Do you find yourself getting into fights with your spouse about the same thing over and over again? Does it seem like conflicts have become more about “stupid” things? Do you find your spouse more like a roommate and business partner responsible for helping you with the kids and the bills?
If you can relate to questions or something similar, we are here to provide support. Unresolved conflicts have a tendency to pile up and intensify over time, gradually driving a wedge between partners. Our primary objective is to guide you and your spouse through the valleys of your relationship, and help to foster a renewed sense of connection and closeness in your relationship.
Some of the issues that we help couples work through in online marriage counseling are:
Building Healthy Communication Patterns
One key barrier that we help couples work through is unhealthy communication. Unhealthy communication patterns can come from unhealthy communication styles formed over time with parents, siblings, and friends growing up.
Usually when we try to communicate in a healthy, more vulnerable way and see that it does not work, we resort to more angry or desperate attempts to be heard. This is where name calling, shutting down and walking off, and blame deflecting comes into the relationship. Specifically, there are four communication patterns found in the research that signal a strong need for change within a relationship.
In order to establish a healthy communication pattern with your partner, we focus helping you and your partner create a communication style where you both feel heard and respected. Being heard and feeling respected is the first step in moving towards healing in your relationship and resolving conflict.
How We Can Help
Another area we help couples with is developing healthy boundaries within their relationship. Sometimes conflict arises when one or both partners feel that their time, emotions, body, or goals are not respected by the other partner. One of the key factors in maintaining a lasting relationship is making sure each person knows where they end and the other person begins.
If one partner is sacrificing significantly more than the other partner, then space for resentment, shame, and exhaustion is created. This does not just affect the partner sacrificing significantly more, it also affects the other partner. By sacrificing significantly more of their time, emotional and physical energy or goals, they are enabling the other partner to rely on them and others in the same way without becoming self-sufficient.
Of course no relationship maintains equal efforts by both partners, but for one partner to sacrifice significantly more for the other over an extended period of time may prevent them from growing and flourishing as an individual.
For these reasons, and others, we work with couples to create healthy boundaries. When each partner has established healthy boundaries and they are respected, it allows them to be fully present in the relationship. This is a cornerstone of a healthy relationship and a key focus for marriage counseling.
Communicating Through Love Languages
Love languages are other key factors that our therapists take into consideration throughout the counseling process. Love languages are ways to communicate with your partner that convey how much you love and appreciate them. When partners are not communicating through the love language their partner needs, their partner can begin to feel underappreciated or worse, unloved. When this happens more conflict and barriers are created in the relationship. If this happens long enough, space can be created that leads to serious feelings of disconnectedness and indifference.
In Gary Chapman's book, he shares 5 key love languages: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. Using these love languages, and potentially others, you and your therapist will work towards finding the way that each partner receives love best. After understanding the ways in which you and your partner receive love best, you will work with your therapist to practice communicating through your partners love language.
The consequence of communicating through each others love language not only promotes a feeling of security in your relationship, it also provides “cushion” during conflict. When you get into an argument with your partner, the feeling of security developed through love language communication helps to disarm you. If you know that your partner loves and appreciates you, then the conflict you get into will less likely be interpreted as an attack or blow to your relationship.
This is one of the most important factors in developing or maintaining a thriving relationship. We work with couples to help them express their feelings towards their partner in a healthy and productive way. When conflict piles up in a relationship, and there is no way to resolve it, a lot of hurt and pain can be created on both sides. Feelings of loneliness, shame, resentment, guilt, pain, etc. can run rampant.
These feelings need to be expressed to your partner in a productive way. Once healthy communication patterns have been established, and you feel safe sharing, your partner can be receptive, understanding, and caring. When you are able to share difficult feelings, while feeling understood and loved, deep transformation takes place.
Develop Emotional Intimacy
Instilling Trust and Security
All of these factors contribute to instilling trust and security in a relationship. Not only does it make you feel like your partner wants to be in the relationship with you and you only, but it also makes you feel like they are there to catch you when you fall. Knowing that your partner is there for you makes it easier to flourish as a couple. It also allows each person to be themselves freely and openly. We all desperately want to be fully known and fully loved. The online marriage counseling process encourages this to happen.
Begin Marriage Counseling in Tulsa
If you feel like your relationship could benefit from counseling, please contact us. We are also glad to answer any questions you may have about the counseling process. If you have questions, please send us an email using the email at the bottom of the page. We want to make sure all of our clients find the right fit for them. If we are not the right fit, then we are happy to make referrals.