Dudes and Intimacy: A Man's Guide to Building Stronger Relationships
Establishing intimacy in a relationship is a crucial component of maintaining a healthy and fulfilling partnership. Intimacy can come in...
Has your once blissful relationship devolved into petty arguments, passive aggressive silence, and a tension that you just can't seem to deal with any longer? Do you feel as if you are simply existing in your relationship instead of thriving? You started off head over heels for one another but now you can't seem to get through a conversation without fighting and rarely have sex any more.
Perhaps what worked in your relationship at one time is no longer effective as your needs have changed. Maybe you want to reconnect with your partner but aren't sure how to do it. It is likely that if you are like most couples in this or a similar situation you are overwhelmed and feeling
hopeless about your relationship.
Couples often think, "If we can just get through ___________, then everything will be good again. Unfortunately the horizon never approaches and you fall deeper into bad habits and poor communication. I understand. You want to feel important. You want to feel heard. You want to feel valuable. Most of all, you don't want to feel alone anymore. Couples counseling could be the answer you're looking for.
These issues are more common than you may realize.
I can't think of a single relationship that is unlikely to experience difficulty at some point. Many couples rely so heavily on the rush of romantic feelings at the beginning of the relationship that they are ill equipped to handle issues themselves with conflicts arise. Of course you love each other. You wouldn't be reading this right now if you didn't. But, it is possible that you, like so many other couples, don't have the skills you need to navigate conflict without personal attacks and letting hurt feelings get in the way of real and satisfying progress.
Couples experience conflict for many reasons. For some, money issues create tension in the relationship. For others, inability to communicate expectations in the bedroom can be a source of stress. Still, others may argue about parenting, in-laws, or responsibilities around the house. Perhaps issues like infidelity, pornography, or substance use has broken trust and fractured the intimacy and security that you once felt you had.
Relationship therapy can help.
Believe it or not, just about every conflict, including infidelity, can be overcome. The only way that your relationship absolutely will not improve, is if you are unwilling to work at it. Not only can you recover from the damage that may have been done to your relationship, you can find a deeper connection with your partner that you never knew possible. And, here is the really good news, couples counseling has less to do with your individual personalities and much more to do with your skill set. Clients have told me "I don't know how to fix this" when talking of their relationship and I always reply "At some point, every mechanic had no idea how to change a set of spark plugs." It is a skill, and skills can be learned.
At Mind Works Counseling, we use a collection of research proven methods to help couples reconnect. Among them is a solution-focused approach. This approach is designed to help empower you to restore trust, communication, and intimacy to your relationship. It is an approach that seeks to determine what can be done, right now, to help make your relationship more fulfilling. We have an arsenal of exercises and conversation prompts to get you used to communicating again. Most of the time we start with simple, low-stakes conversations. Once you are comfortable truly communicating and hearing one another again, it makes you more effective when you have to communicate to resolve a real problem.
What's different about couples therapy at Mind Works Counseling Services?
At Mind Works Counseling Services, we offer an approach to relationship counseling that is male friendly. This means that men do not have to worry about feeling disliked from the beginning and that we can provide insight to your relationship in a way that is designed to foster hope and healing rather than shame and blame.
We work with men to help them understand the impact of communication and emotional expression. Most of the time, a man's stoic nature comes off as if he doesn't care. We know this is rarely the case and will work with both of you to establish habits and behaviors that will help you invest into your relationship.
We also understand that men sometimes handle conflict within a relationship by getting angry, shutting down, or pushing their partner away. We strive to provide a supportive, and sometimes comical, environment to help work past this. Mental distress in men is often covert. This means that depression, fear, anxiety, and shame are often disguised as indifference or anger. Our job is to identify this and help you as a couple break down emotional barriers in a safe and judgment free environment.
I'll bet you have questions.
"I'm on board, but my partner has no interest in counseling."
This happens a lot. And, it's fine. If your partner is adamant on not going to counseling, you could come in for individual counseling. We can discuss what areas you are in control of and what you can do to help your relationship. Once you pick up a skill or two and the relationship starts to improve, even if it is just a little bit, it can have a profound impact on your outlook and happiness. Maybe your partner will notice the positive changes and decide to come share in the benefits you are experiencing.
"Counseling is expensive. I am not sure I can afford it"
Believe me. I understand. At Mind Works Counseling Services we are always aware of the time, money, and energy that you invest and we are honored that you would trust us with so much. Still, there is a cost. However, think of how expensive it would be if you don't fix your relationship. Divorce, or even separation, can be more expensive once you weigh in the cost for attorneys, division of assets, child support, and other costs. And, this is only the financial cost as a failed relationship can also affect your children and your mental health.
"What if it doesn't work?"
Relationship therapy can make a wildly positive impact on you and your partner. Of course, there are no guarantees. There are so many variables to consider when assessing the stability and survival of a relationship. I have no way of knowing, before I meet you, what damage has been done, how committed you are to saving the relationship, or the level of trust or intimacy that still exists between you both. I can promise you, that we will do whatever we can to give you the skills you need to get you and your partner back on track and on your way to the happiness you dream of together.
Feel safe and loved in your relationship again.
Our counselors care about you and your relationship. Many of us are married or in committed relationships and have experienced some of the things you are struggling with right now. We have compassion and expertise to help you and your partner discover the way to a new and better relationship.
If you have more questions, please call us at (806) 553-6068 or click here to send us an email. If you'd like to know more about setting up an appointment, click here.
Mind Works Counseling Services is a Lubbock, TX based Counseling Practice.