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Couples Counseling and Marriage Counseling
Relationship issues with couples always have a lot to do with communication. Over time couples stop communicating and when they do talk, they argue. Arguing is about tying to decide "who is right and who is wrong". In reality right and wrong are subjective, or "in the eye of the beholder". Naturally, we always think that our own logic and reasoning are sublime but others see it differently.
In contrast to arguing, communication is about listening and understanding. Listening does not necessarily mean agreeing with the other person's views but rather is a method of learning about the other person's feelings and perspective and communicating that back in such a way that the person talking feels that they are being listened to and understood. This makes communication satisfying and helps to rebuild positive feelings between the couple.
Most couples probably know more about good communication than what it would seem by observing their behavior. However, people often deliberately use "bad" communication to establish or maintain control over the discussion and/or to dominate or control the other person. A lot of times one person resists coming in for therapy and that usually means either that they don't want to improve the relationship (they don't want to be close anymore or perhaps are meeting their needs elsewhere) or that they are worried that the therapist will stop them from using their usual gambits to control their partner. If you are in this type of relationship then you absolutely need to come in and get some help from a third party!
When good communication is restored, couples want to be together more. They begin to have warm feelings for each other again and it also helps to restore physical touch and intimacy. A lot can change during the many years that some people are married and without some relationship building work the couple begins to drift emotionally away from one another. Over time they begin to feel more like roommates than husband and wife. I have seen well motivated couples become much happier in their marriage after a little bit of work on developing good communication techniques.
We receive a lot of referrals from people who have been helped. However, it is best to come in sooner rather than later as it is not always possible to resurrect a severely damaged relationship. Also, both people need to be motivated to improve the relationship for this type of therapy to work. In the end, one person's happiness is also what makes the other person happy. It is always either a "win-win" or "lose-lose" proposition.