Jonathan Zalesne, Couples and Marriage Counseling
Does it feel like the love and deep connection that once defined your relationship has given way to anger, blame, hurt, and painful conflict? Perhaps you have been fighting too much or, alternatively, not communicating at all. Are you afraid that your partner no longer loves you, is not concerned with your feelings or needs, or would rather being doing anything other than spending time with you? Have you and your partner struggled with sex or other intimate and physical aspects of your relationship? Has the trust in your relationship been threatened or broken by an affair or an addiction? Maybe a significant life transition – such as a new baby, a move or a career change – has added stress to your increasingly fragile connection. Are you longing to reconnect, but feel that your attempts to somehow get spun into arguments, leaving you feeling more lonely, sad and separate from your partner?
Relationships can be hard work, and maintaining them long-term – even those with the strongest of foundations – can sometimes feel like an overwhelming load that you may not be sure that you still want to carry. Life brings unexpected twists and turns that can be tricky to navigate both on your own and with your partner. Children are born, parents die, people move, careers shift. All of these life events can significantly impact your intimate relationship.
Negative cycles and patterns develop, fears arise, and connections get stretched thin. And, in the throws of kids and work, it is not unusual for intimacy to gradually slip away. You may wake up one day and realize that it no longer feels like you know the person you married. You may wonder when it was that you last made love, shared an intimate moment, or even made a decision without a fight. Somewhere, somehow, your partner became your opponent – or worse – a stranger.