Marriage Therapy Couples Counseling
Romantic Partnership & Marriage Breakdown
© 2023 Richard Chandler, MA, LPC, Masters in Psychotherapy, Licensed Professional Counselor
Communication breakdowns between engaged and committed romantic partners may lead to troubled and failing marriages and committed partnerships. You may be experiencing signs of a romantic relationship breakdown when in times of high conflict or not communicating with your partner.
Too often, couples’ roles as parents have taken over to such a large extent that they have abandoned what got them together in the first place – their role as lovers, romantic and sexual partners.
A Marriage of Conflict, Miscommunication or Low Intimacy?
Too little romance in your relationship often leads to less intimacy and sexual time together, leading to the risk of infidelity and meeting personal and romantic needs in ways that endanger the marriage or committed love partnership.
Often, drifting apart includes:
- inappropriate texting, chatting or instant messaging to people outside of the marriage
- overuse of pornography by one or both partners.
Signs Your Marriage Could Be On Life Support
Whether infidelity in some form has or has not yet happened, signs that your romantic relationship is breaking down include:
A Good Deal of Criticism In Your Marriage
Criticism can damage a relationship when it becomes excessive or overly negative. In marriage therapy, couples can work on identifying when criticism is constructive versus when it is destructive. Constructive criticism is specific, focused on behavior, and aims to find a solution. On the other hand, destructive criticism is often vague, generalizing, and focused on the person rather than the behavior. Couples can learn to express their concerns and frustrations constructively in therapy sessions.
Name-calling Between Marriage Partners
Name-calling can be a form of verbal abuse and is damaging to a relationship. It can involve using derogatory terms or labels to describe the other person. In marriage therapy, couples can learn to express their frustrations and concerns more constructively and avoid using hurtful language.
Contempt in your Relationship, as seen with 'Eye-Rolling'
Contempt can be shown in many ways, including eye-rolling, sarcasm, and belittling. It involves an attitude of disrespect or disdain for the other person. In marriage therapy, couples can learn to recognize when contempt is present and how to address underlying issues. They can also learn to communicate more positively and respectfully.
Stonewalling, also known as 'Silent Treatment'
Stonewalling involves shutting down emotionally and refusing to communicate with the other person. It can be a form of passive-aggressive behavior and can damage a relationship. In marriage therapy, couples can learn to recognize when stonewalling occurs and how to address underlying issues. They can also learn to communicate more openly and constructively.
Hurtful Arguing Between Partners
During marriage therapy, it’s important to recognize the difference between healthy disagreements and hurtful arguing. Hurtful arguing can involve shouting, interrupting, and using disrespectful language. It can also involve bringing up past issues or making personal attacks. In therapy sessions, couples can learn to communicate more effectively by listening to each other and constructively expressing their thoughts and feelings.
Sarcasm Becomes Prevalent In Your Relationship
Sarcasm can be a way to deflect or avoid real issues in a relationship. It can also be used as a way to criticize or belittle the other person. In marriage therapy, couples can learn to recognize when sarcasm is used as a defense mechanism and how to address underlying issues more directly. They can also learn to communicate in a more positive and supportive way.
Marriage Partners Belittling Each Other
Belittling can involve talking down to the other person or making them feel small or insignificant. It can be a form of emotional abuse and may be extremely damaging to a relationship. In marriage therapy, couples can work on building up each other’s self-esteem and learning to communicate in a more respectful and supportive way.
An Increase in Arguing in Your Relationship
An increase in arguing can signify underlying issues in a relationship. In marriage therapy, couples can work on identifying the root causes of their disagreements and finding ways to address them more effectively. They can also learn to communicate more constructively and positively.
Consider Myers-Briggs® for Couples to improve communication
Many of the Central Minnesota couples that I have worked over the years have used the standard version or the preferred, more sophisticated version of the Myers-Briggs® to better understand their spouse and to be better understood themselves.
Myers-Briggs® "Psychological Personality Type" assessments have helped many of my engaged, married, and committed couples to understand each other. A great many Central Minnesota couples have used this assessment to improve their relationship communication.
"We were very happy with the service. Richard was able to help us understand, put things into perspective, and set up boundaries that will help us grow as a couple and blended family. Thank you."
-Google Business Review
5 Signs You Should Consider Marriage Counseling:
- One or both unhappy partners will go passive, refusing to engage, including the hurtful "silent treatment."
- Parenting disagreements that never seem to get solved are commonplace.
- Lack of cooperation with each other, or with children
- Your relationship is no longer a source of emotional support or understanding.
- Sexual connection and frequency of intimate time together has stalled.
The 5 Best Reasons to Begin Marriage Counseling Now
- The simple act of committing to marriage therapy and showing up for your online or by phone sessions shows you and your partner that you both are willing to take steps to make things better. The act of showing up for couples counseling proves that you care about each other and your marriage
- With your first session, you and your husband or wife will learn insights and communications tools to begin mending your relationship. A very helpful tool is to understand each others' psychological personality type with Myers-Briggs®. To learn about Myers-Briggs® for couples, please click the link.
- You will grow personally, as well as a couple. For your relationship to get better, you and your partner must do things differently. It makes sense to take a hard look at your thinking and behavior and not just blame your partner
- In the first session, I ask my online or by phone couples to promise each other that there will be no sudden exits. If one of you decides that you want out of the relationship, you will be encouraged to do so only after thoughtful and deliberate consideration rather than as a result of an emotional blowup. With this commitment to each other, both of you can relax more into the process of trying out the many new ways of relating that you will learn in marriage therapy
- You have the opportunity to lessen the intensity of heartbreak and pain that you and your mate are presently experiencing.