In the age of mobile technology, it is more difficult than ever to disconnect from the world. Ironically, in many ways it is easier than ever to feel disconnected from your spouse or partner because of the overuse of social media. It is not uncommon for partners to sit in the same room for hours and completely ignore each other. Often, one partner will recognize that they are spending less and less time really engaged with each other. This disconnection can lead to feelings of loneliness, dissatisfaction, and fighting. If you’ve been feeling disconnected from your spouse or partner and you’re feeling alone, dissatisfied, frustrated, or insecure, it may be time to consult a professional.
Imagine feeling like your partner really understands what you’re feeling, like they more than just hear what you’re saying, but really connect with the emotions that you are trying to convey. How would your arguments change if your partner really felt where you’re coming from? What if you could have an honest conversation about difficult emotions without either partner feeling attacked? Maybe you could skip the blame game and go right into the real work of addressing what feelings need to be shared and what changes need to be made. Maybe this disconnection isn’t anyone’s fault, but it’s just the result of the habits and norms that have been developed during the course of everyday life. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to trust that your partner is always just as committed to your relationship as you are?
It is often said that relationships take work, but many couples are unaware of what that relationship work looks like. In couples therapy, I help couples identify what patterns they are experiencing in their communication with each other so that each partner can own and address their part in it. Once the couple has learned to identify their problematic communication patterns, they can practice working together to stop what they’ve been doing so they can find a new, more productive way to communicate. This new way often involves improved communication skills, but it always involves addressing the underlying emotions so that each person is able to trust that that their partner is safe, available, and committed.
Much of the work in couples therapy involves creating a “new normal” at home, which takes practice, dedication, and work. I often prescribe “homework assignments” to create opportunities to practice the skills we discuss and rehearse in each therapy session. One of the most important indicators for a successful outcome in therapy (i.e. the couple stays together and no longer experiences the problems they were having) is taking time each day to get off of the phone, tablet, or computer (or whatever is keeping you from connecting), and work on the relationship. This is the work that keeps relationships happy and stable. Are you and your partner setting aside enough time to work on your relationship?
If you feel that for some reason you and your partner just can’t get through to each other, call me today at 402-325-0117 x4, or book an appointment online. Also, check out my other blog posts to see more about the therapy I do.