Marriage Counseling and Couples Counseling
How Did We Get to This Point and Now What ……
When couples commit to being together, whether it includes marriage or children, or not, their hope and expectation is to remain together. Although the word is rarely used, “forever” is still a part of their inner psychological picture of what this commitment will mean.
More frequently than we imagine, real life intervenes. The couple’s commitment to each other must be shared with work, family, in-laws and children, and sometimes previous families.. The personal needs, sensitivities and longings of each partner become quite intense as the relationship develops. They try to understand themselves and each other in ways that were not relevant when their lives were less complicated. Autonomy and issues of commitment sometimes conflict and both people are very confused as to what is “right”. What they think is “right”, and what they feel, often don’t coincide. This increases their distress, resentment and confusion. Frequent arguments become a central part of your daily lives together.
The active sexual life you both enjoyed in the past seems to have all but disappeared.
Communication begins to break down and the generosity originally prominent in this loving relationship, is replaced by feeling misunderstood and taken advantage of. Anger and rage are frequently felt and often expressed. Partnership is replaced by bickering – and cooperation, by resentment. When the partners try to talk things over, blame frequently overwhelms the possibility of greater understanding.
Internal, unexpressed loneliness, disappointment and frustration are frequent companions.
The couple find themselves hoping that counseling can help and painfully wondering what went wrong.
In counseling one of the therapist’s primary goals is to facilitate communication. Describing the difficulties that exist now, and working together to retrace how they developed, plays a central role in increasing communication and understanding for both people. A new and stronger relationship can develop during this process.
I am an experienced psychotherapist with over 20 years of experience and work with many couples in every stage of relationship. I work with people who are about to commit but want to resolve some issues to further secure their relationship. I work with people who have encountered life stressors (family issues, children, second families and illness to name some. Many LGBT couples seek counseling for help in dealing with their families, decisions about children and the extra stresses they experience from the society.
And very often, I work with couples who do not know what went wrong. It is my job to help them understand more about this and begin to strengthen their relationships again.
In the following article I will describe the process of marriage and/or couple counseling in more detail and describe how working with a professional marriage counselor enables changes that usually cannot be made by the couple themselves.
I would like to invite you to fill out the Online Contact Form or telephone me at 212.864.7369 if you have any questions or would like to understand something better. If you wish, we can arrange a consultation appointment at that time.