Tag: couples counseling

Did you wake up confused at why your spouse or partner can show more emotion with The Royals than with you? Often boys and sometimes girls are subtly told to ditch their vulnerable feelings except for in the confines of sports. Leaving dullness on the inside save for sports, sex and alcohol. Let me explain.

In his new book Do Over, Jon Acuff points out that as kids we believed we had the power to declare a “Do Over” when we wanted to start again.  http://acuff.me/do-over/  

When we missed the mark, we’d just start over.  If we miss-hit the ball, we’d yell out “Do Over” and try again. When the drawing wasn’t quite right, we’d crumple up the paper, throw it away, grab a new sheet and start again.  We didn’t give a second thought to making a second attempt.

Jon points out that somewhere along the way we stopped believing in the power to declare a “Do Over.”  He describes so eloquently what happens — We feel stuck. We stop opening doors. We start to think we already know where they all lead.

That describes so many couples who come to counseling. They have stopped reaching toward one another and asking for what they need from each other because they believe they already know what the response will be.  And the fear of being ignored or rejected again is more painful than simply suffering in silence.  more

“What’s the reason most relationships fail?  Is it affairs, boredom, lack of sex, lack of communication?”  That’s the question I’m asked most often.

As any experienced therapist can tell you, couples come to therapy for a multitude of reasons.  The list will not surprise you – conflict over finances, sex, and in-laws; challenges with roles in marriage, work-life balance, parenting, and the transition to being empty-nesters.  Sometimes, it’s in preparation for marriage and sometimes it’s to make one last attempt “at saving our relationship.”

Zach Brittle who is a therapist and contributor to the Gottman Blog writes that the thing he hears most often is, “We’re having trouble communicating.”  I hear that often as well. And one thing is certain, when couples have trouble communicating – when you don’t feel heard or understood it quickly leads to a lack of connection.  And being disconnected makes even the simplest issues difficult.

The Hollywood version of connection, passion and romance is based on grand gestures — meeting at the top of the Empire State building to gaze into each other’s eyes, a whirlwind trip to a private island, renting out a restaurant for a private dinner, (add your own favorite movie scene here).  But in reality we know that connection is built in the more mundane moments of life.