Help! I don’t think I’m in love with my partner/spouse anymore.
Couple’s counseling or marriage counseling helps you know what to do after the romantic rose-colored glasses come off. Falling out of love is actually a necessary stage in a relationship to strip us of our own illusions about our partner or spouse. Yet, as couple’s therapists, we know it’s terribly frightening if you are a married couple especially if you have children. During this stage for couples, when criticism, blame, or stony silence have substituted for feelings of closeness, most couples look at each other and conclude “I just married a selfish person.”
The good news is that falling out of love strips away false illusions and gives a couple an opportunity to love who their partner really is and be loved for themselves. Couple’s therapy stabilizes the difficult process and works to help you reach real love.
Typical Couple Complaints:
“I don’t feel any spark.”
“My husband doesn’t talk to me anymore.”
“My wife never wants to have sex.”
“He expects me to do all the childcare.”
“She nags about household chores and doesn’t respect my need for time to myself.”
“I wish he were more ambitious.”
“He never puts down his phone!” or “She’s on Facebook every night.”
“My partner cheated and I’ve always said I’d leave if they ever did that.”
“We bicker about nothing and everything. I can’t stand that our kids are growing up hearing this.”
What To Do
At Awakenings, our couple’s therapists have heard all these complaints and more. As experts in couple’s counseling, we organize concerns to help you really understand what is happening and how to fix the greater issues.
Both partners need connection and autonomy—basics that are difficult to balance and therefore make relationships complicated. We want talking, affection, time together and sex but we also want respect for our separate endeavors and contributions, individual interests & hobbies and time apart. Partners seem to want more of one end of this continuum than the other. Balancing these differences are the primary struggle in relationship. Consequently, marriages/partnerships progress through three predictable and perhaps necessary stages of relationship – falling in love, falling out of love, and giving real love. We must experience disillusionment in order to strip away our own idealization and see our partner more truly. Through therapy, we have seen innumerable couples enter the stage of real love and report being very happy they stayed in their marriage/partnership as the result of couple’s counseling. Call Awakenings now!
Learn more about how we help at Our Approach
We do love each other; why can’t we just solve our own problems?
Experience is a major factor. Couples have only seen up close a few relationships in adulthood and one in childhood (or a few if your parents remarried.) Couple’s counselors have seen thousands of marriages and partnership as couple’s therapists, we know that relationships follow patterns. Awakenings’s couple therapists have studied the patterns of attachment and know which are better for happiness and which ones result in divorce or dissolution. At Awakenings, our marriage counseling has saved many couples from the profound disruption of divorce.
Childhood gives couples an innate blueprint for marriage/long term relationships. Becoming conscious of relationship schemas gives you the power of choice for better ways to relate. Marriage counseling or couple’s counseling will show each partner the necessary steps to have a working, functional relationship – in practical daily living, in friendship, and in sex. Couple’s therapy alleviates the power struggle and quickly gets you connected intimately and emotionally. We coach each of you to understand your part in the difficulties.
My husband is always working and never spends time with me. He doesn’t think anything is wrong between us and won’t consider couple’s therapy. Conversely, my wife is absorbed in the children with no energy left over for time together or time in the bedroom. She is always complaining about my contribution.
You should come to couple’s therapy for an initial session by yourself! We can help you formulate a better way to approach your spouse with the idea of marriage counseling. We help you separate unrealistic expectations from realistic and rightful needs. Then, we coach you on how to request couple’s counseling without criticism and blame.
We rarely have a partner decide not to enter couple’s therapy once they see we are impartial. We know it’s never one person’s fault.
We can’t talk to each other.
Couple’s therapy starts people talking. One session a week can begin the most important conversations of your relationship. We guide, prod, safeguard and teach communication. We stop the blame-game.
Will my insurance pay for couple’s therapy?
Most of our patients receive some benefit from their insurance company. Ask your insurance carrier what benefits you have for out-of-network providers for outpatient mental or behavioral health services.
We tried marital therapy once before and my husband felt like he was ganged up on and doesn’t want to try again.
A poor therapist-client match can cause a person to lose hope about engaging in therapy, which is one of our most powerful instruments for marital change.
Our individual therapists at Awakenings will gladly spend 15 minutes by phone talking with your husband about his prior experience. It might also be good to schedule a solo initial session for him and one of our therapists, to have a new and better experience.
While therapists sometimes throw their weight against a destructive dynamic in a marriage, both partners should feel that they are treated with dignity and compassion. Sometimes therapy goes poorly because the therapist doesn’t stay neutral; other times, the personality fit isn’t comfortable.
My wife has just told me that she doesn’t feel in love with me anymore. Should I try therapy or call a lawyer?
Feelings of being in love wax and wane during a marriage. Your wife is probably feeling hopeless about those early romantic feelings coming back and scared too about what this means for the future. While we can’t say what she may want, if you want this marriage, it’s time to start fighting for it.
Disillusioned couples often find a new path to deeper understanding and stronger bonds through therapy, even in the midst of desperate times. You can often change the couple patterns, even if she does not agree to come to therapy herself.
I just found out my husband is having an affair. We have children and I’m a stay-at-home mom. I can’t believe this is happening. I want to leave him, but I feel trapped.
Sexual fidelity is a sacred bond between two people and upon first hearing that it’s been broken, you might feel like it’s the end of the world as you know it. It’s normal to be enraged, hurt and in shock.
Affairs are complicated. Most everyone has said, “I would end the marriage if my partner had an affair,” and then post-affair, feels weak for wishing that the marriage could be healed. While terribly hurtful, many marriages do survive affairs, grow, and become better once the couple understands the reasons that the affair occurred.
Getting experienced help fast is the best way to find some meaning in this crisis. Therapy will offer you both a safe place to be angry, talk about why it happened, and figure out if you want the marriage to continue. Trust is regained through intimacy rather than merely depending on future vigilance.
The children have grown up and left. I now see that our marriage is dead. I want to be with someone for the last years of my life who cares about me.
Philosopher Peter Koestenbaum says, “plan to have two marriages in every lifetime, sometimes to the same person.”
Minimally, you will want to understand the ways that you contributed to the marriage’s deadening so that you can keep from repeating the same mistakes. If we have not changed, we often find ourselves in a second marriage that mimics the first. It is difficult to even be attracted to someone more mature emotionally than ourselves and unlikely for that more evolved person to be attracted to us. Sometimes we have matured, our spouse refuses to shift, and the marriage becomes intolerable.
Whether you ought to stay married or leave a marriage is up to you, but therapy can help you clarify your thoughts in the process.