Relationships are hard work. Loving relationships thrive by learning how to communicate openly and finding creative ways to spark intimacy. Who wouldn’t want all the romance and the fairy tale endings we see in the movies? Those of us in romantic partnerships know that it isn’t all sweet gestures and total agreement. Even the most devoted couples sometimes need a little bit of help to make it through the peaks and valleys of their relationship, especially in times of a major life transition such as losing a job, death of a loved one, or welcoming a new child into the family.
“Whatever concerns a couple may address during therapy, therapists usually assist them in improving their process of communication. Therapists encourage couples to state their thoughts, feelings, and desires to each other in a clear and compassionate manner. They encourage couples to demonstrate to their partners that they understand and empathize with each other’s points of view. As partners improve their communication, they find that their connection with each other deepens and strengthens. They become more skilled at resolving disagreements and solving problems, they cooperate more effectively, and they experience greater fulfillment in their relationship.” (Child & Family Mental Health)
Discovering exciting new ways to connect, live joyfully, learning clear communication skills and having more fun together helps keep a relationship fulfilling. For some couples, it’s learning how to really listen to each other without digital distractions, understanding how your partner wants to be shown love, or practicing the art of compromise. Keeping the spark alive in a long term relationship is vital. Our relationships either motivate us and help us feel supported, or cause us pain and struggle – this directly affects all areas of life, our families, personal growth, and professional success.
Couples Therapy is helpful in assisting people in recognizing the issue and finding solutions to create win-win outcomes for both parties. Keeping thoughts inside & allowing them to fester is a sure fire way to build walls that might not be able to be torn down or might result in an explosion that destroys the entire relationship. Working with qualified professionals specializing in couples therapy will significantly increase a couple’s opportunity to learn better communication, create deeper intimacy and move forward in a positive way where everyone’s needs are met. Many celebrity couples have opened up to talk about the work they do to make their relationship last. One in particular, Pink and her husband Corey Hart have been going to couples therapy for the entire 17 years that they have been in a relationship. In 2013, the superstar told Redbook that she and Hart go to couples therapy for “maintenance” and not just when there are serious problems.
Here are common issues couples encounter that may require help:
- Trust: This is often the central problem in relationships. Many things can erode the trust that once existed between the two of you from constant criticism to infidelity, emotional affairs, and money issues.
- Anger & Resentment: Over time slights, criticisms, undermining, and shaming often creates a build up of anger and resentment. When a person feels resentful they become defensive and attacking. Resentment is poison to a relationship.
- Poor Communication: Even if you are not having overt arguments, poor communication can leave you feeling lonely, unappreciated and misunderstood.
- Lack of Intimacy: Without trust, positive feelings for one another and good communication, emotional and physical intimacy often suffers.
For example, a recently engaged couple might find premarital counseling an amazing opportunity to identify communication blocks, power struggles, and how to really listen prior to getting married. Another couple, together 25 years, might discover couples therapy is an effective way for them to reignite their passion and create exciting ways to live joyfully while having fun keeping their relationship fresh. Couples Therapy is a safe space to confront issues such as parenting, financial challenges, sex, intimacy, infidelity, infertility, conflict resolution, and substance abuse. For the “couple” to hear each other and be willing to find better and more peaceful ways to live, work and play together…both people must be open to walking through the therapist’s door together & fully participate.
- Creates a deeper mutual understanding and better listening skills.
- Repairs and restores the foundation whether familial or other
- Realigns your values so both of you are on the same page.
- Establish boundaries and responsibilities for each person in the relationship. Expectations are shared and each person is held accountable.
- Modifies the hurtful and possibly abusive behaviors such as emotional or physical abuse.
Finding a therapist that specializes in Couples Therapy is the first step in the right direction. At Lakeshore Psychotherapy Group, our goal is to provide a safe space to navigate the issues that are happening in the relationship. Couples Therapy guides people in better understanding each other and working together to build a stronger foundation so that you are living your best possible lives together!