Let’s face it, relationships are hard. They require a lot out of an individual, both emotionally and mentally. We may love our significant others, but as anyone in a long term relationship may be able to tell you, love alone is not able to sustain a long term relationship, there are other important aspects required.
Commitment, emotional vulnerability, a shared philosophy, and the ability to compromise, are just a few essential factors needed to maintain a healthy relationship. Creating and sustaining this middle ground does not always come easy, especially as we grow and change, both in life and in our relationship.
One way to help couples address some difficult areas that may have come about is to enlist the help of a quality therapist and to address them in couples therapy.
What is Couples Therapy?
Couples therapy is a type of therapy that is geared toward helping individuals in a relationship to see the necessary growth areas that they can work on and help facilitate their journey towards growth. Its aim is to provide a safe environment where couples can be honest and upfront about their feelings while having a therapist present as a neutral other to identify problematic patterns of relating and instruct the couple how to replace them with healthier ones. A therapist’s objective is to first teach communication skills, to help the couple to be able to talk about areas of needed change as well as review other necessities of a healthy relationship.
Couples counseling is dependent upon both individuals in the relationship’s ability to be fully present and open to any feedback that may be presented during a session by either the other party or the therapist. A couples counseling session typically lasts from one hour to ninety minutes but is dependent on the time agreed upon between the couple and the therapist.
Common Couples Therapy Topics
- Communication problems
- Difficulty with Commitment
- Conflict resolution problems
- Division of labor
- Navigating extended family relationships
- Life transitions (career change, empty nest, etc)
- Parenting styles
- Premarital concerns
- Revitalizing long-term committed relationships
- Sex and intimacy concerns
- Stress due to health, career, etc.
- Trust and boundary issues
- Unmet emotional needs
Ways to Reconnect with Significant Other
Couples counseling can be scary and intimidating at times, but it is not the only way to reconnect and revitalize your relationship. Here are 3 easy ways that couples can reconnect with each other in the comfort of their own home.
- Be Intentional about the time you give to one another. Intentionality can go a long way in a relationship. It lets the other party know that you are committed by prioritizing their time with you. This may look like scheduled weekly date nights or check-ins during the day. Increasing your intentionality with one another may sound deceivingly simple, but once you start, you will find your relationship strengthened as it helps to foster trust, intimacy, and vulnerability.
- Setting Goals Together is another great way to reconnect with one another. It helps to get on the same page by working towards a goal or dreaming about a shared future. This could be a financial goal, vacation goal, renovation goal or a life transition goal. Whatever it ends up being, make sure that it is specific and that it has a time frame.
With a goal set in mind, couples are able to cheer and encourage each other on, helping to open the lines of communication and intimacy. It also gives the couple an activity that belongs solely to the relationship that they are able to concentrate on. Try and stick to your goals together and remember it is more about the journey than the destination.
Did you know?
Kissing boosts the levels of dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin in your body, causing you to feel euphoric and encourages bonding and affection. It also lowers the levels of cortisol in your body alleviating stress in your body and helping to boost self-esteem.
- Expressing Affection can go a long way in helping an individual understand that they are cared for. There are many ways to do this, through physical touch, words of affirmation, gifts, quality time and acts of service. These are the five love languages, thought to represent the primary way an individual gives or receives love. Each individual may gravitate towards one or two more rather than the others. This is why it is important to identify which love language your significant other identifies with most, so that you are able to express affection in a way that they are able to fully receive it.
For example, if your spouse identifies with physical touch the most, a good way to express affection would be through hugs and kisses. Getting on the same page with how each other expresses and feels affection will deepen the relationship and help in expressing gratitude toward one another.
Reach Out to Us
Of course, all of the above-mentioned tips may be difficult to accomplish when there is a serious blockade or life stressor in the way that you may need some outside support to work through. If you would like to schedule an appointment for couples counseling or have any questions regarding the process, do not hesitate in reaching out to us. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have. So take the step and schedule an appointment today to start working through your challenges and revitalizing your relationship.