Our increasingly complex society places many demands on relationships. A marriage and family therapist, as an objective observer of your interactions, can assist you in gaining a better understanding of yourself and your partner. Working as a team, you can learn new ways of communicating more effectively and find new solutions to your differences. Effective couples counseling requires that both partners be willing to try new ways of communicating and interacting. It is sometimes necessary, and can be very challenging, to question your beliefs about your relationship and your assumptions about your partner and his/her intentions. Among the rewards for this work is the development of a fulfilling, harmonious, and satisfying partnership that can be a haven from the pressures around you.
Regardless of how healthy the relationship, many people seek marriage counseling with a trained therapist to improve their marriages and committed relationship - even when their relationship is not unduly distressed.
Experiencing relationship distress, however, represents a different state from the ups and downs in life that most people experience. In distressed relationships and marriages, people feel fundamentally dissatisfied with their partner. Couples with high levels of marital distress fight a good deal. Fights don’t lead to resolution, but simply a sense of being worn out. Or they simply feel completely disconnected. Loss of good feelings, loss of friendship, and the loss of sex and vitality are other signs that a marriage is distressed.
The good news is that there are effective treatments for couples' distress. Given a willingness to work on a relationship, most people can make their marriages satisfying again.
Maybe you feel confused because different areas of your relationship seem satisfactory, but when it comes to intimacy you and your spouse just cannot figure out how to make it better. Perhaps talking about sex seems too uncomfortable and too embarrassing, so you simply don’t discuss it. Do you want more sexual contact; however, your spouse doesn’t have as much desire and he/she pushes you away? What if you get into arguments because it feels like all your partner wants from you is sex? You might be the couple who hasn’t been intimate with each other for years and only the thought of having sex with your partner makes you feel awkward, angry, and insecure. All of that can lead to power struggles, constant bitter arguments, and more emotional distance.
Did you know that often sexual distress is a sign of a couple loosing emotional connection with one another? The longer the couple avoids resolving their sexual problems, the harder it is to break the cycle.
Therapy can help couples explore these aspects of sexuality so that they don’t become a source of guilt or negative feelings. Counselilng can help you work as an intimate sexual team, so that you both know how to talk about sex and intimacy, and eventually, you find a way of feeling satisfied and more connected to each other.
Premarriage or premarital counseling can help dating or engaged partners understand their differences and resolve differences before marriage so they can have the tools to create a happy and healthy marriage from the start.
Couples now face more demands and have fewer supports than ever before. The typical complex marriage - managing two careers while rearing children - really requires that couples have very strong, well-established abilities to communicate, resolve issues, maintain mutuality and set goals. Marriage preparation functions as an immunization that boosts your capacity to handle potential difficulties. Couples need every advantage to succeed in today's marriages.
Pre-marriage preparation is based on the concept that it's important to strengthen your relationship and prepare constructively for future challenges and conflicts while you have so much fresh positive energy in your relationship. Later, under stress, negative habits and relationship patterns may become established and be much harder to resolve.