Couples Counseling in Concord, NC
Being a couple is so easy in the movies. It fairytales or romantic comedies, it seems like the hardest part of being in a relationship is finding each other. Think about When Harry Met Sally, Hitch, 10 Things I Hate about You, Sleepless in Seattle, and more. Each couple had incredible barriers keeping them from falling in love. Once they are together, they have their happily-ever-after, and the movie ends. For couples in the real world, finding each other is only the start, not the end. When partners are in a long-term relationship, they may be in love, but they may also disagree and clash and fight. It is not wrong for couples to argue—even the strongest relationships have bumpy times. In some ways, disagreeing well with a partner is a sign that a couple is strong. However, many couples do not know how to argue well, to attach the problem instead of each other. Many couples find themselves at a crossroad in their relationship and unsure about how to move forward. Many couples are also working with a couples therapist to find a way forward.
“I have my own high standards for what I want in a partner and how I want to be treated. I bring a lot to the table. I’m not talking about material things but what I have to offer as a person – love and loyalty and all the things that make a good relationship.” —Jennifer Lopez
In real life, there are no fairy-Godmothers or quick-fixes for couples who are struggling, but there is help. Couples therapy is a place where many partners are able to improve their relationship. There are no guarantees. For some partners, a better relationship means parting ways. For some couples, a better relationship means a deeper connection and moving forward as partners.
Being in a long-term, committed relationship is not easy. That is why the counselors at Thriveworks Concord offer couples therapy. It is normal to struggle. It is normal to ask for help. Thriveworks Concord has worked with many couples who are working toward a better relationship—whatever form that relationship may take.
Real-Life, Healthy Couples
Romantic comedies do not always give a realistic picture of what it is like to be a healthy couple. They may even give an unrealistic and unattainable picture of being a couple. What do real-life, healthy couples look like? Here are a few characteristics…
1) Healthy couples acknowledge and appreciate their diversity.
No two people are the same. Couples will have their unique opinions, perspectives, feelings, thoughts, preferences, likes and dislikes. Even partners who agree on many things will not agree on everything. Very often, opposites attract so partners may not agree on much at all. When couples are healthy, they welcome these differences. They handle diversity with understanding and respect. Each partner sees the other’s differences of opinion as an opportunity to grow and learn even if they do not see an issue from the same perspective. Thus, a Democrat and a Republic can be partners. A Chicago Cubs fan can fall in love with a St. Louis Cardinals fan. A Catholic and a Protestant can have a loving relationship. These differences do not put healthy couples’ relationships in jeopardy.
2) Healthy partners do not hide from each other.
Love is the foundation upon which healthy couples build their relationship. Love means people do not have to hide or keep secrets. Love means each partner is fully known in their weaknesses and strengths. When one partner makes a mistake, they check their pride, own it, and make necessary adjustments. This vulnerability allows for connection and intimacy. Posturing, denial, and secrets build walls. Healthy couples, instead, are honest about who they are.
3) Healthy couples maintain their respect, even when frustrated with each other.
There will always be an excuse to be rude or unkind or disrespectful. No partner is perfect. Even the closest couples will annoy each other from time to time. Healthy couples do not give into the temptation. They do not shame or mock or put each other down. Each partner is able to focus upon what truly matters for the relationship and let distractions go.
4) Healthy partners sacrifice for each other.
The workload in a long-term, committed relationship is not 50-50. Each partner in a healthy couple is all-in. Both partners sacrifice. Both partners receive. They both pick up slack; they both step in when needed. They rarely keep score or complain. Sacrifice comes with being in a relationship.
5) Healthy couples make time for their relationship to grow.
This may seem obvious, but sometimes, the obvious needs to be stated. Great relationships do not just happen. Healthy couples intentionally build their relationship. Everyone is busy. Calendars fill up, but healthy partners prioritize time for the relationship. They may say, “no” to opportunities in order to spend the time they need to spend working on their relationship.
Scheduling Couples Therapy at Thriveworks Concord
Think about this list and think about your own relationship for a moment. Are there areas where you and your partner could improve? If so, you are not alone. No couple is perfect. Everyone can improve. If you are thinking about reaching out for help, know that Thriveworks Concord offers couples therapy. We have appointments available. When you call our office, your first appointment may be the following day. We offer evening and weekend sessions, and we accept many forms of insurance. Call today.