Most partners coming to couples counseling are seeking to improve their connection, cooperation and enjoyment in the relationship. Sometimes couples therapy means addressing sexual intimacy, conflict, communication problems, old family patterns, infidelity, making or deepening a commitment, and cultural, religious or racial differences. Other common issues that a relationship therapist can help with include money management, life transitions like career changes or moving or a new baby, parenting, or extended family expectations.
Loving and fun relationships are cultivated with patience, acceptance and some humor. Being true to oneself while sustaining intimacy and partnership is challenging to most individuals. Learning how to negotiate your needs without compromising too much is not easy. Capitulating too soon usually creates resentment which leaks out later.
As an experienced couples counselor, I would ask each of you what you want to be different in your relationship and what you'd be willing to do to make that happen.
Frequently partners say, "I need to be willing to listen" or "I want to stop being so defensive." Sometimes, "I have to manage my anger or not withdraw and sulk for two days after a fight," or "I need to stop blaming my partner for all our problems."
What is important to recognize is although we are doing relationship counseling, each of you is responsible to address your own issues and unhappiness as the best way to improve your personal satisfaction and enjoyment in the relationship. And, what you might find surprising, is that if you were the only one making the shift in a given moment in the relationship, you will feel a new dynamic in the direction of your desired partnership. Probably you will notice your partner being more generous and wanting to step up as well. This is where YOU have the power to transform your partnership into greater connectedness and enjoyment.