Are Constant Arguments And Lack Of Connection Destroying Your Marriage?
Have you and your spouse been feeling emotionally distant lately? Perhaps intense conflict has led to increased arguments, and you are starting to feel concerned about the possibility of violence. The arguments seem to come out of nowhere, initiating power struggles and scaring you or your children.
Or maybe your problems aren’t quite so severe but problematic enough that you fear you are no longer compatible. Maybe one partner has recently found their voice and is pushing for change. Perhaps certain behaviors such as flirting or infidelity have shattered your trust and left you feeling hurt. You both seem to want different things and grow further apart each day.
As you grow further and further apart, you may not share as much affection or physical intimacy as often as you used to—if any at all. Your partner may be frequently absent—physically or mentally—refusing to reciprocate if you try to initiate intimacy. Maybe you don’t do anything together anymore, and one of you pulls away if you do. Perhaps you’re realizing that you both have different values and share few opinions or beliefs. As a result, you are starting to feel like roommates more than a loving married couple. As the resentment builds, you may contemplate separation or divorce as the only solution.
Do you want to use every tool at your disposal to save your marriage—or find out if it even can be saved? Are you ready to reach out to someone who can help walk you through tangible solutions to reconnect with your spouse?
Media Misrepresentations Of Marriage Can Warp Our Ability To Work On Our Relationships
Our Western culture puts a great deal of emphasis on self-fulfillment and unrealistic notions of romantic love. Many of us don’t like to think of marriage as something that takes “work.” We may automatically assume that any relationship in need of maintenance or repair is doomed. But that doesn’t have to be the case. (“Working” on your marriage is a good thing—a sign that you are invested in your future with your spouse.) We may also mistakenly think that we don’t need to “work” on our marriages when everything is going well. But then, when hard times come upon us, and each party responds to it in their own way, that can make marriage feel difficult.
Additionally, expectations have risen for what marriage should provide while, at the same time, we live further away from our families and support system than previous generations did. Our partners are now expected to be our soul mate and playmate, best friend and lover, confidante and cheerleader.
Emotional disconnection can sometimes be related to different worldviews, lifestyles, or lack of experience with a safe connection. One or both partners may have a habit of being defensive or critical, sweeping problems under the rug, or have had past experiences that make them very frightened of conflict. Our pasts can affect the feelings we have in our present relationship, such as the degree to which we feel secure, intimate, or even controlled.
Working with an experienced marriage counselor can help you navigate through these issues (as well as other relationship problems) and learn to resolve conflict in a healthy manner. With the right support and tools for conflict management, you can work toward regaining the kind of marriage you used to have.
Marriage Counseling Can Help Save Your Marriage
My goal is to tailor a treatment plan that will focus on the specific issues causing problems, rather than recycle a predetermined package. In-session exercises will draw on developing skills to get connected and stay connected in the years ahead. I begin by inviting both partners to stand side-by-side and take the perspective that their relationship, not the other person, is what we are repairing. This encourages each party to put forth their best and consider making any necessary changes to their own behavior. Solely pointing to your partner’s faults does not work.
My session starts with hearing each person’s view of the problems in their marriage—what they’ve tried to fix their troubles and what they would like their relationship to look like. I start by conducting a thorough assessment of the marriage using clinical assessment forms and interviews with each individual. We look for strengths as well as weaknesses. Then, I present the results of the assessment and my recommendations and seek both partners’ input as to what else should go into their treatment plan.
In addition, I offer techniques and strategies to practice in between sessions that target identified weaknesses. Doing so will help you get the most out of the sessions, as well as save you time and money. My modalities include Emotion-Focused Couples Therapy, as well as Gottman and Schema Therapy. Marriage counseling will give you a chance to learn and practice these evidence-based methods and experience real results.
You and your partner can restore lost intimacy and remember the reasons you got married in the first place. Happiness and harmony are possible when you are willing to work at it.
You May Have Some Concerns About Marriage Counseling…
I’m afraid I will get blamed for our problems.
Often, people enter marriage counseling expecting their partner to reveal the others’ faults and every act of unkindness. This is not how it typically works. Regardless of the final event that made you both decide to get help, the focus will be on helping you both connect more meaningfully. While one partner may be more at fault for a particular behavior, I will make sure that the conversation is kept constructive and balanced.
Our problems might be beyond help.
You are certainly not the only couple to feel that way. Many couples have benefitted from having a third party examine their relationship through objective, unbiased eyes. Ultimately, you don’t know if your relationship is worth saving until you try. But if both of you are committed to restoration, then there is a good chance your marriage can be saved.
However, when one member of the partnership is not sure whether to save the marriage, a new type of counseling called Discernment Counseling might be a better choice. This is a very short process (1-4 sessions maximum) aimed at looking at whether the problems in the marriage should be worked on. Additionally, if one partner confides that they may not feel safe in their marriage, we can discuss options for a different approach.
I’m not convinced that marriage counseling will benefit us.
While I cannot guarantee results, I have seen both men and women report tremendous improvements in the quality of their connection and ability to work through conflict. I personally think the investment in counseling is well worth the benefits: increased happiness, deeper intimacy, and a more peaceful home environment.
Call To Schedule Your Appointment With A Marriage Counselor
If you are ready to receive help for your marital problems, you can reach me at 936-444-6710 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. I offer a free 15-minute phone consultation to see if we are a good fit.