Couples work takes courage, but it can also be extremely rewarding. If you are having a difficult time in your relationship and you come to therapy, often you will discover positive aspects of the relationship that you didn’t know existed. The strength of a relationship is greater than the two of you who are participating in it, but there is a flip side of that couples don’t always realize: that the fragility of a relationship impacts each of you as forcefully, if not more so, than your own internal stress.
Many couples ask me for help with communication, conflict resolution and intimacy. My listening to how each of you speaks to and listens to one another is an essential part of the work. In the course of a person’s individual story, the voice of his or her partner can be muted or amplified or balanced, whichever is the case with you, I want to see how that dynamic affects each of you.
You may feel that the tension in your relationship is very high. It may feel like your relationship is potentially over. Even if it is over, my goal is to explore the hurt and resentment each of you has experienced in the process of the conflict. Intimacy – emotional, physical, and/or sexual – may be long gone, or maybe it was never particularly strong in the first place, which may be contributing to conflict. Painful feelings may be lingering from an affair, a betrayal, or some other unfulfilled expectation, and perhaps these feelings have never been discussed.
The objective of our work together is for me to help the two of you connect emotionally, in order to share the responsibility for the relationship and discuss the conflicts and difficult feelings, constructively, so that we can create a solution to your problem.
Sometimes couples come to therapy with a specific question: should they stay together or not? If, after we work together, the answer seems to be to separate, it does not have to be a toxic process. If the couple is willing to separate peacefully, they can create a civilized environment for themselves and their children. With awareness and mutual respect, we can work together to make this transition for the family as conflict-free as possible.