I specialize in helping couples struggling with anger, resentment, and conflict-avoidance.
Few of us learned how to fight fairly and productively with loved ones. So often it can seem like the choice is between explosive, door-slamming fights or complete avoidance. If these seem to be your only two options, you have probably chosen avoidance more often than not. While it seems more peaceful than the alternative, what can develop beneath the surface of conflict-avoidance is burning hot rage, simmering contempt, and/or complete disengagement.
When certain topics are deemed off-limits because they are too loaded and bound to cause a fight or hurt feelings, needs and wants go unexpressed. Emotions stay bottled up. Unfair assumptions are made. And resentment builds. Instead of experiencing the increased intimacy and growth that can come from healthy fighting, you and your partner have become increasingly disconnected and emotionally distant from one another.
As your relationship has become less and less intimate, you feel more and more lonely, trapped, and bitter. You two may have started to silently question the relationship and blame the other for the state of the relationship. Passive-aggressive behaviors show up, as does stonewalling. Sometimes the explosive fights you have worked so hard to avoid actually start to happen more. Maybe one of you has started to seek solace and connection elsewhere with something like alcohol or even with someone else.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.
I can help you heal from the damage the conflict-avoidance has created.
I can teach you how to communicate your wants and needs to your partner in a way that is both honest and kind.
I can show you how to listen to your partner’s wants and needs with an open heart rather than with defensiveness.
Authenticity and honesty can be compatible with an intimate relationship that brings you joy. In fact, you can’t have a truly joyful intimate relationship without authenticity and honesty. If you are ready to heal the damage caused by conflict-avoidance and to develop a more stable, secure bond by bringing your whole self to the relationship, I can help.