Oakland, MI Couples Therapy—Establishing a Happy Relationship with the Help of a Couples Therapist
In romantic comedies and princess movies, love is easy. Girl and boy meet. They are swept off their feet. They might face a few obstacles like crazy in-laws or jobs in different cities or an evil sorceress, but within 2 short hours, they are together forever. If only real-life were so simple. Anyone in a committed relationship knows that being a couple is much harder than Hollywood or Disney have displayed. The truth is that real-life couples do not always have their happily-ever-after. In fact, being annoyed or frustrated or overwhelmed within a relationship is normal. Every couples goes through difficult phases. It is common. There are no fairy God-mothers to save a couple, but many couples are getting the help they need through couples counseling.
Couples therapy does not offer a magic formula for happiness, but counselors are often relationship experts who can help partners work together in a healthier, happier way. Many of the problems that couples face are typical relationship challenges, and they have solutions.
“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
The therapists and counselors at Thriveworks Oakland offer couples therapy, and they have helped many partners establish a better relationship. When partners are willing to change, they can often ease the tension in their relationship and relate to each other on a deeper level.
What Does A Happy Partnership Look Like?
Movies and TV can set unrealistic expectations for what a happy relationship looks like. For real-life couples, establishing a healthy connection requires a lot of time and effort. What does that time and effort look like practically? Here are a few ways that happy, healthy couples relate to each other:
1) Secrets are not a part of the relationship. Instead, each partner is free to be themselves fully: When couples keep secrets, they are hiding from each other. They may be hiding a mistake or a character flaw or a weakness or any number of things. It is natural to want to hide, but partners know each other fully—in their strengths and weaknesses, in their successes and failures. Healthy, happy couples know each other fully without fear or shame. Their relationship is built, not on perfection, but on acceptance and love. The courage to be vulnerable with one another help a couple increase their intimacy.
2) Each partner maintains their unique individuality within the partnership: When individuals form a committed relationship, that relationship should not erase their unique needs, personality, interests, and responsibilities. Each partner should maintain their own thoughts, feelings, choices, and actions. Self-care and personal growth should still be important to each partner. Being a couple does not minimize being a responsible, capable individual.
3) Partners respect each other’s differences: By the very fact that a couple is made of two distinct individuals, there will be difference and disagreements within a relationship. This is normal. A republican can be in a relationship with a Democrat. A Catholic can be in a relationship with a Protestant. A Chicago Cubs fan can be in a relationship with a St. Louis Cardinals fan. The key is respecting each other’s freedom to be different. When partners refuse to shame, mock, or put each other down for being different, they can use their differences as opportunities to love each other more.
4) They prioritize their time together: Ok, ok, you may be thinking, “of course!” But think about how modern life works. Calendars fill up. Busy is the new normal. If couples do not prioritize their time together, they drift apart. Happy couples are often willing to tell other people “no” so that they can say “yes” to more time with their partner. Happy, healthy couples want to be together, and they adjust their lives so that they can be together.
5) They publicly and privately support each other: Healthy couples are also allies. They have each other’s best interest in mind, and they support each other. Partners do not let other people speak poorly about each other. Instead, they know each other’s goals and dreams, and they do what they can to help each other accomplish those goals.
6) They are willing to make sacrifices: The idea that healthy couples share a 50-50 workload is common but false. The reality is that healthy couples help each other and do not keep score. Both partners sacrifice. Both partners receive. Sometimes, one may receive more than the other, and at other times, the dynamic can reference. Happy couples give to one another without keeping track.
Scheduling an Appointment for Couples Therapy at Thriveworks Oakland Counseling
If you and your partner are going through a harder season, know that every couple does. Many go to couples therapy to get their relationship back on track. There is no guarantee, but skilled therapists can often help partners find a way forward, whatever that may mean for them. Thriveworks Oakland Counseling is ready to help. We have appointments for couples counseling available. When you contact our office, know that you and your partner may be meeting with your therapist the following day. We also offer weekend and evening sessions, and we accept many forms of insurance. Call today for your appointment.