Couples Counseling is about learning how both members of the relationship unintentionally contribute to conflict and dissatisfaction.

Couples and Relationship Counseling

Couples often bring in issues such as communication problems, infidelity, sexual difficulties, financial disagreements, differences in parenting, depression and/or anxiety, and differences in life goals, morals, and values. These are all areas that need careful navigation and attention. Commonly, people think of these issues as “deal breakers,” but that is not necessarily the case. When managed and worked through in a healthy way, a relationship often becomes stronger in the long run.

The Typical Relationship

The typical romantic relationship follows a fairly predictable course. For the first 1-2 years, things tend to work smoothly. Passion and energy run high, kindness and compassion come easily. During this honeymoon phase, your brain even produces a rush of “in love” chemicals that make you feel high and at ease.

As the newness of the relationship wears away, unexpected challenges begin to arise. Couples find themselves in stagnant arguments that quickly go from “0 to 60.” Aspects of your partner you once found charming or attractive may now be the very things that repeatedly frustrate you. You may feel that your partner has somehow “changed.” Couples often try to address this slump by moving to a new home or city, changing jobs or even having a baby. Sadly, these external changes rarely pump new life into the relationship for long. This is where professional couples counseling comes in.

How to Prepare

Couples often come in expecting one person to be at fault for all the issues in the relationship. Be prepared to acknowledge your limitations as well as your partner’s when you begin therapy. Both people contribute to the issues, and both will need to consider how he or she is helping to perpetuate the problem. The more open and honest you are about your thoughts and feelings, the more success you will experience the process. Your therapist (and your partner) will better understand and be able to help you have the relationship you want if you are clear on who you are, how you feel, and what you are expecting in your relationship.

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