Couples Work

“Out beyond right and wrong there is a field, I’ll meet you there.”
— Rumi

PlantNo matter how well prepared we are for the challenges of relationship, some part of us always thinks it will be easier than it actually turns out to be.  Relationship challenges can be incredibly frustrating, even heartbreaking.  It can be embarrassing to recognize how different things have gone than how we thought they were supposed to be!  It can be hard to admit our own behavior, which in conflict, is often less mature than we’d like to think.  The good news is that all of these things are normal.  It’s normal to have some trouble!

Relationships are, by their nature, much more complex than we usually have been trained to think.  Two people with unique sets of values and interests are always going to face some outward pressure from life: making important decisions, dealing with children, money, housework, sex, career, addictions of all kinds.  It easily happens that some area of life gets dropped, and pressure builds up.  Couples often struggle in darkness, not having good models or practice with communication. We then attempt to resolve these problems by “going around them” in some way.  At some point it becomes clear that going around isn’t going anywhere.

How do you get through these patches (or giant areas) of adversity?   Is it possible for couples to stay together and actually resolve their differences and meet each other’s needs with satisfaction?  If you can do this, it will take your whole life up several notches!   Couples who stay together and thrive through difficult times are able to stay constructive in their dialogue, communicate deeply about what’s really important to them.  They face the disappointments associated with imperfect mates, and commit to the work of trying to meet each other’s needs.   They take conflict as an opportunity to learn about each other, rather than blaming and attacking each other.  Staying in dialogue when things are difficult requires a lot of awareness, patience, and the ability to slow down and stay constructive.

Couples therapy can help hold a container where conflict turns into mutual discovery, understanding, and healing.  Getting a truly clear picture of what the current pattern is provides a key focus in how I work with couples.  Acceptance and mutual commitment are other key pieces.  If you both want to work through it, there is a way.   I offer an introductory meeting which is free if we don’t end up working together.   If you have the desire to enhance your relationship and come out of unproductive cycles, I can help.  I offer couples work at both locations, in Boulder and Denver (Arvada).