Are Communication Issues With Your Partner Making You Feel Invalidated?
Have you and your partner been struggling to communicate lately? Do you find yourself worrying about the stability of your relationship, wondering if things will ever get better? You may talk frequently with your partner, but don’t feel as if you’re actually being heard. Or maybe you or your partner has begun avoiding difficult conversations out of fear it will trigger an argument, and the increased distance has left you feeling lonely and invalidated.
Things didn’t used to be like this—you used to connect on such a deep level. But lately, you’ve felt trapped in a cycle of negativity: arguing, not being able to agree on anything, and wanting different things. Your words and actions are constantly misunderstood, causing you to become defensive or withdraw from your partner. At the same time, you may struggle to give them the benefit of the doubt, resulting in more arguments or disagreements. On a good day, the conversations just feel shallow and superficial, almost like you’re roommates instead of romantic partners sharing a home. As the conflict or distance in your relationship has grown, you may have begun to wonder if you will ever feel loved again.
Do you wish there was a way to restore the intimacy and communication in your relationship? Are you ready to work with someone who can help you and your partner strengthen your bond and get back to a place where you both feel heard, seen, and loved?
Good Communication Skills Do Not Come Naturally To Most Of Us
When you’ve been with someone for a long time, it’s not uncommon to experience communication issues. This may sound strange. Shouldn’t you be able to practically read each other’s minds by now?
People grow and change over time, and we don’t always know how to communicate our needs to those we love the most—especially in moments of emotional vulnerability. Instead, we tend to express our hurt or anger in the heat of the moment, rather than taking the time to regulate ourselves and proceed in a way that our partner would be more receptive to. Consequently, many couples end up focusing their frustrations and criticisms on what their partner did wrong, rather than expressing what it is they actually want or need from one another.
We are all yearning for the same thing: a deep, loving connection. But many of us were never taught how to be in a serious relationship. Instead, we learned through our past experiences and relationships, particularly those we observed at a young age. And these early experiences continue to inform our expectations and behavior in our adult lives. For example, if your parents were often unavailable as a child, you may have grown up avoiding close, emotional connections. And while that emotional distance helped protect you as a child, it could be making you less accessible in your current relationship.
Whether you are looking for help resolving conflict in a long-term relationship, or you wish to grow stronger through premarital counseling, you both want to feel heard without being judged or having your needs invalidated. Even if you disagree on the desired outcome of a certain situation, you can accomplish so much more by listening to each other and understanding where you’re both coming from. You just need to learn how to do it.
Unfortunately, many couples wait until they are on the verge of a separation or divorce to seek help. And the longer you wait, the more ingrained your patterns of miscommunication will become.
Couples Therapy Can Improve Communication And Restore Intimacy
You may feel you have a long road ahead before your relationship is on stable ground again. And you might not know where to begin once you step into the therapy session. That’s ok. By visiting this page and considering couples counseling together, you are taking the first step toward healing.
Through couples counseling, you can expect to better understand yourself, your partner, and any emotional triggers contributing to your ongoing disagreements. You can also learn to recognize the negative cycle that has kept you feeling stuck. And when you know what is contributing to conflict in your relationship, you can learn how to work through it. You and your partner can foster effective communication and create new experiences that help strengthen your bond.
As a couples therapist, I provide a safe, compassionate environment. I strive to fully understand and appreciate the relationship as well as each partner’s individual experiences. Rather than trying to fit your relationship into some predefined idea, I tailor my approach to your unique strengths and needs by drawing from a range of approaches proven to be effective in helping couples work through issues, improve communication, and foster greater emotional and physical intimacy.
By incorporating Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples, I can help you and your partner understand the sources of your conflict—like emotional insecurity or physical distance. When you recognize the factors contributing to miscommunication in the relationship, you can learn to discuss your wants and needs in a language that leaves you both feeling heard and valued. And with this new understanding, you can learn how to re-connect from a more authentic and loving place.
I use mindfulness techniques to help each partner slow down, learn to self-regulate, and speak from a more conscious place. And, I approach our work together from a psychodynamic lens to foster understanding of how past experiences influence the present. Sometimes, we are triggered into “fight or flight” mode because the current situation pulls on us in some mysterious way.
I have been helping couples improve their connection and strengthen their relationship since 2011. And I have seen that no matter how difficult things may seem right now, change and healing are possible when you are both willing to work together. The first step is showing up.
You May Have Some Concerns About Couples Therapy…
It feels too vulnerable to share our issues with a stranger. I’m afraid of feeling judged.
It’s natural to turn to family and friends when we are in need, and it can seem counterintuitive to share your deepest fears and vulnerabilities with someone you don’t know. The fact is, however, that working with a couples therapist who doesn’t know you or your partner outside of sessions can actually be more beneficial. Seeing your situation from this impartial point of view guarantees that I am unbiased and not in any one person’s favor over the other. And because I have worked with and helped many couples over the years, I’ve seen and heard it all. I know that we all struggle and need help sometimes, and I hold no judgment.
I don’t want to be blamed for my relationship problems.
I am not here to blame anyone. Blame in a relationship simply isn’t effective in fostering change and growth. Both partners’ experiences and perspectives are important and valid. Conflict in relationships often stems from one or both partners feeling unheard or attacked. By taking the time to understand one another’s perspective in a compassionate setting, you can break free from the cycle of anger and blame, and instead focus on how you want to grow together.
I feel nervous about having difficult conversations with my partner.
It can be uncomfortable or scary to discuss difficult topics, especially when you know that potentially painful feelings may surface. But learning how to share your needs and work through disagreements is necessary to have a healthy, open, loving, and connected relationship. When you are able to show your vulnerability and have your needs accepted and acknowledged by your partner, you give your relationship a clear path to healing.
Restore Your Relationship And Improve Communication With Couples Therapy
If you are ready to work with a couples therapist, I invite you to call email me or call 510-761-8052 to set up a free 20-minute consultation to see if we are a good fit for working together. I look forward to hearing from you.