Is Your Marriage or Relationship Not Living Up To Your Expectations?
- Do you feel alone, unfulfilled, disconnected, or unloved in your relationship?
- Are you and your spouse treating each other more like roommates than lovers?
- Has infidelity or some other betrayal robbed you of your sense of trust or intimacy?
- Do you ever find yourself thinking, “Is this the best that life has to offer?
All couples have their ups and downs, many struggling to resolve communication issues and different expectations for the relationship. But if you are dealing with infidelity, it can turn your world upside down. You and your partner may wake at different times and go about your daily routines, only speaking about business—and even then it’s with critical undertones. You probably feel like you have to hide from friends and family out of shame or embarrassment. Trust is non-existent. And the sex—if there is any—is probably empty and mechanical.
At this point, it may seem like all is lost, but there is still hope for your relationship and marriage. With your commitment to each other and a desire to change for the better, our couples therapists at The Davis Group can help you heal the wounds of the past, rebuild trust, and restore the connection you once had.
Every Couple Experiences Relationship Issues At Some Point
All marriages—all relationships for that matter—will eventually run into conflict. No couple can be perfectly in sync as they grow older together. Moreover, the stresses of modern living combined with our high expectations of what relationships should provide create a dynamic no marriage can live up to.
We also tend to complicate things ourselves by (consciously or unconsciously) expecting our partners to fill our every physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and platonic need. When those expectations are not met, it can create a lot of disconnection and loneliness in the relationship.
In some cases, a partner will turn to an affair to cope or to feel desired and “alive” again. And though a therapist would never defend infidelity, affairs are very common. Even individuals in otherwise happy relationships seek out affairs because people ultimately crave both stability (which marriage provides) and novelty (which a marriage can run out of without proper maintenance).
The problem, however, is that a majority of couples try to solve their marriage and relationship problems with the same strategies that got them stuck in the first place. Most people are simply repeating behaviors they were exposed to in early relationships, so couples end up running into the same limitations as their parents. And almost no one is naturally equipped to navigate the emotional aftermath of surviving an affair. So it’s no wonder many couples find themselves in crisis.
But that’s what we are here for—to help you and your partner overcome the obstacles that are holding your relationship back no matter how great or small. With our support, you’ll gain the skills and mutual self-awareness needed to repair your relationship and find new, more meaningful ways of connecting with and experiencing each other.
Couples Therapy Can Help You Rediscover Your Love For One Another
Most couples are so busy with the demands of life that they feel like they don’t have the time for counseling. But working with a couples counselor can help you slow down and see each other in a new light—one that reflects the reason why you fell in love with each other in the first place.
It provides you with a profound understanding of each other, what you each require to be happy, and how to answer those needs. And finally, couples therapy offers you a chance to deepen your intimate connection, to reestablish trust, and heal any wounds from the past.
The main goal of counseling is to help you both take a step back from life, your marriage, and each other to really look at your challenges objectively. In our first session, that will mean taking those 50 minutes to begin exploring your concerns, identifying what you can each do to make your connection stronger, and introducing you to skills that you can use to strengthen your relationship. In subsequent sessions, we’ll likely explore your relationship histories and personal background, looking at where you have been hurt in the past or exposed to flawed ways of relating to others.
Oftentimes, in relationships, there are a lot of intense feelings that perpetuate emotional disconnection. So we want to help you dig down and access the hurt that is underneath those surface emotions so you can connect with and communicate that part of you better. That way, no one gets defensive or critical and each person develops a deeper, more empathetic understanding of each other.
If your marriage is in crisis because of infidelity or a similar betrayal, counseling can help you decide what course of action is best for you. Rest assured, we’ll never push you in any one direction, rather, we simply want to help you make the healthiest, most well-informed decision for both of you. If, after a few counseling sessions, you still want to pursue separation and/or divorce, we’ll help you make that transition with grace. Otherwise, we can help you start to repair your marriage by assessing why the affair happened, identifying any changes that need to be made, and reestablishing trust in the relationship.
Though we’ll use psychodynamic talk therapy to casually explore issues at first, to get to the core of what’s really going on, we use Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). EFT is an empirically validated couples therapy treatment approach designed to help partners better understand each other and deepen their emotional connection. Oftentimes, we’ll also draw upon the Gottman Method, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and other tools to help couples further relearn how to navigate relationships.
Every marriage—every couple—has its problems, but that doesn’t mean you have to face them on your own. If you’re stuck in an unhappy marriage threatened by infidelity, you can learn how to trust again and experience a deeper bond than anything you ever experienced before. Even if you are looking to experience more connection, desire, or passion—regardless of what has happened—your marriage, your relationship can become a source of stability, fun, and refuge again.
Perhaps you are considering couples therapy but you still have some concerns…
I don’t think I can get my spouse to come to sessions.
Why not come in yourself? After all, a truly systemic marriage counselor (which we all are) can offer you a lot of practical advice and strategies for improving your relationship, including ideas for getting your spouse to participate. Even if they never attend a session, you can still gain valuable relationship skills and develop an insight into yourself that will help you navigate not just your marriage but all of your interactions with people.
Won’t marital counseling just open up old wounds and make us fight more?
Sometimes, while couples are initially getting everything out on the table, things can feel like they’re getting worse before they get better. This is especially true for couples that don’t argue much to begin with. However, we are specially trained to mediate conversations and referee sessions so that we’re not merely reproducing your problems at home. Once you’re able to be honest and open with each other, you can begin putting everything back together and experience the joy of healing and connecting again.
I don’t think we are at the point where we need marriage (or couples) counseling.
Chances are if you’re on this site, you know somewhere deep down that things could be improved. And it’s much easier to solve problems in their infancy before they’ve grown into a crisis. Also, in California, having a therapist is chic—almost as necessary as having a dentist or family doctor. So whether you are trying to put your life back together after an affair or you’re simply seeking a more profound connection in your relationship, why not give couples counseling a chance?