Alexandra Leichter, MSW, LCSW
Falling in love is addictive. It is your brain on cocaine. It is full of warmth, light and energy. It is electric.
Until, it isn’t.
In the beginning, you couldn’t picture a day where you would be arguing and bickering. You definitely didn’t think that one of you would have an affair. That the trust would be broken. Will it ever return? You never imagined that one day you would be hiding in the bathroom, secretly texting a person you met at work because he just listens and doesn’t blow up at you when you tell him how you feel.
In those early, warm glows of the relationship, you certainly didn’t think that there would be future moments of fantasy when you day dream that your life would just be easier if your significant other suddenly died. You think that thought. Your brain is awash with calm, but instantly, you have regret, “how could I think that?” No, that’s not what you want. What you really want is for the constant arguments, over and over the same thing, where it only stops when one person storms out of the room, to end.
You want to be seen. To no longer hear, “no, not tonight honey.” Or alternatively, to not want to say “not tonight” because you feel validated and appreciated for all you do and this in turn actually makes you want to be touched. Perhaps the dry spell could end? Perhaps sex could actually be fun. It became boring long ago but you really hope that it can be different. That you can learn how to talk about sex, what you want, what you like, what you desire.
You know you can’t go back to the beginning, but you are fairly certain that if you had someone who could teach you how to better communicate, that it would help. The rage you feel when your start bickering, that it would help to have someone teach you how to recognize the signs that you are going to start feeling that way and how to head it off before it starts. You know there are skills to be learned, truths to be told and that you need a safe place, with a safe person who can guide you through sharing these with your other half. Relationship therapy. The terms scares you and peaks your interest, all at the same time. An impartial person who is willing to call you out on the things that you are doing that are harming the relationship and support those things you are doing that are helping.
Many things can divert a once happy relationship – an affair, babies (yes babies!), financial stress, chronic illness, feeling unappreciated, feeling tired, family, a break in trust, job loss. When these things occur it can help to have a neutral third party to talk to. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and years ago I was in couples counseling myself. 17 years later I am still in that same, committed relationship, and going strong. This is why I am so passionate about my job and why I only work with couples: I know it works. I offer free phone consultations and I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Learn more about counseling at Portland Family Health. To schedule an appointment call Alexandra at (503) 327-3945, or click the button to the left.