of disconnectedness from the Most Important Person in your life. At least, they were in the past.
Disconnection hits us in our most vulnerable places, our heart, and emotions. When relationships hurt, we do not normally expose our suffering. No, we get angry or rage. When vulnerable we withdraw. And why not? We (all of us, including me) have finely tuned protecting measures which have proven reliability. The desperate problem though, is that self-protection does the exact opposite of what we long for. Protective strategies push us apart.
Couples Counseling With Me Can Help
When couples come in, many times they feel the end of a long road is looming.
It’s like you’ve heard the low rumbling of pending disaster getting louder, but now the freight train has turned the bend and it is bearing down on you. The two of you are stuck and cannot move to avoid tragedy. This is NOT what you had in mind when your relationship started.
Those days seem long ago.
The couples counseling model I follow has changed my life, and the lives of many of my couples. I have advanced training in and practice Dr. Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT).
The work I do is deceptively simple. I help couples, no matter how distressed, have conversations they cannot have (right now) outside my office. And there are good reasons you can’t calmly talk about your pain and suffering. You will experience my high regard for both of you. I do not take sides or use blaming or shaming. You will feel safe with me. I view your relationship as my client. Yes, both of you are my clients. I fight for the relationship to find hope and healing.
I help couples slow their out-of-control episodes down so they can make more sense of what they are experiencing. I help each of you touch deep emotional places that are the real drivers of what is going on. I don’t force anyone into emotion. I know it is there. I ask questions about what the negative interactions are like for you. I wait. I listen. I ask questions. I watch you and your partner to see what happens between you. There is so much more going on than we know. I help couples make sense of what is going on underneath the pain. I believe I can help you, too.
You May Still Have Questions or Concerns
Isn’t counseling expensive?
Couples counseling can reap lifelong rewards. Research shows that EFT works and results last. Couples can repair their relationships through helping them experience bonding conversations. The implications for future happiness are huge. What is the cost in peace of mind and heart? If you and your partner are in unresolvable relationship distress, it is costing you and the Most Important People in your life. I suspect you have already paid dearly. What would it be like if you invested in the Most Important Relationship that affects you no matter where you are?
Why would I want to share all my junk in couples counseling just so the therapist and my partner can GANG UP ON ME!
I get it. It is very possible you’ve experienced blame and shame from previous couples counseling. I do not see either one of you as the problem. What each of you do makes sense, at least in the moments. I often look at one of you and say, “You are not the enemy” then I look at your partner and say, “You are not the enemy.” Then I say, “But this negative cycle you have is killing you.”
I don’t do emotion! Why would I want to have an EFT Therapist?
I’ve heard that said. Sure. It makes sense. Let me ask you? When you and your Most Important Person are not getting along what emotions do you show them? Is it anger? Bitterness? Resentment? Hurt? Do you shut down or leave? How do they experience you? How do you experience them? May I ask a question I believe I know the answer to? Do the negative emotions draw your partner softly towards you or push them away? My gentle point? There are plenty of emotions flying around. What if you could become safe enough to begin exploring your softer, vulnerable emotions? What would happen if you could share those softer emotions and your partner could hear you in that place? It could change your relationship for the better and forever.
We’re not in the kind of distress you’ve been talking about. Do you see couples like us?
Some of my couples counseling is with those who have great marriages. They come to keep their relationship fresh. We invest in all kinds of life enhancing experiences. We attend classes, Churches, workshops, meetings, watch Youtube videos, and listen to podcasts. By ourselves, we can only go so far in our relationship. What our parents modeled for us growing up can shape our present. Even good and happy marriages benefit from counseling. Try this simple experiment.
Recall your last unhappy conflict. It does not matter with whom it was. Do you know what happened? Did you say and do hurtful things? What did they say and do? Was it talked about or swept under the rug? As you dwell on it, go back to that event and check in with your body right now. What are you feeling now? Do the same unhappy feelings come up for you? If you say yes, then there is pain stored up in your body over that event. Resolved events, reconciled events do not hold the same power over our relationships as unresolved hurt.
Now, ask yourself. What would happen if you brought the unhappy conflict up with your Person? You might begin the conversation with, “Hey. Could we talk? Do you remember that _____________________ (describe the unhappy event)? I was thinking about it recently, and I felt hurt about it. Now see what happens.
My guess is you know what is going to happen without doing it.
Relationships can find ways to thrive if they do not talk about “that thing.” What would happen, though, if the couple could talk about anything. If both of you could share your hearts, hear each other, and be heard. Would it be amazing? It is amazing for those couples. I’ve seen it.
Your Relationship Can Grow
If you would appreciate more information or schedule an appointment, I am available at 501-920-6096. I usually respond the same day, if not then within 24-Hours.
There is hope, Help and Healing!