There are many ways to have a relationship: Gay/Straight, cohabiting/living in different towns or continents, casual/committed, married/civil partnered, looking for love/trying to keep love intact. When we start our relationship we hope that we have found ‘the one’, someone who shares our values and our dreams. Occasionally, that romantic love is enough to sustain our connection but more often, if we want to make it a long-term commitment, we will need to make adjustments as we go along.
If you and your partner are having difficulties, and want to improve your relationship, it can be very useful to talk with someone who has experience of the sorts of problems you are likely to face. You will find that counselling can facilitate conversations to take place in a different and more productive way. It can encourage you to communicate on a more intimate level, to change patterns of relating and make the respect with which you started your realtionship grow and deepen.
Couples come to counselling for a wide variety of reasons. Here are just a few:
- You need differing amounts of time alone and together – how can you make that work?
- You are not able to have an argument that resolves anything
- You don’t feel valued, seen or heard. You want to work on your communication skills
- Being in a couple means you have lost your sense of self
- Addictions are having a negative impact on your relationship
- An affair has taken you to the edge of breaking up
- You have decided to separate and want to do that with as much civility as possible
- The stresses of life mean you aren’t giving enough to the relationship – how can you balance your commitment?
- You aren’t having the kind of sexual relationship that you want
- Illness or treatments have had an impact on how you may be able to be intimate
It takes courage to admit to difficulties in an intimate relationship but recognizing that you need help is the first important step. Whatever the situation, together we can work out ways to address the problem with imagination and care.