Marriage Counseling and Couples Therapy

Remember when you were so connected?

The two of you were joined at the hip, inseparable. You loved each other so much. He was the most important person in your life. She was the one who really got you. Your hopes and dreams for life and for your relationship were sky high, like nothing could ever touch or change this great feeling you had. You had found your soul mate.

And yet, now you’re wondering what happened. How did we get here? Things used to be so great. What happened to that couple we used to be? Where did that love, support, and connection go?

As we get older, we learn that life gets increasingly more complicated.

We have the job, the kids, the mortgage…so many obligations and expectations. We become so busy and stressed that it is easy to feel like we don’t have anything left to give when we get home at the end of the day. We try to take care of ourselves, but we end up feeling increasingly alone in our relationship. We stop prioritizing our partner and our relationship. And so there’s a distance or a disconnection that can feel so isolating. We wonder how we could have drifted apart, and we long for the connection we used to have. We become roommates rather than soulmates.

marriage counseling couples therapy

Conversely we may find that we are dealing with a lot of conflict; there’s arguing and endless battles. No matter how hard you try, you can’t get through to your partner and can’t get on the same page. You think, Here we go again. It’s the same cyclical pattern. Someone starts up, and someone walks away or shuts down. You can’t ever get anywhere. And then it happens again and again. The same repetitive argument. You feel stuck and of course want it to end. It’s frustrating, exhausting, and overwhelming. You’re tired of being unheard, blamed or misunderstood.

It could also be that in your relationship, one person seems to hold all the power. To keep the peace, you have to give in, let go of what you want. You feel unheard, not listened to, taken for granted. And the more you give in, the more you feel like you are losing parts of yourself. Until you become invisible and depressed. You don’t feel good about yourself anymore and wonder if the relationship has something to do with it.

Relationships are enormously complicated and therefore confusing.

When you’re in a painful relationship, it can be very hard to think straight, to see clearly what’s going on, to know what your part in the difficulty is and what part belongs to your partner. Couples counseling can help enormously. We can help you untangle the issues that have become so complicated so you can see things clearly again. Couples counseling can help you and your partner create the change in your relationship that you need, to learn to communicate effectively and feel emotionally connected again.

The fact is, communication is a learned skill. In marriage counseling or couples therapy you can learn to communicate in ways that will increase the likelihood that you can be heard, and therefore reconnect with your partner, so you can move forward together. As one, like you used to be.

marriage counseling couples therapy

Couples counseling and marriage therapy can help you :

  • Learn to communicate more effectively
  • Be more intentional about your relationship
  • Strengthen your ability to get your emotional needs met
  • Improve intimacy and your sexual relationship; regain that spark you used to have
  • Learn that no one person is to blame for the problems in your relationship, that both perspectives are important
  • Understand your partner’s perspective
  • Be more understood by your partner
  • Understand the repetitive cyclical patterns you fall into and how to short circuit those so you can be heard and understood
  • Increase trust
  • Move forward with shared goals and a shared vision for what your relationship should be

At Life Counseling Institute, we use the form of couples counseling and marriage therapy that has shown to be most effective in improving relationships, emotion-focused therapy (EFT). EFT focuses on helping the couple understand the cyclical patterns they get into in an attempt to get their primary emotional needs met and learn more effective ways to do so. Learn more about emotion focused therapy here.

What is the right time to begin couples therapy?

Usually, now. Sooner is better than later. Ask any couples therapist, and they will tell you that couples tend to wait way too long to seek couples counseling. Couples that come in sooner tend to have an easier time restoring their relationship to where they’d like it to be.

It’s helpful to view marriage counseling not as a last resort but as a proactive, preventative step you can take to short circuit any budding issues that you may be noticing, before patterns become ingrained and more difficult to change. It’s your marriage, it’s your family, and why wouldn’t you want to make that your first priority?

What if my spouse or partner won’t come?

If you are concerned about your relationship but your spouse or partner refuses to come to counseling, we strongly encourage you to come on your own. The fact of the matter is that when one person initiates change, that can greatly influence the dynamics in the relationship itself. Learn more about “couples counseling for one” here.

Can you really help us if the problem is just distance or lack of connection? You know, the roommate thing?

Yes, we can help restore connection and intimacy in couples who feel disconnection or distance is the main issue. Learn more here.

Can you help us reduce conflict? All we do is fight.

Yes, we can help high conflict couples learn new ways to communicate that will decrease the amount of arguing and restore effective communication. Learn more here.

What if someone has had an affair?

We can help you if one or both partners has had an affair. It’s more common than you may think. You can learn to understand the factors that led to the affair, reduce blame, and restore trust. Learn more here.

Perhaps you’re unsure if couples counseling can really do all of these things. We invite you to come in for a session to give it a try and learn more about it. We believe that in a safe space and with the assistance of a caring and competent professional, your relationship can be stronger than you ever imagined it could be.

At Life Counseling Institute, our marriage counselors are highly trained in the most effective, scientifically supported forms of marriage counseling and couples counseling.

Please call us at (630) 269-2886 or email us to get started. With offices in both Willowbrook and Park Ridge, it’s likely you can reach us easily from the city or suburbs.