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Holiday heartache?

This time of year can be tough. Never mind all the “normal reasons” – year end stuff at work, the stress of travel or shopping – this time of year can also mean you are struggling with your spouse or partner. This year may have been really hard on your relationship, due to the “I” word (inflation), or job changes/losses, or other family struggles. For whatever reason, the fall and holiday season tends to see a bit of an increase in relationship endings. Maybe you just realized you can’t do another Christmas with him, or her family. Or you two just don’t handle stress well at all together. Maybe it’s more related to mood, with colder, shorter days. Whatever it is, you just aren’t communicating well, if at all. You might not feel like you have a lot of extra energy to put into the relationship. But you don’t want to let it go, either. Couples therapy can be a great investment, even in this busy, stressful season.

What couples therapy isn’t

Couples therapy isn’t a magic bullet. There is no guarantee that your relationship will surviveButting heads with your partner? Whole and Holy offers couples therapy. or thrive. Things may have progressed so far down Frustration Drive that it’s especially challenging to get out of that negative mindset and see the good. It isn’t just venting about your partner, or “fixing” them. It takes some hard work from both partners. One of my standard sayings is, “You are 100% responsible for your 50% of the relationship.” And it takes some time. Most couples enter therapy after having dealt with their issues for years. Those patterns won’t change in two sessions.  

What couples therapy can do

  • A therapist who works with couples does a lot more than help you improve your communication. There are many reasons your communication isn’t working, and it rarely has much to do with what you are saying. Your therapist can help you discover the unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaviors that are getting in the way of your connection.
  • Therapy provides more objective space in which to discuss your relational “hot topics,” those things you and your partner never seem to have a calm talk about. Your therapist can help you see each other’s perspective in a new way and learn how to deal with the anxiety or anger that comes up when talking about topics that carry a lot of emotion.
  • Couples therapy can help you work toward rebuilding broken trust. In fact, just agreeing to therapy can be one big step in that direction after a breach.
The benefits often go further than just your relationship. Learning how to better communicate with your partner can help you communicate better in your social groups or at work. You may learn about some boundaries that need to be set, and how to deal more effectively with conflict. It may have taken quite a while to get to the point where you feel therapy is your best option. I hope it isn’t your last option – the worse things feel going in, the harder you have to work to Couples therapy at Whole and Holy can make your holidays a little brighter.get back on track. But it can still work! As I said above, what took years to break down isn’t going to be rebuilt in a couple of weeks. However, you can start to see changes in just a session or two with the right therapist. Don’t think you’re the only ones, or that there’s something worse about your relationship than others. Many couples need a little extra support this time of year. If that’s you, please call or message us. We have openings now and would love to help.