Are You and Your Spouse Struggling to Connect?

• Are you experiencing communication difficulties with your spouse or partner and feel increasingly unheard and misunderstood?
• Do you find that you and your partner have the same arguments over and over again about important issues, such as work/life balance, in-laws, pornography, money, retirement or time spent together?
• Do you feel criticized, put down or ignored by your partner?
• Has sexual desire and enjoyment decreased or even vanished?
• Are you and your partner struggling to reestablish trust and security after a betrayal, such as an emotional or physical affair? Do you wish you could avoid the bickering and arguing, restore peace and harmony and enjoy your relationship again?cutting up marriage certificate

Navigating the challenges of marriage can be a confusing, disheartening and lonely experience. Your issues may feel insurmountable and unsolvable, leaving you feeling lost and hopeless, especially if you have tried all you know to foster connection, support and care in your relationship. Maybe it feels like you and your partner can’t even have a conversation anymore without fighting. It might feel easier to avoid one another, making it seem as though you are living with a a stranger rather than the person you promised to spend your life with. Perhaps your relationship with your partner doesn’t look anything like what you dreamed marriage could be. You may feel defeated, overwhelmed and unsure how to create the connected, loving marriage you long for.

If You Are Worried About the Future of Your Relationship, You Are Not Alone

Most couples experience times when their relationship seems to have
lost some of the romantic feelings of earlier years. Couples experience a number of stressors, including transitions and events relating to children, careers, education, relocation and retirement, to name a few. In addition, couples sometimes have to navigate health concerns or financial concerns. Society is certainly contributing to the cultivation of stress and anxiety with the demands of a 24/7 culture and social media. So, it is not surprising that, at times, there does not seem to be time to nurture your relationship.
Regardless of what you and your partner are going through, there is hope. With the help and support of a skilled marriage therapist, you can rediscover trust and commitment in your relationship.

Marriage Counseling Can Help You and Your Partner Become a Team

As a couples counselor, I can help you and your partner gain the skills you need to develop healthier behaviors and communication patterns. As you put those skills in place, you are likely to find that your problems diminish substantially, and that you both feel better able to express your own needs while listening to your partner with greater empathy and patience.

bride puts ring on groom during ceremonyI am fully trained in the Gottman Method of couples counseling known as “The Sound Relationship House.” This framework allows you and your partner to work on your relationship together, delving into problem areas whilst also discovering and nurturing strengths.

In sessions, you will, with my assistance and guidance, work together to increase intimacy by better understanding one another’s worlds. You will focus on fondness and admiration to counter negativity, as well as learn how to start a conversation productively, without lashing out, criticizing, stonewalling or assigning blame. And, you and your partner can learn to better manage conflict so that instead of shutting down or reacting defensively, you can self-soothe or take a break, which allows you to shift your ability to understand what your partner is trying to say, respond calmly and cultivate respectful, compassionate communication. Working together, you and your partner can identify and nurture future dreams and plans.

These techniques work well with all couples of all sexual orientations, whether living together, engaged, newly married or married for forty years. Your partnership does not have to be on the rocks before you consider seeking counseling. Some couples find it helpful to give their relationship a tune-up from time to time, especially when there are major life transitions, such as becoming parents or retiring. In addition, I offer premarital counseling tailored specifically to look at important, oft-neglected issues so that your marriage will begin on a firm foundation. There is no wrong time to enrich your relationship.

It is possible for you and your partner to communicate and connect. You don’t have to feel lonely or unloved in your relationship. Marriage counseling can help you create mutual, lasting care, understanding and harmony between you and your partner.

You may believe that couples counseling can help your marriage heal, but still have questions or concerns…

We seem to have so many arguments about different issues that it feels overwhelming. I’m not sure if we can repair the damage.

With a desire for change and a willingness to engage in the process, counseling works. At first, it might seem like a formidable task. However, utilizing my training, experience and skills, I can collaborate with you to identify the major issues causing strain and find effective, long-term solutions that work for your relationship.

Many couples find additional benefits when they utilize strategies learned in couples counseling to improve relations with other family members or are able to communicate more effectively at work.

If there has been an affair, either emotional or physical, healing and forgiveness may feel out of reach. But, it is possible to move forward. Utilizing a process of atonement, attunement and attachment, you and your partner can begin to better understand what happened and restore intimacy and trust.

However, it does sometimes happen that a couple realizes they do want to separate and divorce. If, in your case, divorce is the answer, then couples therapy can make a difficult life transition easier. You, the couple, are in charge of the steps you want to make. I will do everything I can to help you make your own best decision and move forward with a sense of acceptance, understanding and hope.

I am concerned about the cost of couples counseling.young couple with kitten laugh at a vinyard

I understand financial concerns and the need to make choices within one’s budget. However, I sincerely believe that most people benefit greatly from seeing a well-trained and empathetic marriage therapist. As you develop more effective communication skills, you are likely to see improvement in not only your marital relationship, but also your personal and business relationships. When you consider that couples therapy can restore your relationship and commitment to one another, perhaps avoiding years of pain or an imminent divorce, then I believe you will that you are making a sound investment.

My partner doubts that marriage counseling – or any form of therapy –can work.

If your partner is resistant, I encourage you to attend counseling alone. Just because your partner is not ready for therapy does not mean that counseling can’t help you achieve a more satisfying relationship. My counseling services include working with individuals as well as couples. So I can help you, individually, identify the challenges in your relationship and teach you skills to help you to get your needs met. Your partner will likely notice a positive change in your shared dynamic and may in time decide to join you.

Marriage Doesn’t Have to Feel Like a Battle

If you want to make some changes and begin to work on your relationship, I invite you to call my office today to set up an appointment at (941) 306 1235 or email me at marilynhalls17@gmail.com. I offer a complimentary 30-minute in office or phone consultation if you have questions you would like answered before beginning couples counseling.