Are You Worried That Your Partner No Longer Understands You?

Has your relationship become strained or distant? Do you and your partner alternate between having the same argument and giving one another the cold shoulder? Is a recent development in your relationship causing you to consider a breakup or divorce?

You may be concerned about the lack of connection in your partnership. Perhaps you have stopped going on dates, having sex, or making time for the relationship altogether. An emotional void has replaced the intimacy that once characterized your connection—and you may place blame on one another for its absence. Even when you try to discuss issues calmly, anger seems to take over, initiating a cycle of conflict once more. 

couple on beachCommon Life Hurdles Lead To Common Relationship Challenges

So, what happened that drove a wedge between you two? Some relationships slowly regress over time while others are impacted by a sudden change in circumstances. If a recent stressor involving work, kids, or another family member has occurred, one or both of you may be struggling to make time for the relationship. Without shared quality time together, your connection may have weakened, progressively unable to withstand stress at home and elsewhere. 

Similarly, there may have been an instance of sexual infidelity or an emotional affair. If you have been betrayed by your partner, you are likely experiencing an increase in anger, anxiety, and a lack of trust. And if you are the partner who cheated, you may feel confused and ashamed of your behavior. Unsure of what the future holds, you both might wonder if separation or divorce is inevitable.

Yet, your relationship can be restored. If you and your partner are willing to be open, aware, and vulnerable in couples therapy, you can develop the emotional intelligence needed to heal your relationship. 

We Carry Unhealed Emotional Wounds Into Our Most Intimate Relationships 

When we struggle to communicate in our partnership, unhealthy past patterns are likely to emerge. These patterns typically originate from emotional traumas—otherwise known as attachment wounds—that cause us to seek safety and security through often harmful or damaging means. Closely tied to our trauma response (fight, flight, freeze, or fawn), these tendencies may manifest in our relationships as codependency, numbing or substance abuse, and other destructive behaviors like cheating. 

Unfortunately, there is often the misconception that healthy couples don’t encounter challenges with intimacy or that a relationship is doomed if counseling is required. In truth, every couple must engage in their own unique “attachment dance” to learn how to communicate and avoid common relationship pitfalls. This process requires vulnerability and mutual understanding, but many couples choose to struggle through disconnection without help instead of seeking the experienced, objective insight of a therapist.

Without counseling, it’s hard for couples to see their blind spots—often existing as a lack of awareness about one another’s triggers, communication style, and attachment wounds. But at Pinkerton Psychotherapy, you and your partner can come together in the safe space of counseling to gain a meaningful, healing perspective on your relationship. 

Couples Therapy Is An Effective Way To Heal Attachment Injuries

Given the opportunity to explore emotions, current stressors, and past wounds, our clients in couples therapy are able to create a new narrative about their relationship. Working with a therapist who can help facilitate healthy communication and awareness, our couples leave counseling with a deeper, more empathetic understanding of one another.

gay couple smiling at each otherThe Therapeutic Process

Couples therapy at Pinkerton Psychotherapy is available for all kinds of partnerships, whether you’re newly dating, considering marriage, or have been in a long-term relationship for years. Our affirming counselors have experience working with couples of all ages and backgrounds, including those who identify as LGBTQ+. In addition, we abide by sex-positive and poly-friendly frameworks, so you can feel confident that couples therapy at our practice is culturally competent and unbiased. 

Once you have decided to commit to counseling, you will be asked to complete an intake and attend an initial session together as a couple. From there, we will meet with you each individually for one session to explore specific issues more openly. Following these sessions, couples counseling will take place with all partners present. 

Our Approach

A foundational aspect of our approach is helping our clients understand the why behind their behaviors. By identifying root causes and early attachment wounds, you will have a deeper awareness of your triggers and coping mechanisms. Our counselors will facilitate open dialogue, emotional exploration, and unity using couples-specific approaches like Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Relational Life Therapy (RLT), and the Gottman Method. Equipped with new and lifelong communication skills, you and your partner will be better prepared to navigate conflict together. 

In addition, our practice owner Jennifer Pinkerton is highly trained in clinical sexology. Her expertise in desire, relationships, and sexual trauma greatly informs each one of our couples therapists. As such, counseling will not only enhance your emotional intimacy but your physical intimacy as well, giving you an opportunity to further reconnect with your partner.

Though most relationships encounter hurdles, most relationships also have the potential to thrive. In recommitting to your communication, connection, and shared intimacy as a couple, you can witness positive transformations in every area of life.

Maybe You’re Considering Couples Therapy But Not Sure If It Will Help…

If we can’t resolve things on our own, maybe we’re not right as a couple. 

We are relational beings with a need to connect to others. Though we may feel a strong desire to maintain a healthy partnership, the truth is that intimate relationships trigger past attachment injuries. We often aren’t aware of how past and present experiences are related, causing us to misunderstand or perpetuate conflict with our partners. 

Addressing past wounds and patterns with a professional can pave the way for significant change. Working with our seasoned therapists in counseling, you will better understand your strengths and weaknesses as a couple so that you can reduce harmful or unhealthy communication patterns.

My partner won’t agree to regular couples therapy.

Though there are improvements you can make on your own, it’s worth the investment of time and resources from both of you to help your relationship flourish. If your partner is hesitant to commit to counseling, it may reassure them that couples therapy doesn’t last indefinitely. Because you’re likely to witness concrete improvements in your communication and connection after just a few sessions of counseling, you may not spend as much time in couples therapy as you would in individual therapy. 

I’m worried a couples therapist will just tell us to break up.

The goal of couples therapy is not to cast any judgment on your marriage or relationship; it’s to help you better understand one another in the context of your partnership. Couples counselors are specially trained to be unbiased and treat the relationship as the client—not the individuals in it. Using evidence-based counseling techniques unique to relationships and marriages, we will work together toward a common goal of restoring your connection. 

lesbian couple dancing togetherBy Healing Past Pains, You Can Enhance Your Future As A Couple

The sex, relationship, and intimacy experts at Pinkerton Psychotherapy can help you and your partner achieve shared goals through counseling. To schedule an appointment or find out more about our approach to couples therapy, contact us or give us a call at (713) 800 – 6999.

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