For most people, a loving and supportive primary romantic relationship is one of the biggest factors contributing to personal fulfillment. Yet many married or long-term partners struggle to attain relationship nirvana. Instead, they find themselves languishing in lonely or disconnected relationships.
Fighting that can’t be resolved, growing apart, distance, and strained intimacy; these are the issues that most often bring couples into therapy. Without blaming or finger pointing we explore how you got here, what’s keeping you stuck, and how to move through the stages of a relationship redesign from:
From Volatility to Versatility — Many couples report feeling happy in their relationship most of the time. But a small percentage of the time, interactions turn volatile, leading to extreme anger, withdrawal, and hurt. When volatility strikes it generally follows a pattern: it has a trigger and a response, and what follows feels like falling down a rabbit hole with no clear way back. I work with couples to help them recognize these relationship patterns, understand each other’s triggers, and finally break this cycle.
From Distance to Connection — The number one thing I hear from couples when they begin therapy is that they need help with communication. They avoid certain topics knowing they will only lead to distance, volatility, shame, or hurt feelings. They fear that trying to talk about difficult or sensitive topics will leave them feeling unheard and misunderstood. Over time the communication dwindles leading to more resentment, loss of trust, and turning away from the relationship. Redesigning Relationships means identifying what’s in the way of good communication and having tools to overcome those obstacles. When you can successfully communicate you can break down the barriers that keep you apart instead of building up fortifications between you; leading to a closer, respectful, more loving relationship.
From Avoidance to Intimacy — Couples often feel embarrassed to admit that their intimate sexual connection is lacking. It is hard to talk about what goes wrong in the bedroom. Many couples avoid sex whenever they can, they may not even know why. Avoidance leads to distance and shame. Sometimes they don’t talk about it for fear of making it worse or hurting each other’s feelings. It’s not hard to see how trying to unravel this to get back to the sex life you want could feel daunting and even insurmountable. Part of Redesigning Relationships is making this conversation possible and helping couples achieve greater intimacy and sexual connection.