Joel SherrMSW, LCSW
You would think living with someone you love would enhance your life, not create problems. Over time, however juggling marriage, kids, finances and work can foster many arguments. These arguments can occur daily and start to feel relentless.
Couples may find themselves saying things that are hurtful to one another. We can find ourselves bickering about such small things that later, we cannot recall what started our argument. Or, we don't speak to each other for hours or even days.
I can help you break these destructive patterns and replace them with healthier interactions. Looking at how each of you contributes to the problem is the first step in finding solutions.
If your partner is not yet ready to try couples therapy, I encourage you to schedule an appointment for yourself, as we often find that progress and positive results can be made without both partners present.
Cheating or being unfaithful can consist of a one-night stand or a longer entanglement. You may have discovered the infidelity from your partner's phone, computer or through a friend.
It is incredibly painful to experience betrayal. You find yourself obsessing about the past, wondering about times when he/she was not with you. You may have anxiety, sadness, and crying. It's normal to feel abnormal.
Whether you are the unfaithful or the devastated partner you shouldn't rely on your emotions to make a major decision. Reasons for staying or leaving need to be explored. If kids are involved you want to do everything you can to see if you can resurrect the relationship. I often have couples ask “Is there marriage after the affair?” Or “I always thought I would leave if my partner had an affair; now what do I do?” And “I need to figure out whether I want to stay in the relationship.”
The good news is, relationships can be rebuilt after an affair. It requires a willingness to look at what happened and why it occurred. There are steps you can take to regain what seems impossible; rebuilding trust compassion and ultimately love for each other.
The Top Three Complaints of Women
He isn't affectionate unless he wants to have sex.
Very often men feel closer when there's sex. For a woman to feel affectionate she often needs to feel emotionally close. When the emotional connection is absent sexual interest can also leave. Together we can work on ways to meet your respective needs and interests for intimacy.
He is always trying to fix my problems instead of just listening to me.
This is an occupational hazard of being male. Many women tell me they just want their partner to listen and be empathetic even if they don't agree. I work with a lot of men and help them learn how to be active listeners and empathize without feeling they have to solve their partner's problems.
He raises his voice and says mean things when angry.
Sometimes we both scream at each other and regret what we said later. The tone of voice and choice of words can create a loving relationship or a toxic one. It takes much practice but you and your partner can learn healthy ways to communicate.
The Top Three Complaints of Men
She's trying to control me.
A man's radar for being controlled is highly tuned and sometimes incorrect. In couples therapy women often say “I was just offering my opinion” or “I was only giving him a suggestion and right away he says I am trying to control him.” In therapy we work on simple phases that don't feel controlling.
We don't have enough sex.
In many situations men seem to desire sex more often than women. They feel close through sex. Guys can have an intense argument with their partner and then be ready to have sex. Many women need to feel emotionally close before they can be sexual. Couples can learn to negotiate physical needs which includes frequency of sex. This may sound awkward but is important.
She treats me like an idiot.
Do you find yourself rolling your eyes when your partner speaks; do you make fun of what he says, even in front of others?
You likely have contempt or scorn for him. This is a serious problem and needs to be explored before progress can be made.