Is Your Relationship Making You Miserable?
Are you fed up with constant fighting, bickering or the silent treatment? Is it a struggle to find joy or peace in your current romantic relationship? Do you regularly disagree about parenting styles, money or even visits with the in-laws? It may be that one or both of you feels judged or misunderstood by the other. Perhaps you’re afraid to express your frustration or unhappiness for fear of being blamed or accused of stirring up trouble. Or, you may worry that couples counseling will shine a light on all the problems in your relationship, perhaps even causing it to end. Do you have difficulty trusting your partner and/or feel unsupported or insecure in your relationship? After an affair or another betrayal, you may wonder if there is any hope to save your marriage. Do you wish you and your partner could learn new ways to communicate calmly and honestly, removing doubts, fears and resentment once and for all?
It can be extremely frustrating, sad and even helpless to feel trapped in a negative cycle of fighting, sadness or dissatisfaction. Perhaps one or both of you feels unfulfilled sexually. It may be that you want to feel closer to your partner, but he or she craves more space. After years spent focusing on careers and/or caring for kids, maybe your relationship has grown stagnant. You may have established your own routines and spend more and more time apart, whether with friends, family or alone. And, when you are together, phones or computers may prevent it from being quality time. You may even have begun to lose sight of what brought you together in the first place. Do you want a relationship that has intimacy, passion and fun, yet worry that your current partnership might be on the brink of failure?
Almost Every Couple Experiences Relationship Problems
If you’re struggling in your relationship, you are far from alone. Relationship issues are one of the most common reasons people seek therapy. And, while almost all couples go through ups and downs, many wait too long to seek help and half of all marriages end in divorce. Although disagreements are a natural part of any relationship, many couples don’t know how to resolve conflict productively and respectfully. Instead, many resort to saying hurtful things or avoiding speaking altogether. Poor communication skills and holding onto hurt and resentment make it unsurprising that so many marriages and relationships come to an unhappy end.
It may be that you don’t have the skills you need to make a relationship work or even know what a healthy relationship should look and feel like. Or, it may be that you and/or your partner need to work through past events or deep emotions in order to move forward with your relationship. The good news is that regardless of your particular relationship problems, there is hope for a happier marriage or relationship. With commitment and effort, you can find your way to real, lasting love and support. There are new and better ways to love, heal pain, develop effective communication skills and form a healthy attachment in your relationship. A skilled and understanding couples therapist can help you identify the negative cycles you may be trapped in, resolve conflict and move forward with more compassion, confidence and clarity.
Couples Therapy Can Provide You With The Support And Skills Needed To Have A Successful Relationship
The first step to overcoming relationship challenges is to face them head on. While talking about your relationship can be daunting at first, couples therapy provides you with the space to speak honestly and openly without fear of judgment. In the safe space of couples therapy sessions, you and your partner can unburden worries and get to the root of your relationship issues. You can connect on a deeper level and learn the tools and skills needed to work through conflict, better understand each other and regain control of your love life.
In sessions, we’ll work collaboratively and compassionately as you learn to recognize and reframe how each of you contribute to the relationship dynamic and begin to dismantle unproductive patterns of behavior. Together, we can develop effective strategies to break through communication blocks and help you meet your therapy and relationship goals. I can help you both slow down and learn to speak openly with compassion, respect and empathy for your partner. In resolving conflict, we’ll focus on finding mutually satisfactory solutions, allowing each of you to feel heard and respected. Together, we’ll design and implement strategies to help you co-parent effectively, find compromise and let go of festering resentment. Rather than staying stuck in the past, you can begin living in the present and planning for the future, establishing boundaries and commitments that you both can honor.
I am a certified couples and sex therapist who is authentic, accessible and compassionate. I’ve been a therapist for over 30 years and am certified by the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists, a specialized credential that enables me to evaluate relationship issues from a psychological, medical and health perspective. There are very few guarantees in life but, with commitment, I have seen therapy transform the lives of all kinds of people. I believe that we can get to the root of your issues and help you move toward facilitating a healthy and fulfilling relationship.
Most couples approach the onset of relationship counseling in a very vulnerable and often hopeless place, and it can be hard to reach out for help. However, many credit couples counseling as being the best thing they have done for themselves and their relationship. I will offer ongoing support and guidance as we identify, explore and address your relationship problems. With the third-party insight of a highly skilled and experienced couples counselor, a proven approach and a willingness to self-explore, you and your partner can feel more confident, connected, open and empowered in your relationship.
You still may have questions and concerns about couples counseling…
I’ve heard that couples therapy can be expensive and time consuming.
It can be helpful to think of the time and money you spend in couples or marriage counseling as an investment in your relationship, your future and in your overall well-being. Just as we invest money and time into maintaining good health through doctor’s visits, gym memberships, etc., couples counseling is a way to help restore and protect the long-term health of your relationship—and rekindle the romantic connection you desire. To be honest, going through a divorce is more expensive, and it will turn your world upside down.
I’m worried I’m going to be blamed for our relationship problems.
One person is not responsible for all the relationship problems. In fact, every couple has patterns and cycles of behavior that they create and sustain together. Couples counseling can help you identify the ways you both contribute to ineffective patterns and help you find new, productive ways to move forward in your relationship.
I don’t want to talk about my relationship with a stranger.
Speaking about your relationship with a stranger can be daunting. However, it is my job to put you at ease in the comfortable and confidential space of couples therapy sessions. You’ll see that speaking to a therapist is not like speaking to a friend or family member. With me, there is no possibility of judgment. Our conversations are strictly confidential, professional and solution-focused. You may even find speaking about your relationship issues to be an unburdening experience, like lifting a weight off your shoulders.
What if my partner and I decide to end our relationship?
If you decide to end your relationship, I can help you do so in a mutually respectful and productive manner. I can help you learn to communicate and co-parent effectively. I’ll help you plan for the future and figure out how to best help children, family and friends cope with your transition.
You Can Feel Confident And Secure In Your Relationship
Call (202) 463-7188 or email [email protected] today for an appointment at my Washington, DC, Dupont Circle practice. We can a set up an initial meeting where you’ll be able to relax in a comfortable environment, ask questions and learn about the benefits of working with a couples therapist.