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Do you have relationship problems?

Most of the couples that I see want to improve their communication. Many or most have regressed into a pattern of ongoing avoidance and/or resentment that causes them to feel alienated from each other. How does this happen?Avoiding conflict, thinking it will go away doesn’t work. Fear of addressing small conflicts can result in a build up of resentment, blame and unhappiness which grows over time.

Not expressing true feelings to each other creates a sense of distrust and impairs communication.

Not telling your partner how you feel and what you need and instead expecting them to know, leads to resentment, assumptions and misperceptions. The unspoken words are very powerful.

Not seeing the positives in each other and commenting on them daily can make your partner feel unloved or unappreciated.

Withdrawing from your partner by using social media, alcohol, television, gambling, drugs, shopping, focusing only on the children and not your relationship can breakdown the connection needed for intimacy, discussion and understanding.

Waiting too long to ask for help from a therapist is another reason for significant distancing, alienation and thoughts of separation or divorce. I suggest couples maintain their relationships like they do their cars and other necessities we depend on. Relationships need maintenance to provide optimal performance.

When working with couples I assess their communication cycle which many times has become dysfunctional and leaves them feeling like their needs are not being met. I diagram their cycle and we tweek the dysfunctional behaviors toward more functional interactions and responses that eventually bring new awareness and change in habits. The goal is a communication cycle that meets both parties needs and increases the level of partnership, enjoyment and pleasure.