Are you wondering what has happened to the emotional connection you used to have with your partner when your relationship was new? Do you feel more like roommates than lovers? Seeking marriage counseling or couples therapy as soon as you begin to notice the warning signs is best. Facing the reality that your communication is breaking down and you may need input from a counselor is often difficult for couples or individuals to admit but the sooner you address the issues and feelings you are having the better.
Do you really need couples counseling?
We seem to understand that our body needs exercise to be healthy. We try to feed it the right things and go to the gym to care for ourselves so that we can get the most out of life. We are often ready and willing to receive input from a trainer and understand that there is a science to caring for ourselves on a physical level.
It is just as valid to care for your emotional well-being and invest in your relationships, because healthy communication is at the very center of personal fulfillment and will effect your family, your children, your friends, and all those that you love.
At what point should couples visit a therapist?
We often only come to the realization that we need input from a family counselor or LMFT after our relationship with our significant other or our families have suffered for a very long time and are in a place far beyond anything a weekend retreat can fix. Couples retreats can do wonders for your relationship but just like your physical body needs more care than a single weekend our marriages and relationships needs care on a regular basis to grow and thrive.
What type of relationship do you desire?
We hear a lot of alarm bells about marriage being in crisis. Perhaps it’s not in crisis—it’s at a crossroads in America. Marriage can be redefined from an economic institution to an emotional connection. We long to be known and accepted at our core. Our marriage relationship can be where we turn for support, comfort, and to fulfill our cherished desires. Not just in the honeymoon period but throughout the life of our marriage. To keep a solid connection takes a high level of relationship skill. We’re demanding more of our marriages, and that means marriage demands more of us.
Marriage and Divorce
Divorce is never easy, and it’s something that all men and women should do their best to avoid. For both the man and the woman it is traumatic to observe a love and a friendship that was meant to last for ever falling apart at the seams as two people who once pined for each other now squabbling over every petty little matter. Even more is this the case if you have kids who will be caught in the terrible struggle. Children often are used as weapons by the parents and suffer personal wounds themselves that can affect their relationships throughout life.
Is there hope for your relationship?
The science of couples counseling is being studied in great detail these days. “The real mystery seems to be why men and women ever get together in the first place!”, explains Dr. John Gottmann. Gottmann is a medical physician and a professor of psychology at UCLA. He is also the principle investigator of a 2010 study aimed at discovering if marriage counseling actually works and if so, under what circumstances it works well.
Gottmann continues, “Marriages seem to act like atomic structures. There are strong interior forces that pull the two parties (particles) together, but when these attracting forces dissipate, the result is an angry, violent explosion because the forces that repel are almost as strong as the original forces that brought the couple together. The analogy can be taken even further; often the threat of mutually assured destruction is the only calming influence.”
Enter the marriage counselor. Gottmann explains that marriage counseling is least effective when one or both parties are committed to the divorce. Often the commitment to divorce does not happen right away, but occurs after a relationship has been in trouble for awhile. So Gottmann is clear about one of the most important findings in his research:
“If your marriage is in trouble, get counseling help immediately.”
We couldn’t agree more. If you live in Mt. Pleasant, Daniel Island, or the Charleston SC area, we offer private, effective marriage counseling at a reasonable cost to the couple. Call or email us today.
Dr. Brian Sullivan has been a marriage counselor in the Charleston area for 19 years and is an expert at helping people build that emotional connection. It doesn’t take years. On average, we see couples for 12 to 20 sessions. Get help today by calling 843.971.5171.