Marriage and Couples Therapy

two monkeys sitting on ground during daytime

Though it may be difficult to recognize when you’re in the thick of relationship problems, a relationship crisis can be a gift that helps couples expose and address imbalances in the relationship. When the crisis is used well, it leads to deeper trust and understanding and a more realistic and stronger partnership. Sharing your life with a partner is a privilege and a responsibility, and enhances the creation of a deeply meaningful life.

A relationship crisis may take the form of a particular event such as an infidelity, or it may be more subtle, chronic and pervasive – showing up in disrespect for each other, hurt feelings and constant conflict.

Individuals might be unaware of the emotional undercurrents that fuel their arguments over seemingly trivial things. However, the extent to which a couple becomes gridlocked around a particular issue is usually indicative of strong underlying emotions that are not being discussed. Instead, partners act defensively by projecting blame, criticizing, withdrawing or becoming angry. It can be difficult to resolve these differences because of the emotional intensity of the issue and personal involvement of the partners. A psychologist experienced in couples therapy can help couples extricate themselves from these often debilitating emotional gridlocks.

You will know that you are emotionally gridlocked with your partner when it feels like you are unable to communicate or resolve problems. Or, you may feel that you have become distant from one another, perhaps with one or the other of you being over-involved with the children, work or extended family to the exclusion of your partner. While these are concerns that many couples experience depending on stage of life (young children take a lot of energy!), if they become a long-standing habit of relating within your relationship, it may be taking its toll on your individual well-being and/or the health of your relationship. An experienced psychologist can offer guidance in taking your relationship in the direction you and your partner prefer rather than the direction that your unsatisfying habits of relating take you.