It is normal to have conflicts in any relationship, particularly in intimate, long-term relationships. Inevitably, over the course of life, major events like illness, betrayal and financial problems, can impact the way you interact with your partner. In other instances, couples find it difficult to make decisions together, or learn that they do not share the same philosophical or religious beliefs. Others drift apart and feel less connected without any identifiable antecedent. Younger couples might have a tough time deciding whether they are ready to make a lifetime commitment and find that their discussions end in greater contention.
Whatever troubles you are facing, when you find you can’t solve problems on your own, it can be helpful to seek the help of professional. The couples therapists at The Midtown Practice can identify stumbling blocks, open up the lines of communication, and help strengthen the existing bond. You do not need to wait until a partner is ready to abandon the relationship. Couples therapy can also be preventative, keeping small issues from becoming insurmountable.
What do partners want in a relationship?
Most people thrive when they feel love and affection, trust and safety, companionship and comfort. Humans have a fundamental need to be understood, accepted and valued. Trust is the state where a person knows that their partner acts in their best interests, not solely for his or her own interests. There is safety when a partner has your back.
Many of us have a difficult time being open, and vulnerable, but this is a requirement to become close and build trust. A skillful couples therapist can help develop a safe environment for you to communicate frankly to your partner. This provides the framework to nurture an authentic connection that can keep your relationship together through tough times.
How do you know when you need couple’s therapy?
Spouses often disagree on their reasons for seeking therapy. This can result in distancing and shaming. Our lives are so busy that distancing is no surprise, but when the distance seems insurmountable, and the minefield of communication and honest confrontation require assistance, couple’s therapy can help.
Questions to ask yourself to clarify your feeling about your relationship.
- Do you speak but still feel you aren’t being heard?
- Can you hear the seriousness of your mate’s complaints?
- Do your fights fail to resolve anything?
- Do your conflicts cause pain?
- Do you avoid confrontation and fail to make time and space to talk to each other?
- Are you in touch with yourself and your needs? Can you express them so that your partner hears you?
- Can you share your problems? Can you be vulnerable in the relationship?
- Do you feel that you and your beloved have drifted apart?
- Do you feel you are just going through the motions?
- Are you struggling to balance the desire for freedom and autonomy with domestic life?
- Can you fully express who you are and somehow stay connected?
- Do you want to be your best self for your partner?
- Do you want to work things out?
- Do you desire to strengthen your relationship? Increase your capacity to give and receive love?
What is the goal of couples therapy?
The goal of couples therapy is to resolve spousal distress and strengthen the relationship. Here are some common reasons a couple would seek therapy:
- Learn how to take a positive approach to problem solving
- Recognize, manage and resolve conflicts
- Restore fondness and admiration of each other
- Restore connection and enhance intimacy
- Restore your friendship
- Create shared meaning, building trust and commitment
- Enhance communication skills and learn to fight fairly
- Learn how to avoid anger, bitterness and hurt
- Deal with infidelity and restore trust
- To repair broken relationships
What are the benefits of couple’s therapy?
In couples therapy the therapist works with a struggling couple to gain insight into destructive behavior and communication patterns that negatively impact the quality of the relationship. You can learn how to eliminate negative conflict patterns and replace them with positive interactions and repair past hurts. Stopping verbal conflict can increase respect and affection and remove barriers that contribute to feelings of distance and disconnection. Improving empathy can restore the desire to turn toward each other instead of away. Building these relationship skills grows resilience, the inner musculature that allows a couple to weather difficult times and manage conflict.
Both partners can gain greater insight, empathy and compassion to improve emotional expression and problem solving. Therapy will increase closeness and intimacy to deepen emotional connection and create changes that enhance your shared goals. Individual partners might learn how they have contributed unwittingly to conflict and communication stumbling blocks. With this knowledge, you can improve your current circumstances, strengthen your internal bond, and build a future together.
It is important for both partners to be willing participants in couple’s therapy. Both parties will learn healthy communication skills, tools and strategies to deepen their emotional connection which will strengthen their relationship.
The Midtown Practice offers experienced professionals with the skills and expertise to help you restore and enhance your bond with your partner. We do not judge or measure you against others. We work with you together to provide the correct mixture of support and techniques that will help a couple to live a fulfilling life and gain resiliency and flexibility to manage life’s difficulties.
Contact us to schedule a free phone consult to see if we can be a good match for you. During this consultation we want to learn a bit more about you, what you are experiencing, and the kind of help you are seeking. Once we better understand your struggles and needs, we will match you with the best therapist for you. We look forward to helping you save, enhance, and restore a kind and loving relationship.
- Doss, B. D., Simpson, L. E., & Christensen, A. (2004). Why do couples seek marital therapy? Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 35(6), 608–614. https://doi.org/10.1037/0735-7028.35.6.608