Happy CoupleThey say, “good company upon the road is the shortest cut.” We begin relationships with such hope and desire. Most relationships go through natural highs and lows. There are times when you may feel more like roommates than lovers. Typically, these are transitional periods. Unfortunately, some couples do not transition. Counseling is a logical next step in those situations.

Couple stressed out about their relationshipIn relationship counseling we can address numerous matters. Often the first thing we address is communication. Although you may suggest that arguing is communicating, itʼs clearly not effective. Most arguments are pointless, meaningless, and conducted over small matters. You can win an argument with your partner, but lose the relationship. Of course, sometimes a discussion is important and youʼre not going to always agree on everything. There is no solution to some disagreements; but, itʼs how you talk to each other that matters. Thatʼs where effective communication fits in.

Happy and ContentBelieve it or not, relationship counseling can work with only one of the partners coming to counseling. You would be surprised how much power you have to change things, especially if you think you may be in a co-dependent relationship. Co-dependency occurs when two people form a relationship with each other, because neither feels they can stand alone. Neither person feels capable or self-reliant on their own. Often one of the partners will act as a “bully” and appear self-reliant, but is actually unsure and scared. Clients I have worked with who are in co-dependent relationships often say things like, “I need him/her.” This “need” has actually morphed into a fear that if the relationship improves they may not “need” each other and the relationship may end. In counseling we will work towards independence that will result in a healthy interdependence between the couple. Creating a separate self provides a strong foundation for a healthy, mature relationship to grow.

Domestic Abuse Resources

Participation in support groups help to unlock your feelings of loneliness, shame and isolation that surround the partner of domestic violence. A support group is a safe, confidential forum in which you can speak about your experiences or just listen. The group will help you to connect with others who have experienced violence in their relationships. The group members can provide the acceptance you need to decide your next step, even if that next step involves remaining with the abuser.

The support group is a great first step to finding a happier, healthier you. You may fin individual counseling to be helpful before, after or coinciding with attending a group. Of course, some people are not comfortable in group situations; in which case, individual counseling is highly recommended.

Information about groups and other services for survivors of domestic violence are available at the following sites: