Why should we bother? It feels so hopeless. We haven’t been close in years. Maybe this marriage can’t be fixed…
Most couples wait several years before seeking relationship therapy for their distressed relationship. By the time they reach my office, they feel like it’s too late. They barely look at each other. They hold tears and anguish just beneath the surface. They say they’ve given up. They insult and accuse out of frustration and loneliness and heartache. They sleep in separate rooms, eat at different times, watch separate televisions. They fight through text messaging.
And yet…they’ve come for couples counseling.
I have hope for them because they are here.
Maybe you tried marriage counseling before. It didn’t help. Or maybe you tried to talk your partner into it and they refused. Maybe you talked to your minister or your mother or your best friend. They gave advice. You tried it. Things got better momentarily.
But now it seems like nothing can really help you feel closer, feel more understood, feel safe and loved and joyous with your mate.
…the way you used to feel.
I invite you to consider this. There is more to your story. More to say, more to remember, and more to do. You have words that must be spoken, and so does your partner. You have memories to recall and a past to grieve. You have injuries to heal. You have amends to make and wounds to forgive. You have growth ahead of you – and some of it involves this person you vowed to love for the rest of your life.
I invite you to consider a new approach to your marital problem. Here’s how I work.
- Long term relationships always involve some type of trauma. I help couples assess where they’ve been, what’s happened, what damage they’ve sustained. Damage to the individual and damage to the relationship.
- I guide couples in talking about their heartaches, and I help them learn to hear each other without getting defensive or scared. I teach them to listen without fixing. I coach them to accept apologies.
- I use EMDR (eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing) with couples to help partners heal from past trauma. Trauma from affairs, separations, substance abuse, sexual problems, and chronic disconnection. Trauma from childhood that interferes with intimacy. Trauma from other sources (like military combat or natural disasters) that makes it hard to feel connected and loved.
- I help couples empathize with each other, instead of blaming. I help them use their emotions as a vehicle for understanding, instead of as a weapon.
- I coach partners to revisit the places and activities that once bonded them – and discover new goals to share.
So if you’ve had a bad experience with marriage therapy, let’s try again. And if you think marriage therapy is all about figuring out who’s to blame, let’s rethink that. And if you think it’s too late for your marriage and nobody can help you reconnect, let’s take a new look, a whole new approach. Let’s start fresh.
It’s probably not too late. Let’s get started. If you have questions about my pathway for helping you, please contact me or call me today at 417-886-8262.
The following are similar blog posts I’ve written that help couples understand how marriage counseling in Springfield, MO can help them:
- Leap of Faith, Part I: Trust your Gut, Talk to your Partner
- Leap of Faith, II: Trust your Gut & Try Something New