Is Your Relationship Caught In A Negative Pattern Of Tension And Disagreement?
Are you having trouble finding common ground with your significant other? Have you felt stuck inside the same old marriage or relationship problems without any sense of a resolution? Do you often worry if your partnership can weather the storm of the unresolved conflict that continues to create tension between the two of you?
You may find it difficult to communicate or reach a common solution with your other half and it feels like your relationship is past the point of repair. Perhaps the two of you have reached a crossroads after an instance of betrayal, an unexpected disclosure, or a rupture in the relationship. Or it could be that you’re exploring nonmonogamy and having a hard time navigating the complex feelings that come with that agreement.
It could also be that you’re experiencing isolation and loneliness as a result of not feeling seen or heard by your partner. Perhaps symptoms of anxiety or depression—like agitation, moodiness, and withdrawal—have bubbled up and caused the cycle of conflict between you and your significant other to worsen.
If you’ve experienced heightened tension with your partner, it’s likely that your intimate connection feels increasingly fractured and in peril of becoming lost altogether. However, with the help of our team at Through Therapy Collective, a sense of mutual respect and loving connection can be re-established between you and your partner in couples or marriage counseling.
Intimacy Creates Vulnerability And Vulnerability Opens Us Up to Pain
Due to the nature of human interaction and coexistence, relationships are an inherently wounding system in our lives. Sooner or later, every person experiences some aspect of pain, disappointment, or distress as a result of their relationship—it’s an inevitable but educational component of love and intimacy. At the same time, the more opportunities we have to navigate disagreements with and learn more about our partners, the closer we become, further demonstrating that healthy conflict is essential to all relationships.
It’s easy to fall into the assumption that when we fell in love and committed to our other half, the hard part of finding and maintaining a relationship was finished. However, because we are ultimately conditioned to remain individualistic and ambitious towards our own unique goals and needs, the push-and-pull of a partnership can often feel depleting. We all strive to provide for our families, establish a sense of individual purpose, and adhere to the many demands of modern life, leaving very little time or space to tend to our marriage or relationship.
And once we’re out of sync with our partners, it can become extremely easy to fall into negative relational patterns and cycles of conflict. We often believe we’re right and know the solution simply because we understand our own perspective so thoroughly, causing us to overlook or minimize the feelings of our partner. Both of us want to be right but neither of us wants to budge, and so, we’re stuck at a standstill in the relationship.
A therapist, on the other hand, is not so concerned about who is right. What matters more is getting you as a couple to a place where you can authentically acknowledge and understand the experience of one another as individuals. And couples therapy can help you to see past your blind spots so that you can expand your point-of-view in the relationship and heal—together.
Couples Therapy Gives You An Opportunity To Fight Fairly
There probably isn’t very much dedicated time or space in your life where you get to come together with your partner and devote time solely to the relationship. Couples therapy provides you with a place and time to work on your marriage or partnership, allowing you to direct your focus to the session (not distractions at home) and de-escalate conflict using the perspective of a skilled therapist.
After an initial intake, your therapist will work with you to understand each individual’s perspective on the presenting issues within your relationship. During this stage of couples therapy, your clinician will likely be gathering information about your family of origin, previous relationship patterns, and past trauma. Much of our marriage and relationship counseling is done through an attachment lens, allowing us to infer potential sources of ongoing conflict as they relate to your earliest and most formative connections.
Beyond those elements of your history, we will draw from other approaches to help you create common ground in the partnership. Specifically designed to treat couples, both Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and The Gottman Method for Couples Counseling can provide you with a framework for effective communication and increased bonding. In addition, we’ll explore underlying mental health issues, codependency patterns, and cultural factors—including gender roles—that may be at the core of your disputes.
At Through Therapy Collective, we are committed to cultivating a safe space where couples can feel heard and understood. And while we draw from general therapeutic concepts and demonstrated couples counseling models, we customize treatment plans to meet the needs of each partnership so that, as a couple, you’re equipped with the necessary tools and strategies for healthy negotiation.
By strengthening your foundations, both as a couple and as individuals in the relationship, you’ll be able to understand what dynamics are at play and your role in the partnership. With the gift of perspective, you’ll be able to take more ownership and accountability for how you’re affecting your partner. And because therapy provides you with the tools for active listening and empathizing, negotiating conflict, and understanding where hard boundaries need to be drawn (and where you can ease up on them a bit), you’ll be prepared to communicate your needs without fear of escalation.
For any relationship problem to improve, there has to be time and energy invested by both parties. If you’re willing to make this investment, there’s a lot that you can learn about yourself and your significant other. Couples counseling at Through Therapy Collective can help you both feel better understood while giving you the perspective to accept what cannot be changed in the relationship.
Perhaps You’re Ready To Try Couples Therapy, But You Have Some Concerns
I don’t really see how talking about things with a couples therapist can help.
Talking in and of itself can be an incredibly cathartic exercise. But you’ll do more than just talk in therapy. Your therapist will collaborate with you to help you identify what you’re feeling and how to express those feelings to your partner, which is a crucial function of any partnership. In addition, we are going to create goals and help both of you to affect positive change and create concrete opportunities for bonding so that you can meet those goals.
I’m not sure that my marriage or relationship can overcome its problems—is it even worth going to counseling?
We understand that, when it comes to ongoing relationship conflict, things can feel hopeless sometimes. However, we encourage you to come in and at least give couples therapy a concerted effort to see what you can learn about yourself and your partner. Who knows? By even discussing your uncertainty about therapy, you may gain much-needed clarity and perspective on your relationship.
I’m worried I won’t be able to talk my partner into coming to couples counseling.
We’d love for your partner to be a willing participant in couples therapy. However, if that is not the case, you can begin to take individual steps in relationship counseling. We can help you figure out the core of your issues as a couple and equip you with strategies for communicating your needs to your partner.
Hopefully, once that communication skill set is established and applied, your partner will be more willing to come to therapy. We’re happy to integrate your partner into ongoing therapy sessions or provide you with a referral to other counselors in the area so that you can have a fresh start being in session as a couple.