Do You Feel Like Your Significant Other Is Just Your Roommate?
Are you having relationship or marriage problems? Do you feel like you just keep having the same fight over and over? Have you realized things about your spouse you didn’t know before? Maybe you think back to when you and your partner first met, and it’s hard to believe you’re in a relationship with the same person. You might think: this isn’t the person I married. You love each other, but you don’t feel like you’re in love anymore. You probably feel like you’re just going through the motions together.
At this point, maybe you feel like you and your partner are just roommates. It feels like your partner has lost focus, is mentally checked-out, and merely tolerates you. When they walk in the room, you freeze up—like you don’t how to express yourself to them anymore. You might think: how did we get here?
The bad news is your relationship is going through a rough patch. The good news—we can help you can find new ways to strengthen your relationship and reconcile your differences.
Every Rose Has Its Thorns; Every Relationship Has Its Road Bumps
If you spend any time on social media, you probably feel like an expert in relationship jealousy. Every day, you’re inundated with sugarcoated, mushy-gushy posts about how wonderful and perfect everyone’s relationships are. You might think: am I the only one whose relationship isn’t some magic carpet ride straight out of a Disney princess film?
The answer is no. In fact, the couples who fight the least, or face the least conflict, are often the ones who end up unhappiest. Believe it or not, there’s a dose of truth in the old saying: the couple that fights together stays together. That’s not to say fighting is good. It’s not. But healthy conflict deepens our relationships by giving us new opportunities for growth and reconciliation. The question is: are you growing through conflict or letting it drag you down?
Here at Monarch Family Counseling, our goal is to help you grow through the adversity together. We recognize, of course, that many couples may find going to therapy intimidating. You may think: if we go to marriage counseling, doesn’t that mean we’re on the brink of divorce? Well, not exactly. In fact, about 50 to 70 percent of couples report greater success in their relationship after couples counseling. Going to therapy doesn’t mean your relationship has tanked; it simply means you’re actively trying to safeguard your relationship in the years to come.
Most couples, on average, wait six years before going to couples therapy. So why not give yourself a head start? When the check engine light comes on in you car, you don’t wait until it’s on fire on the highway before getting it checked out. Why do that with your relationship?
Couples Therapy Can Help Your Relationship Thrive
Our couples counseling offers a safe space for you to explore your feelings with a third party who is strictly team-relationship. In other words, we don’t take sides; we’re on the side of the relationship. No, we’re not neutral—if one of you has a habit that’s negatively affecting the relationship, we’re not afraid to point it out. But we’re also not biased. The most important thing is helping your relationship thrive, and that’s why we’re on team-relationship. We offer counseling services to any couple—straight, gay, lesbian, trans, married, unmarried, soon to be married—you name it, we’ve got you covered.
While we strive to be as caring, nurturing, and empathetic as possible, we do take a very direct, tell-it-like-it-is approach to things. We’re frank and straightforward; we don’t like to tip-toe around tough topics. We’re supportive, but we want to challenge you, because relationships take work. Nothing you learn here is worthwhile if you don’t take what you learn home with you. We want to teach you how to listen better, how to set healthy boundaries, and how to meet the needs of your partner while still meeting your own needs.
One of our core methodologies here at Monarch is called attachment theory. Basically, this theory looks at how attachments to certain people and events in our past have shaped how we approach relationships. For instance, if you had a parent who walked out on you at a very young age, you may have a greater fear of abandonment and betrayal in intimate relationships. However unconsciously, your attachment to that memory is going to shape your romantic expectations.
That being said, we’re not going to sit there and psychoanalyze your childhood in every session. We’re more concerned with the future than the past, more interested in teaching you skills to help you now than learning about what your life was like at twelve. In order to solidify your relationship’s future, however, sometimes we have to look at the unconscious expectations and maladaptive habits you may have carried into it. This may also mean that sometimes we do process your childhood.
All of our couples therapists are rigorously trained and have the therapeutic experience needed to get your relationship back on track. We understand relationships are hard, and that’s why we’re here. It’s a cruel irony that the people who love us the most are the ones with the greatest capacity to hurt us. Relationships are messy—wonderful, beautiful, crazy, and confusing all at once. Our goal is to help you navigate the messiness.
You may have some concerns about couples therapy…
What if I don’t want to save my relationship?
Although our stance is “team-relationship,” we want to be clear about one thing: we’ll never push you to make a decision you don’t feel comfortable with. If you really, truly want to end a relationship or marriage, we will help you handle the dissolution as cleanly and healthily as possible. If you’ve tried everything, and you feel confident this is the last straw, we want to ensure you have zero regrets. We want you to feel at peace with yourself and your decision. That’s why we offer separation and divorce counseling. If you have children, of course, a huge focus of ours will be handling co-parenting in the wake of your split-up.
My partner doesn’t want to come to couples therapy.
If you’ve talked to your partner about couples counseling and they refuse to come, we’ll be more than happy to do counseling one-on-one. While meeting with a couple is ideal, you can still expect to learn all the same skills and strategies in individual sessions. What’s more, if you come alone and find it’s helping, your partner may eventually change their mind. Either way, we will make accommodations for you.
Will couples therapy make my relationship worse?
If you and your partner decided to come to couples therapy, that shows you want to get better. It shows you’re committed enough to invest time and money into strengthening your relationship. We understand, of course, that you and your partner may have disagreements about the relationship. In a therapy session, however, our focus is not on the disagreement itself—on who’s right or wrong—but on how you’re both feeling and working through it. If you have a disagreement, for instance, we want to know why you and your loved one feel differently to begin with. This is where the value of attachment theory comes in; by looking at the root causes of our behaviors, we can help you and your partner gain a better understanding of each other’s feelings.
Yes, You Really Can Fall In Love Again
We often think of love as passion and butterflies in our stomach but in the words of John Gottman, famed relationship researcher, “Happy marriages are based on a deep friendship, mutual respect, and enjoyment of each others’ company.” At Monarch Family Counseling, we’re committed to getting you there.
We offer counseling services in Herriman and Lehi, Utah. At the moment, due to COVID-19, we are doing therapy both online and in-person (when the pandemic ends, we plan to switch to in-person full-time). We will do whichever option suits you best. To contact us, you can call the office at 801-349-9606, email us, or message us right on our website.