Marital & Couples
“How did we drift so far apart?”
“We can’t seem to talk anymore without fighting.”
“He’s driving me crazy!”
“I’m just not in love with her anymore.”
“Life is just too short for this!”
Why marital therapy?
Because if you’ve been thinking these things, or even saying them out loud to your partner, you know your relationship is struggling. Marital problems can surface at any age and season of a relationship. And when they do, negative thinking can spiral downward to the point that we begin to consider options we thought we never would. Pain has a way of coloring our perspective.
“We were so compatible in the beginning!”
Anyone who has been together more than a few years can testify to how challenging long-term, committed relationships can be. After all, when we first fall in love, everything seems so perfect! But then we somehow “wake up” to all of these irritating differences. It’s like our partner suddenly changes…and they say the same about us! Yet we each deny being the one to have “baited and switched.”
Something indeed does happen…the chemical high of falling in love inevitably calms down and the “pink cloud” of our idealized feelings begins to develop a few holes. This change in our feelings is actually a well-researched phenomenon. When we first develop an attraction to another person, spend time with them, and begin acting lovingly toward each other, certain chemical levels in the brain begin to change. We become enraptured with each other and experience a “thrill” because dopamine levels increase, much like they do when we ride a roller-coaster or try bungee-jumping. I like to call this altered state “infatuation psychosis” because we truly are “crazy in love,” and it feels like we always will be. Nevertheless, studies show this is a time-limited phenomenon—usually not longer than 2 years.
Falling in love is a lot easier than staying in love…
So what do we do when we begin to see the reality of one another, flaws and all? When our differences start to grate on each other? When our character weaknesses and annoying habits create disappointment, hurts, and fights? What happens when the stresses and responsibilities of life, coupled with the inevitable cooling of passions, cause us to take each other for granted and neglect the friendship and romance of our relationship? Even worse, what can be done when a spouse is contemplating having an affair (or already has)? Clearly our relationships can reach a critical crossroads…
But divorce does not have to be the answer.
Nor do we have to settle for “staying married, but leading separate lives,” or experiencing constant friction. There’s another choice: personal growth and relational growth. We can learn to love another person different from ourselves with some intentional positive efforts and new skillsets. That’s where marital therapy comes in.
I am pro-commitment and pro-marriage. And with effective, proven techniques, I can assist you in identifying the obstacles that are preventing you from communicating and connecting with each other. I can help you learn how to better understand each other, rebuild your foundation of friendship, and even deepen your intimacy and trust. You can rekindle the spark of romance and delight that first drew you together. You can learn to recognize each other’s “hot buttons” and learn to become soothers of your past hurts. Your relationship can, with some new insights and some hard work, become the loving safe haven that you want it to be.
If you are considering divorce, you should be aware of this interesting fact. Studies show that many couples 5 years after they divorce are no happier than they were when they were married. But of those who stick it out, 2/3 of them 5 years later reported having a "happy marriage." Sound unlikely? See for yourself! http://www.smartmarriages.com/does.divorce.html
Bottom line: I can’t change your partner…any more than you can! But if you are willing to own and work on your part of the problem, I can help you through this difficult time in your relationship. Come discover why knowing the right skills, healing some old wounds, and growing a mature love—one that deepens and grows with time—is the best option for your marriage!