Do You Feel as Though Your Relationship Has Grown Cold?
- Do you constantly feel irritated by your partner’s perceived faults?
- Are you and your partner incessantly arguing over seemingly insignificant things, such as chores or dinner plans?
- Are you often hurt by your partner’s insensitivity?
- Do you and your partner often blame and belittle each other?
- Do you worry you might have chosen the wrong partner and that the two of you are inherently incompatible?
- Do you long to rekindle warmth, love and intimacy in your relationship?
When you first met your partner, you may have experienced the many wonderful feelings of warmth, attraction, love and intimacy. However, you may now find that you and your partner constantly argue and bicker over seemingly trivial things. You may feel easily irritated by your partner and often get annoyed by his or her tone of voice, body language or personality quirks. You and your partner may also have longstanding disagreements about fundamental differences of opinion on important topics, such as the proper way to raise your children, how to manage finances or the way to interact with your in-laws.
As if that were not enough, you may often feel hurt by insensitive behavior from your partner. Perhaps he or she often goes to work without saying goodbye, does not contribute equally to parenting responsibilities or does not readily answer phone calls and texts. Your partner’s lack of responsiveness may cause you a great deal of fear and anxiety. You may wonder what you’ve been doing to be treated so coldly, perhaps fearing that your partner no longer loves you. You may lie awake at night longing to bring passion and connection back into your relationship. However, you may fear that your relationship has permanently grown cold.
Many People Struggle In Their Relationships
If your relationship seems more like a chore than a romantic partnership, you are not alone. Many couples struggle with relationship conflict as a result of incompatible attachment styles. According to attachment theory, people typically have either an avoidant, anxious or secure attachment. When there is a secure attachment, we tend to have healthier relationships. If we are anxious, we tend to panic and seek reassurance when faced with a physically or emotionally unavailable partner. Conversely, people with an avoidant attachment style can become overwhelmed by their partner’s needs and may push away loved ones who they perceive as “too needy.” As one can imagine, relationships featuring both avoidant and anxious attachment can result in an endless cycle of cat and mouse, as one partner constantly seeks out closeness while the tries to pull away.
If you recognize yourself as avoidant or anxious, please don’t feel guilty or ashamed. Your attachment style is not your fault! Your attachment is largely determined by formative childhood experiences over which you had no control. The good news is that with guidance and support, you and your partner can learn more about your attachment styles and create harmony in your relationship again.
Couples Counseling Can Help You Learn to Work With Your Attachment Style
I have seen many couples learn to work with their attachment styles and go on to build healthy and sustainable partnerships. I have been providing counseling to couples for over 10 years and can tell you that even the most troubled couples are capable of finding happiness.
During sessions with me, you’ll have the opportunity to come together as a couple, learn about your respective attachment styles and find ways to honor and respect each other’s needs, wants and desires. By understanding your partner’s attachment style, you can start to listen to your partner with greater empathy and compassion. In turn, you can have your own experience, emotions and point of view validated and understood by your partner.
In a safe and supportive environment, you and your partner can also learn skills, tools and strategies for healthy and effective communication. Instead of devolving into a game of winning and losing, your arguments can lead resolution, mutual understanding and compromise. In addition, you can begin to stop ruminating over negative thoughts and replace them with a more thoughtful, logical and informed perspective. Instead of immediately reacting to your partner’s withdrawn behavior with despair, you can decrease stress and anxiety by viewing the situation through the lens of attachment. Last but not least, you can become more in tune with your partner’s emotional needs by learning how to read and respond to your partner’s verbal and non-verbal communication.
My practice is grounded in a psychobiological approach to counseling. My goal is to both teach and model peaceful and compassionate communication to my clients. Not only can I teach you healthy, nonaggressive and productive modes of communication, but I can also help you practice, observe and reflect on these skills within sessions. While there’s no formula for the perfect relationship, couples counseling can give you and your partner the tools you need to develop a healthy, engaged commitment and become co-participants in your endeavor to cultivate happiness. With the help of couples counseling, it’s possible to let go of guilt, worries and stress in your relationship and restore passion and mutual admiration.
Perhaps couples counseling seems like the right choice, but you still have some apprehensions and questions…
We tried couples counseling before and it didn’t work for us.
If you tried counseling in the past and didn’t find success, your therapist may have been using an approach that wasn’t right for you. Therapists come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and you’ll need to shop around in order to find one that’s right for you. Ultimately, you’ll be the one in control. I can work with you and discuss your specific needs to discover if I am the best therapist for you.
My partner refuses to participate in couples counseling.
You can still reap the benefits of couples therapy even if your partner refuses to participate. You can learn more about your personal attachment style and develop technique to improve communication with your partner. After witnessing your positive transformation, your partner may decide to join in on sessions at a later date. This is a very common course of events.
We should be able to fix this on our own. We don’t need the help of a couples counselor.
Relationship success requires a lot of insight, patience and hard work, and there’s no shame in seeking the guidance of a counselor to help you. As the saying goes, when you are overwhelmed by your experience, “you can’t see the forest for the trees.” Sometimes, all you need is an outsider’s perspective to get your relationship back on track.
It’s Possible To Create A Happy and Fulfilling Relationship
With the help of a knowledgeable, supportive and nonjudgmental couples counselor, it’s possible to restore mutual understanding and respect to your relationship. Call me at (720) 224-3722 to ask any questions you have about couples counseling or to schedule an appointment. In the interim, feel free to read my blog, where I discuss conflict resolution strategies and more.