By the time most people find their way to a couple’s therapist, they have been having the same argument or fight for an average of 7 years. Seven years!
That’s seven years of repeating patterns that have not been effective in creating the kind of relationship that the couples wants. Often, when people show up in our offices they are feeling:
These feelings, in general, produce a tendency to shut down, defend, blame, and argue. And this, of course, is what has been happening at home for a long long time. There are a few simple steps, however, to help you move from where you are to where you want to be.
Step #1 To Change Your Relationship: Find Help
If you find yourself reading this then you likely have made some kind of commitment to yourself that something needs to change in your relationship. Congratulations! This is the first step to creating meaningful change. Realizing that something must change and then looking for help means you have already begun the process.
Step #2 To Change Your Relationship: Show Up
Make an appointment. Pick up the phone. Now is the time for action. If you were able to make the changes on your own, you probably would have by now. Don’t wait another day.
Step #3 To Change Your Relationship: Be Teachable
Relationships are NOT 50/50 deal. Relationships require two adults who each take 100% accountability for what is happening. If your relationship stinks, where are you accountable for that? What kind of stinky have you contributed? Sure, your partner has her or his role but first, start with yourself. It is paramount that you be willing to be teachable and look at your role in this dynamic.
Step #4 To Change Your Relationship: Get uncomfortable
Even more uncomfortable than maybe you are right now. Change does not happen within your own comfort zone — it happens in the narrow field outside of your comfort zone. This process will make you uncomfortable, maybe anxious, and possibly a little scared. But this means that we will be helping to move you from the “comfortable dysfunction” that has long since stopped serving you.
Step #5 To Change Your Relationship: Practice new skills
The work that happens in between therapy sessions is the real work of therapy. This is when you practice new skills, you notice your old responses and slowly (or quickly!) replace them with new and more functional responses, this is the time when you get curious about yourself and how you have come to create the relationship that is causing you such distress. When you get stuck, bring this to your next therapy session and let you counselor help coach you to get you closer to your relationship goals.
Step #6 To Change Your Relationship: Relax
This process is not about perfection. It is not about arriving at some perfect destination. It is not about achieve the oh-so-elusive “balance”. Human relationships are an unfolding process that take some time and when you are able to bring a sense of lightness and ease to the work, you are able to relax a bit which makes it feel a little bit nicer along the way.
Ready to get connected with a couples therapist who can help you? Call 720.457.3342 today or click the red button on the top of this page to schedule with one of our clinicians online now. If you have read this far, then you are ready! We look forward to meeting you!