Has the happiness, connection and commitment in your relationship been replaced with limitations and heartbreak?

Are you and your spouse or partner routinely struggling to communicate, manage conflicts and connect? Are you feeling frustrated, isolated or angry about the patterns of negative intensity or withdrawal that have come to define your relationship? Maybe you have reoccurring, unresolved arguments over finances, childcare, household tasks or sex. Or perhaps an affair or another betrayal has threatened the trust and security in your relationship. Are you beginning to realize that you don’t really know your partner or perhaps even recognize yourself in your relationship? Do you wish you could find a way to bring more trust, safety and support into your relationship and rekindle the passion and connection that once united you and your partner?

Struggling to connect and find meaning in an intimate relationship that has become bitter, lonely or even hostile can be a challenge filled with frustration, sadness and confusion. If trust has been threatened and the safety in the relationship is compromised, you may be feeling overwhelmed by heightened emotions. You may not have known your partner as well as you thought when you moved in together or married. Now that the honeymoon stage of your relationship has passed, you may realize that you lack tools to handle relationship problems and ongoing challenges. You may long for what was once a playful and trusting relationship – especially if you struggle to talk with your partner about anything of substance without risking a fight. Maybe you wonder if it’s possible for you and your partner to find your way back to each other or you are considering parting ways before the conflicts, hurt feelings and loneliness grow worse.

Many couples struggle with relationship issues.

It’s not uncommon for couples to experience difficulties with communication, conflict, and connection. Often, when couples find themselves in perpetual disagreements or patterns of avoidance, it’s due to one or both partner’s lack of understanding and awareness of themselves and/or the other. Many people question their love and commitment on their wedding day but say nothing out of fear of disappointing others. Other couples go from feeling so much in love to wondering when and where their passionate spark and connection faded. Regardless of your specific situation, life events often get in the way of the intimate time together you once cherished, and you may feel less like lovers and more like roommates.
Most, if not all, couples go through challenging times and could benefit from relationship help. However, there are some couples that are truly in need of the support and guidance that an experienced couples therapist can offer. If you and your partner are fighting nonstop, cannot cooperate, feel dislike toward each other, or have suffered through an affair or another betrayal, seeking help may be critical to the success and health of your relationship, yourselves and your family.

Couples counseling can help you and your partner reestablish connection and find a healthy path forward.

With the help of a skilled counselor and a willingness to explore yourselves both as individuals and as partners, it’s possible to increase self-awareness, deepen your connection as a couple and make thoughtful, significant changes.

In couples therapy sessions, you and your partner will be provided with a safe, supportive, and compassionate space to take an honest look at yourselves and what you bring to the relationship. Rather than focusing on the other, you’ll be encouraged to shift focus onto yourself and explore your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. You will discover the changes that you can personally make to improve the connection and communication within your relationship.

In tandem with developing an increased self-awareness, you and your partner can learn to identify and address the issues that each of you keep bumping up against. You and your therapist can explore effective ways to manage ongoing conflicts, rebuild trust and reestablish a meaningful connection and strong commitment to one another. Through thoughtful, skillful conversations and the help of a third party, you and your partner can begin to really hear, understand, and even validate each other again – if not for the first time.

Although couples counseling is most effective when sought out at the onset of relationship difficulties, it is never too late to seek help. With guidance, support, and a sincere motivation to self-reflect, take personal responsibility and make meaningful changes, it is possible to build a stronger, more trusting and intimate connection. You can get to know yourself better and discover things about your partner that you never knew. No one is perfect, and every relationship faces difficulties. However, through relationship counseling you can strengthen the foundation of your partnership and build a better future for yourselves and your family.

Although you know that you need help, you may still have questions or concerns about marriage or couples counseling.

“I firmly believe that my partner and I need help, however, my partner disagrees and refuses to try marital counseling with me.”

If your partner refuses to join you in relationship counseling, set an appointment for yourself. Believe it or not, there are many things that you can do on your own that can improve the nature of your relationship. You can engage in self-introspection, improve your listening skills, and learn how to thoughtfully respond rather than to react to or avoid uncomfortable situations. And often when one person in a relationship makes noticeable changes, the other becomes more interested in and less threatened by the idea of therapy.

“I’m afraid that you’ll side with my partner and I’ll feel even more frustrated and alienated than I already do.”

This is not an uncommon concern. That said, our therapists have been providing marriage therapy to couples for many years and strive to remain fair and evenhanded. You will both have equal time to share, listen and reflect in our sessions. And if you ever feel that the therapist is one-sided or being unfair to you, you will be encouraged to express your feelings. Much like the ideal relationship, the goal of this work is to create and maintain balance.

“We both agree that we need help, but are concerned about the costs and time commitment that couples counseling will require.”

If you are both willing and ready to work on your relationship, don’t let the time and financial commitment deter you from making what could be a vital life decision. Couples therapy is an investment that could possibly protect you and your family from the financial strain, stress and heartbreak that comes with divorce, separation or moving out. Even if your relationship is not headed toward imminent demise, if one or both of you are unhappy, that dissatisfaction can have a ripple effect and negatively impact your children and other important aspects of your life, such as your career and physical health. Alternatively, working on yourselves and your relationship problems together can promote connection, alleviate relationship stress, and promote the safety that couples need in order to thrive together and separately in the world.

Don’t Let Your Relationship Issues Go Untreated

If you’re looking for a skilled, experienced and compassionate couples therapist in Milwaukee, we encourage you to call. We will be happy to discuss your specific situation and to answer any questions you have about couples counseling.