Are you in a committed relationship? Are you engaged to be married? Are you living together or in some way considering a “next step” with your intimate partner?
Many couples feel ready to take their relationship to a new level of commitment and connection, but recognize that it also holds potential challenges. “First time” changes, such as moving in together, relocating for school or work, or planning a wedding ceremony, can bring stress and strain. Or, conversations about what each of you wants life together to look like, may have you considering issues that are difficult to navigate on your own. Remarriage brings its own set of challenges for couples: understanding how to negotiate life with an ex-partner, how to blend families, and how to raise or parent a child as a step-parent, name but a few. Defining values and negotiating differences, are part of preparing for the reality of the “next step” that you are planning to take as a couple.
The good news is that with the help of a skilled, compassionate, and experienced couples therapist, you can learn how to clearly communicate together and resolve potential roadblocks to intimacy and happiness.
Surprises On The Road Ahead
One of the questions couples often ask is, “How will we navigate the unknowns of the future?” This is where knowledge of ourselves and how we communicate our feelings, needs, and wants is of great value. When you know what is important to you, you can share this with your partner in a way where both persons feel valued and important. Understanding and empathizing with each other’s experience, is a vital communication skill that supports the couple bond. So, while you do not know exactly what lies on the road ahead, you can learn the vital skills of communication that support your relationship and your dreams and goals as a couple. Learning and practicing communication skills are an important component of Pre-Marital Counseling at the Ann Arbor Couples Clinic.
Pre-Marital Counseling at Ann Arbor Couples Clinic is also an excellent way to look more closely at the strengths and potential vulnerabilities that are present in your relationship. When you learn to solve problems by being present to your own emotions and those of your partner, you create a collaborative effort that marks enduring emotional intimacy. This intimacy gives you resilience and support in the face of the normal and inevitable life challenges.
If you would like to schedule an appointment or discuss any questions you may have about Pre-Marital Couples Counseling, please call 734-417-9522. I try to return voicemail and email within 24 hours.
It may be that when we no longer know what to do,
we have come to our real work
and that when we no longer know which way to go,
we have begun our real journey
the mind that is not baffled is not employed
the impeded stream is the one that sings
Wendell Berry, Standing By Words (1983)
Everything depends on inner change;
when this has taken place, then, and only then
does the world change.
Emotions consist of energy and a story.
If we let go of the story, only the energy
If you wait for the ideal, you’ll never start.
Always you must take what is nearest at
hand, no matter how unpromising, and
accept it as the only and therefore best
thing you can do and by sheer hard work
transform it into this thing you need.
The greatest gift a parent has to give a child-
and a lover has to give to a lover-
is emotionally attuned attention and
Susan Johnson Ph.D (Creator of “Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy”)
Do not abandon the longing that comes from the sense your life could be much more, that there is a state in which you can function on a level of inner resilience, contentment and security; where you are capable of deep feelings, of blissful pleasure; where you (can) meet life without fear because you no longer fear yourself.
Eva Pierrakos, The Pathwork Series
The more you are identified with your thinking, your likes and dislikes, judgements and interpretations, which is to say the less present you are as the watching consciousness, the stronger the emotional energy charge will be, whether you are aware of it or not. If you cannot feel your emotions, if you are cut off from them, you will eventually experience them on a physical level, as a problem or a symptom.
This being human is a guesthouse.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
Because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.