You used to be so happy in love…
But now, you’re distant and disconnected.
You used to do fun things together, but now, you find little or no joy in each other’s company.
Remember when you always got along, seeing the best in each other no matter what? Now, you’re probably exhausted and hurt from all the arguing.
You used to feel excitement as you laughed together and worked as a team. But now, you have no drive to make time for your partner.
You used to feel seen and heard. Now, you’re lucky if you get the time of day.
What happened to make each other happy… and communicating your wants and needs… and sex??
Marital troubles disrupt your whole life.
Do you feel isolated, anxious, or depressed?
There’s a pit at the bottom of your stomach. Lately, you feel in despair, and your marriage is not what it used to be. You are not connecting in many ways that have caused you to feel alone, resentful, and sad. Some days, the tension you feel is too much, and your heart rate increases. You feel dizzy and nauseous.
Are you sad, lonely, or resentful?
You walk around with a cloud over your head that doesn’t seem to go away. It’s difficult to feel excited or happy about anything. You don’t feel like yourself anymore. There’s a heavy burden inside you and resentment that keeps growing. You feel like you are just existing in your life and not living it.
Have your marital goals gone unmet?
You had visions and goals that you discussed and agreed to meet – or did you? It’s depressing having thoughts, feelings, ideas about how you wanted your marriage to look, and this is not it! You feel unfulfilled and maybe cheated that what you thought would be is not. You end up feeling frustrated, hurt, and confused.
What happened to the promises you made to each other to change?
When promises are broken, it chips away at the marital trust. You get your hopes that this time the promises will be kept only to be let down again. This is hurtful. The trust keeps breaking down, and You are left feeling unloved and unimportant – as if you are not worth the effort… OUCH!
We used to have a great sex life.
Not knowing what has caused your sex life to deteriorate or how to get it back on track leaves one or both of you feeling frustrated and stuck. You don’t feel desired or wanted, which hurts at your core. What was once an area of pleasure, desire, and fun is now a source of contention, anger, and anxiety.
What happened to the spark in our relationship?
The fun, the excitement, the intensity, and the passion – it was great! Now, it’s monotonous. You do the same thing most days and nights. Same activities and restaurants, stay home, binge-watch a show, and don’t make many plans with friends – seems dull. You feel uninspired, tired, and dissatisfied. It’s hard to find that spark and excitement you once had.
Are you convinced that there’s no way through this?
If you are, that’s understandable.
After so much conflict and turmoil, it’s difficult to imagine. And yet, there is a way! Marital therapy can help.
You will learn new skills and techniques that will help turn your marriage around.
Resolving conflict effectively…
Often, you’re not fighting fair, and someone, or both, gets hurt. Your marriage becomes more damaged. Arguments are more about past unresolved issues, and the current issue is buried underneath the past. Things are said and done that can’t be taken back. Someone is criticized, shuts down, and any healthy resolution is out the window. The resentment builds, you are more disconnected, and you find yourself walking on eggshells. The pain and anger affect your mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
Therapy is a great avenue to help you navigate the issues that conflict brings. You will have conflict in your marriage. The goal is not to rid the marriage of conflict. That’s impossible, but to help you have healthy conflict resolution! Therapy provides a safe, neutral space to effectively understand your thoughts and feelings and communicate them to your spouse so that you feel heard.
I will guide you in identifying the sources of conflict and how to stick to one argument at a time. You will learn important tools and techniques to help you mitigate unhealthy conflict. You will learn about healthy time-outs and how to apply them, fight fair, and the importance of active listening. I’ll also show you how to communicate your thoughts and feelings without blaming your partner, learning about the best times to talk and what you can do with your feelings until your spouse is ready to talk. When you learn to work against the problem and not each other, you will feel more harmonious, more connected, and equally valued!
Appreciating each other’s communication styles…
We spend more time brushing our teeth, watching a show, reading the newspaper than we do discussing our marriage! Crazy, but true.
Communication is a cornerstone for a happy marriage. When we don’t have good communication, it affects other areas of our marriage. Having different communication styles is normal; however, sometimes it’s difficult for couples to accept their spouse’s style as valid, and problems ensue. One may have learned it’s ok to walk away when feeling emotionally overwhelmed, and their partner may have learned to stay, stick it out, and work through it if you love the person. You can see how these styles are vastly different and create problems. Sometimes we don’t really understand our own style. We are just using what we learned from our family of origin.
Learning to communicate effectively will be one of the main goals of therapy. Listening to how you communicate will help me ascertain your styles and where the blockages lie.
Using tools and proven techniques, I will guide you toward a better marital communication pattern. You will learn about active listening and how you respond to your spouse, stay focused, and communicate so you are heard and validated. You’ll also learn to communicate from an “I” position rather than a “you” position, which can sound blaming.
We’ll examine communicating through body language, agreeing on times to talk, and learning to self-soothe when communication goes awry and when your spouse is not in a good place to talk. We’ll work on how to better understand where your spouse is coming from, how to agree to disagree effectively, how to use healthy time-outs, learn what your and your spouse’s triggers are, and more.
You will complete exercises outside the office and sometimes in the room, such as listening and feedback exercises, communicating wants and needs outside the office, addressing your partner after they share their feelings, and more.
Having healthy communication will lead to a happier, more satisfied, and stronger marriage. You will see improvements in other areas in your marriage and maybe for the first time in a while. You will feel more like a team.
Valuing your spouse for who they are…
Often, we feel taken for granted. The one who makes money doesn’t feel appreciated for all the hard work they do to support the family. The one who raises the kids and works often feels like they are not appreciated for all they do. This builds resentment – you argue and snap more at each other, and your intimate life is not what it used to be.
