Relationships are the greatest source of both pleasure and pain for most of us. And conflict between people is universal and normal. So it’s extremely common to find your marriage or other relationships very challenging.
You don’t have to have a spouse or partner to benefit from relationship focused counseling. All it takes is a strong desire to relate more effectively to the most important people in your life. Whether you are facing the challenges of dating or dealing with an unhealthy pattern of conflict in your marriage, this kind of therapy will help you communicate better, develop healthier boundaries and expectations about your relationships.
When both partners participate in marriage or couples counseling, each will grow from learning positive communication strategies and greater self awareness. Identifying and changing limiting beliefs and maladaptive behaviors from the past will be healing for both you and for your relationship in the present.
The key is your willingness to use your challenges with your partner as an opportunity for personal growth both as individuals and as a team. In fact, the process of resolving problems in marriages and other intimate relationships strengthens the bond of emotional intimacy and builds an even stronger foundation for the future.
Various life transitions and stressors are likely to put a marriage or relationship under added strain. Some of the most common ones include:
- The arrival of children through birth or adoption; different phases of child development.
- Health changes (such as chronic illness) in family members.
- Demands of aging parents and extended family.
- Mental health issues such as anxiety or depression.
- The impact of the economic downturn, including joblessness or career change for one or both partners
- Inability of one or both parties to effectively manage stress and anger
- Dealing with grief and loss.
If the fabric of your relationship is weakened by destructive patterns to begin with, challenges like these can make life feel absolutely overwhelming. However, marriage or relationship counseling can help you maximize your strengths both as individuals and as a couple while learning new skills together to best handle the situation at hand. If working directly with your spouse or partner on these issue in counseling is either not feasible or not desirable, discussing them individually with a therapist is valuable, as well. Because when one part of the equation changes for the better, the entire situation can only shift in the direction of growth. Should you ultimately reach the conclusion that leaving the relationship is the best choice, you and I will work together to sort that out and develop the best action plan to empower you.