Couples counseling for older couples
Whatever your age, relationships are supposed to be fun, fulfilling, meaningful, joyful, sexy and an infinite number of other adjectives. The goal of marriage counseling is not to just lower the pain, but to increase the joy.
It is certainly true that sometimes relationships can be hard. And sometimes, they can be VERY HARD. When you're in the midst of the conflict, it can feel impossible to find a solution. But no matter how bad things are, every couple has some strengths. In couples counseling, we focus on what binds a couple together - not what's tearing them apart.
Older couples have special challenges
Whether you are in a new relationship or a long term marriage, older couples face challenges that are very different from younger couples. And that’s why older couples need couples counseling or marriage counseling that is specifically tailored to the needs of older adults.
As we age we experience transitions that can place tremendous stress on the relationship and reveal problems that have been covered over by the realities of kids and careers. The relationship then begins to fray as it adapts to to changes like:
Spending much more time together as children leave and careers wind down
One partner may become ill and the other has to take on caregive responsiibilities
Financial resources have changed
Activities that you loved to do together may no longer be a part of your life
Sex after 40 years of marriage may be very different than it was when you were in your twenties.
Any of these factors, and many others, can reduce the sense of satisfaction and joy within the relationship.
More date nights is not a solution
Date nights are great and putting more sparkle into your sex life is always an excellent idea. But, it’s not enough. You can’t build a satisfying relationship on date nights. There has to be a reason to stay together as a couple. Marriage counseling, or couples counseling, with older couples works to bring a greater sense of meaning and purpose to your relationship.
A marriage friendly approach to marriage counseling
I’ve been married over 30 years, so clearly I believe in marriage. So, if you’re committed to making your marriage work, then I’m committed to helping you make that happen. But, sometimes couples come to marriage therapy unsure of whether or not they want to remain together as a couple. In that case, my role as your therapist is to help you work through that decision process, understand what’s right for each of you, and find a way to strengthen the relationship or find a way to lovingly separate.
Sometimes, one or both partners knows that the marriage is really over, but they don’t have the strength to say it outloud. Then, my job is to help you voice your feelings and listen to what your partner has to say.
Emotionally Focused Therapy
I utilize EFT or Emotionally Focused Thearpy for Couples as my primary approach when working with couples. I like EFT because it focuses on getting couples out of that repetitive cycle of arguments and resentments. Emotionally Focused Therapy works to reconnect couples and rebuild that deep connection you had when you first came together.