Is your relationship over?
Is it too hard, too exhausting, or too dramatic to motivate you to keep trying?
Or maybe you’re simply all talked out.
Every conversation is a debate.
Every debate ends in an argument.
Every argument ends in an impasse.
It seems to you that there is simply nothing left to say.
So the door slams shut on any meaningful interaction.
Consider, for a moment, that your relationship is not suffering from a lack of communication. Perhaps you’re just employing the least effective type of communication.
When you can’t find words that don’t produce a wave of resentment or raise a wall of defenses, it is likely that something deeper is happening.
Something that couple’s counseling can help.
Couples Counseling: What’s the point?
It’s tempting to give up when a relationship is so frustrating that the talk between you goes round and round or nowhere at all. The point of counseling sessions is to get beyond the arguing, silent treatment, and avoidance. The goal is to see if there might be a few key changes that could shift the way you communicate and dismantle the wall between you.
An objective, experienced couples counselor can help initiate change between you in the following ways:
- Help you recognize that you are not powerless to turn things around.
- Encourage you to discover a way to communicate meaningfully and purposefully.
- Teach you how to accept responsibility for your part in the relationship crisis.
- Support you in reframing key conflicts and determining the causes.
- Assist in the healing that will alleviate blame, shame, or rage.
Couples Counseling: What’s really going on?
Somewhere along the way, you and your partner shut down the key components to healthy, supportive connection — empathy and understanding. Allow your counselor to guide you and your partner toward compassionate and cathartic insights about your individual needs and deeply held hopes for your relationship.
A safe, proactive counselor can facilitate your connection through empathic conflict resolution by focusing on the following key areas affecting your relationship:
- Disappointment and resentment
- Physical and sexual disconnect
- Unresolved issues and misunderstanding
- Childhood obstacles and perceptions
- Outside stressors and over-commitment
Couple’s Counseling: What is the real value?
Even if your current feelings about your partner are true, even if there truly isn’t any thing left to say or save, don’t you owe it to yourselves to take this one last step? All of your hurts, unresolved issues, and disconnect deserve a real, dedicated resolution before you give up all together and move on.
An open and accepting counselor can reinforce the following lifelong skills, encouraging growth and energy where you might otherwise surrender hope:
- Coping skills. Couple’s counseling teaches you how to manage differences in personality, perception, values, and comfort levels. Developing the ability to accept and deal with other people and difficult situations is invaluable.
- Compassionate communication. Understanding your own unmet needs is vital for healthy communication with other people. It helps partners in any relationship establish a respectful, thoughtful perspective and dialogue.
- Perseverance. By employing the help of a counselor, couples commit to each other and the process of reconnection. All relationships are work, but perseverance can reap immeasurable rewards.
- Acceptance and Forgiveness. Couple’s counseling can show partners how hurt and resentment builds walls and erodes trust. In any relationship, acceptance and forgiveness eases anger and brings relief.
If it seems to you that there is nothing left to say, pause before you slam the door shut on your relationship.
Instead, seek the open door of a qualified couples counselor.
Change, resolution, and hope are worth the work.
by Laura Olsen