“When I first met my girlfriend, it truly felt like love at first sight. Everything about her was perfect—from the way she laughed to the way she ever so slightly stuck out her tongue when she was focusing, I was head over heels. We’ve been together for four years, now, and while I am still deeply in love with her, our relationship is wildly different than it was in the beginning. We rarely go on dates, and the time we spend together at home involves a movie, our phones and very little communication. I can’t tell if her feelings for me have changed or if we’ve just fallen into a comfort zone and this is how relationships are supposed to be after several years. I want to suggest couples counseling to pull us out of this rut, but I don’t want to offend her or scare her. I feel like many people think counseling is only for married couples and that if an unmarried couple needs counseling, they might as well just call it quits before things get worse.”
Couples counseling is for everyone, and despite the stigmas that may be associated with it, suggesting and pursuing counseling is an excellent way for couples to start communicating again. The problems highlighted in the relationship above are extremely common issues that many couples experience throughout the span of their relationship. Whether you are married or unmarried should never influence your decision to start couples counseling. If you are still in love with your partner and committed to making your relationship work, counseling is the perfect way to discuss your feelings and personal needs. Even relationships that are seemingly healthy can benefit from counseling, too.
When you and your partner decide to move forward with couples counseling in Cockeysville, I promise to provide you with a safe and constructive environment where the two of you can openly and freely discuss your relationship. Continue reading to learn more about how couples therapy is beneficial for every relationship, regardless of whether you are married, in a long term relationship or even if you have never had a single argument with your partner.
Everyone grows and changes, and sometimes you and your partner may progress at different rates or even in different directions. Your relationship expectations and goals can change, and it may feel like you two are no longer compatible. Don’t panic though, because this isn’t alway the case, and attending couples counseling can shed light on these changes, giving you and your partner the opportunity to grow, learn and improve on your relationship. Some couples may have a hard time sharing their feelings at home, one-on-one with their partner—and understandably so! Revealing unhappiness or feelings of doubt is never an easy thing to do, and for lots of couples, finding a way to have a calm, constructive conversation is difficult and inevitably ends in mud-slinging and the blame guy. This is why many couples feel more confident communicating in a counseling setting where conversations are focused and driven by your desire to improve your relationship.
Your session with me may reveal that you and your partner are still as compatible as you were in the beginning, but that as you’ve grown and changed, so has your style of communication. Your partner may be trying to encourage you to pursue that promotion at work, but to you, it may feel as if they are pushing you to do something you aren’t ready to. When each of you are able to open up and explain your point of view, understanding can be found and your communication methods can be adjusted accordingly. Poor communication is typically at the root of many issues that are going on between you and your partner including mistrust, frustration, loneliness and anger. You both communicated so well in the beginning, so why does it feel like you are never on the same page now? Relearning how to successfully communicate with your partner is an essential and invaluable step to take in improving your relationship. It’s important for the two of you to understand one another and to properly communicate both positive and negative aspects of your relationship.
There really is no way for any relationship (no matter how healthy or unhealthy) to remain exactly the same over the years—life happens and there is no amount of planning that can completely prepare you for the future. Not only do you and your partner change and grow as a people, your relationship goals and expectations change too. For a number of reasons, setting both individual and relationship goals is an important step for couples to take. First, maintaining a successful relationship means having constant forward motion. Writing down goals together gives you both something to aim for and look forward to. Coming up with short-term and long-terms goals will reveal whether your expectations still align with those of your partner. If, when your relationship started, you both expressed an interest in marriage, but four years later, that is no longer the case, you and your partner should take time to write down current expectations to see how they have evolved over time. Staying on track and giving a task like this the attention it deserves is not always easy at home, but when you are in a counseling session that is focused and goal-driven, you and your partner will have the ability to examine how your relationship has changed over the years.
There are so many more ways couples counseling can help improve your relationship, and many of those benefits you have to realize firsthand. Everyone takes something different away from counseling, and you may find yourself coming out of your sessions with new understanding and perspective. If you live in Cockeysville and would like to learn more about the couples counseling and therapy services I offer, please get in touch with me today. Your happiness is my priority, and I very much look forward to speaking with you soon.