You do things for your spouse to show appreciation, and they don’t get it or seem to care, so you stop. Sometimes you stop because they don’t do anything for you. The truth is, every person likes to receive appreciation differently. What works for one does not necessarily work for the other. Working on prioritizing your marriage so that you both feel important and valued and discussing what that looks like will be one of the first steps you take.
You will have a safe space to share what makes you feel valued and appreciated so that you are heard and validated. I will encourage you to share with your spouse what you would like more or less of, remembering to be kind to each other and thank each other when you feel appreciated. We’ll also examine what hinders how you value your spouse and more. We will discuss what quality time together looks like and how to achieve it. You will have a marriage that feels loving and kind. Appreciation creates connectedness and emotional intimacy.
Expressing your thoughts and feelings…
Like communication styles, expressing thoughts and feelings is learned. We learn if it is safe to express or not, how we express or don’t, and will you be heard if you express or not. Sometimes what you want to say doesn’t come out right, so you don’t try.
Expressing your feelings takes emotional risks and can leave you feeling vulnerable and exposed. This can be a difficult step to take when you may not feel safe expressing them. We will talk about what stops you from expressing your thoughts and feelings and what you think can help you. We will work on practicing accessing your feelings and expressing them. We’ll also look at understanding your feelings and your thoughts as they are often confused.
We will work on healthy ways to express your thoughts and feelings without judgment, criticism, or blame. We will discuss your concerns and fears of expressing yourself on topics that may impact your marriage, as often people fear being rejected or abandoned.
Expressing what’s in your heart will help you create closeness in your marriage.
Working through betrayal…
Your marital foundation has been shaken. You had trust in your spouse and in your marriage that now waivers. Your trust and confidence have been violated due to a betrayal, and you wonder if you are good enough. It affects all aspects of your marriage, and your connection, intimacy, and trust are damaged.
We will look at what broke the trust and why it happened with patience and sensitivity. With my help, you will process how you both feel about the betrayal and share those feelings: anger, devastation, confusion, to name a few. You will have a safe space to discuss and decide if you will work through the betrayal to save the marriage, either while staying together, separating, or ending the marriage. Our therapeutic goals will depend on your decision.
Betrayal is one of the more destructive actions you may face in your marriage, but it also does not mean it is the end of your marriage! With my guidance, we’ll address patience, forgiveness, processing, and understanding your and your spouse’s thoughts and feelings, work on what doesn’t help and replace those actions with what will help. I may also suggest individual work if needed. We’ll open the door to honest and open communication, clarity, and truthfulness around the betrayal, boundaries, and expectations.
I know it is difficult to envision that right now, and I will help you find your way through the pain to build a trusting, stronger, and more compassionate marriage.
This is the chicken or egg thing. Often people don’t know exactly what has caused the downfall of their intimate life. And sometimes they do know. It could’ve been issues in the marriage that caused a ripple in your intimate life, or the ripples in your intimate life are creating issues in the marriage. Either way, you have intimacy issues that need to be restored.
We will discuss what broke the intimacy and how it looked before it broke. You will share with each other your ideas of what worked for each of you and what didn’t work. We will assess trust and safety in the marriage and see if this was compromised.
You will be provided tools and techniques to help you get back to the intimate life you once enjoyed. I will suggest exercises in session and out of session, including writing what you want more or less of and discussing this with your spouse, learning to ask for what you want and need, and revisiting boundaries and expectations.
You have big decisions ahead of you.
Right now, you’re probably in “no man’s land,” torn between two worlds: one in which you stay in the marriage and the other where you break out on your own.
It’s heartbreaking to be so torn and in a state of limbo in your marriage. Not connecting, no intimacy or sex, you hardly speak to each other or engage in any activities, and tension is high. You don’t make the time of day for one another, and you don’t care to listen to each other’s stories anymore.
Now you need to make some hard choices – stay in the marriage or leave it. As painful as this is, coming to therapy can help. Most people think they don’t need to go to therapy if they end their marriage. Therapy can help save a marriage or help you better end a marriage.
I can help you process your feelings about your marriage, where you are, your options, and your future. I will ask you to share with me what broke your marriage. We will look at what can be fixed in your marriage and what may be beyond repair. We will discuss the desire and commitment to make your marriage work and assess if that is sufficient for you both. If there are children involved, we will discuss how that plays into your decision and what that looks like.
You will be asked to be sensitive as your spouse shares thoughts and feelings, encouraged to listen to each other, and understand and validate your partner. I’ll provide the space to share your resentments and your sadness.
This is not easy! You will have difficult and painful discussions about staying married, divorcing, or separating. And I will help guide you. We will examine your marital options and process your thoughts and feelings around them. Remember: nothing is set in stone! We can always revisit a different option should that be something you both want.
I will create a safe and sensitive space for you both to give you the opportunity you need to take the next step with courage and grace. This can be the beginning of a stronger and more satisfying life.
It’s time to get back to a happy place.
The four steps for a BETTER marriage…
Step 1: Completed. Congratulations, you are here! You know you need help, and that has led you here. Keep going….
Step 2: Reach out NOW. Call: (310) 281-7113 or email me. Let’s talk for a few minutes. I would like to hear how I can help. This is also a good time for you to ask me any therapeutic questions you have so that you feel as comfortable as possible coming to see me and sharing your personal and painful story
Step 3: Make an appointment. We will schedule a session either in person or via telehealth on a day and time that works for you.
Step 4: Come in for your first session. Your healing journey begins!
Therapy will help you get a hold of your life. And I will help guide you there.