Do You Feel Lonely or Unhappy in Your Relationship?
Do you look at your partner and wonder what happened to our love? You remember well how easy it used to be to talk, to laugh, to make love. You shared your dreams, your hopes, and your fears. The future belonged to the two of you and it looked bright. At some point, however, something changed in your relationship. Your partner is still there but you feel alone, misunderstood and uncared for. You may feel like you are walking on eggshells to avoid conflict but still end up trapped in the same old fight. There may be a silence and coldness between you, and any effort you make to break through the invisible wall separating you backfires and makes things worse. Perhaps the two of you are caught in a cycle of endless fighting which leaves you feeling exhausted and emotionally drained.
Are you trying to rebuild trust after an affair? Are you or your partner struggling with depression, anxiety or an addiction? Has conflict about how to raise your children left you feeling more like adversaries than teammates? Are you losing hope and wondering if things can ever get better?
It can be heartbreaking to see the loving connection disappear in a relationship or a marriage. You may find yourself asking painful questions like: “Did I choose a wrong partner?” or even “Am I lovable?”
Relationships Are Not Easy or Simple
Almost every couple, if they stay together long enough, will go through some tough times. Life will bring changes, challenges and losses, and even happy events like the arrival of children will put stress and new demands on a couple’s relationship.
The honeymoon period eventually comes to an end, and the partners start losing their idealized view of each other. The result is usually deep disappointment and anger that leads to conflict as each partner tries to get the other to “change back”. But, as both partners become more “real” to each other, the door opens to real love instead of romantic infatuation. We thrive emotionally and physically when we are seen and loved for who we are. When we feel safe and secure in the arms of our loved one.
Because the stakes are so high, it makes sense to invest time and energy in yourself and your relationship. With couples counselling at my office in Pointe Claire, Quebec, you can acquire insights and tools that can help you reclaim the loving connection you once had with your partner.
Couples Counselling Can Help You and Your Partner Rebuild the Loving Relationship You Once Shared
The benefits of being in a loving, committed relationship where you feel safe and secure are immeasurable. They include better mental and physical health and even a longer life. Our society values individuality and we tend to equate maturity with independence. But what research teaches us is that true freedom, creativity and courage are more likely when we have a safe home base. We are not meant to be alone. The drive for a safe connection with another is present in us from the moment we emerge from the womb and it never goes away.
When you find yourself having the same fight without ever finding resolution, it can leave you so discouraged that you no longer want to make an effort. If you feel that you or your partner already has one foot out the door, you need fresh perspectives and new solutions. With the help of a skilled couples counsellor you can begin moving forward towards reconnecting with your partner.
I have been working with couples for more than 20 years helping them work toward better communication, more trust and greater passion and joy. With the right guidance and support, you can restore hope and discover that change, healing and growth in your relationship is within reach.
In our sessions we work as a team to identify the patterns of thinking, behaving and communicating that lead to anger, distance and hurt. Once we know what does not work, I help you develop tools for expressing your disappointments and needs in ways that do not make your partner feel blamed or attacked. There is certain magic that happens once communication patterns shift: resentment, shame and blame melt away to be replaced by compassion and understanding. I have witnessed this transformation countless times and consider it a great privilege to be part of this process as a coach, a guide and a cheerleader.
The techniques and skills I utilize during couples counselling come from research validated approaches shown to help couples. Renowned couples researcher, John Gottman, perfected the process of detecting relationship wreckers, or red flags. By observing how newlywed couples handle conflict, he could predict with over 90 percent accuracy which couples would divorce within five years. Other research tells us that gratitude and forgiveness, which are crucial for our happiness and to the health of our relationships, are skills that can be taught and learned in a therapy setting.
But You May Still Have Questions About Couples Counselling
I think we need help but I don’t know if we can afford the expense
You can consider relationship counselling one of the most important investments you will ever make. It is an investment in yourself, your relationship, your future and, if you have children, in them as well. It has been said that the best gift a parent can offer is the gift of a good marriage.
Most couples wait 5 or more years before seeking help for their problems. During this time their bond keeps deteriorating, and it will take more time and effort to undo the damage in their relationship.
I am committed to making my services affordable so you can take action sooner. If your insurance won’t cover couples therapy, I offer a set number of sessions at reduced rates according to your circumstances.
Once you learn some essential new skills, weekly sessions are no longer necessary. The real work of transforming your relationship happens at home. At this point, sessions are on a flexible schedule, allowing us to trouble shoot challenges or go deeper and work on new relationship goals.
I heard that couples counselling can make things worse.
You heard correctly. Some therapists sit back passively while the couple heap blame and scorn on one another, and this approach can make things worse. My primary concern is to make my office a safe space where you can each be heard and validated without fear of losing your dignity. Endless rehashing of old grievances or unresolved conflicts leaves partners feeling emotionally drained and hopeless. Intimacy does not flourish in an atmosphere of fear and contempt, and I structure my sessions with couples to contain and channel anger and hostility. I provide support and coaching so that painful messages can be delivered in such a way that you and your partner may be open to receiving them.
I am the only one making the effort. My partner would never come to counselling.
We all know the saying, It Takes Two to Tango. But it only takes one partner to stop a bad dance. And it only takes one partner to initiate change and invite the other to try something new and better.
In my practice I often do “relationship counselling for one”. In some cases, the other partner becomes intrigued or curious about the changes and joins in. Sometimes, the changes initiated by the partner in counselling are sufficient to help the couple become unstuck. As the dissatisfied partner seeks help, he/she often gains new perspective on the causes of their unhappiness and can more effectively recognize and address the ones that are under their control. Once addressed and resolved, issues such as work-related stress and unhealed trauma no longer weigh so heavily on the quality of your relationship. One thing is certain:
When YOU change, your relationship will change as well!
My partner betrayed me and I don’t know if I can get the trust back.
Betrayal by an intimate partner ranks among the most devastating experiences a person can go through. Researchers compare the suffering following the discovery of infidelity to that of other traumatic events resulting in Post-Traumatic Stress. Everything is shattered as the very foundation on which you built your life suddenly seems to crumble.
But there is hope. The majority of couples affected by infidelity stay together and rebuild their lives. Some of those couples move on to create a totally new kind of relationship – stronger, happier and more intimate than before.
But we are separated and already heading for a divorce…
If divorce is inevitable, or perhaps the only way out of a destructive relationship, you still have a choice: you can make a difficult situation better or worse.
In my work as a clinician for the Office of the Children’s Lawyer, I have assisted countless couples going through a custody battle to rise above the grievances and pain of a failed marriage and focus on the future. Only forgiveness and letting go frees us to build a new life. As the old saying goes: holding on to grudges is like drinking poison and hoping that the other person will die.
Not all separations end in divorce. Sometimes, they are a healthy step that allows you to cool off negative emotions and look at the marriage with fresh eyes. With the help of marriage counselling, many couples reclaim the loving and caring relationship they once had.
You can find a path back to happiness in your marriage and family.
Couples Counselling Can Help You Revive Your Relationship
If you are wondering if your relationship is beyond repair, please read my free report Six Questions to Ask Yourself Before Ending a Relationship.
For further information on my approach to couples counselling, please call (514) 697-7472 or use my contact form below to send me questions, schedule an appointment, or request a free 20 minute consultation to see how I can help.
For more than 20 years I have been helping adults, teens, couples and families find pathways to more satisfying lives. I will listen to you with compassion and help you see possibilities for recovery and growth where you see none. Together, we can quickly but systematically discover and remove obstacles that are holding you back from living the life you were meant to live.