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A couple's intimacy and sex can be measured by each individual's ability to be emotionally and physically open, allowing themselves to be vulnerable and allowing the other to understand them on a deeper level. In the beginning of intimate relationships, most people are eager to share their thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and physical connections with their new partner. Their relationship is exciting, and being open and vulnerable is fun.
As time goes on, children are often added to the family system and work and life become hectic. Partners tend to drift apart, often losing the ability to connect emotionally, physically, sexually, and spiritually sometimes creating a sexless marriage. During our couple's counseling, we help you to better understand the stages of a marriage and family, how these stages affect your physical and emotional intimacy, and how they relate to your life together and to each of you individually.
Emotional intimacy is founded on each individual's emotional security and confidence, and the ability to communicate their feelings with their partner. Emotional insecurity derives from many factors, including low self-esteem, childhood trauma, past rejections, and failed relationships. We help to support each of you in clarifying your thoughts and feelings, and in giving you the confidence to share them with your spouse. All relationships, like individuals, go through certain predictable stages of development. Understanding these stages is very useful to healthy relationship growth.
The symptoms of marital problems are often exhibited in problems of physical intimacy... sexual problems. The situation may include problems of performance, inhibited sexual drive, or infidelity, and partners often see the problems quite differently, and have in mind different solutions. When we see that physical or emotional intimacy is one of the marriage problems we call upon our experiences as therapists to discuss carefully these issues and concerns.
All couples are different. Some couples find that, after working through their emotional intimacy goals and strengthening their communication skills, they are ready to go another layer deeper, particularly in the areas of physical intimacy and sexuality. Other couples see sexuality as their primary issue and choose to deal with it in coordination with their other goals and some couples are immediately focused on sexual issues. Improving the feelings of connectedness, desire, and desirability is one of our goals as your therapists.
We have worked with many couples who secretly wished to improve their sexual relationship but would not say it unless specifically asked. Sadly, most therapists rarely inquire or know what to do to help couples improve or resolve sexual concerns. We take sexual issues seriously and know how sensitive they can be as well as how important they are to the overall health and happiness of a marriage.
Sexual satisfaction improves as the overall health and wellness of the relationship improves. Which comes first? Just as in the age-old children's riddle The Chicken or The Egg, no one remembers which came first, the sexual problems or the marital problems.
However, they started, the problems festered and grew, feeding each other, getting worse and worse until the marriage was in real trouble. Because the marital and sexual problems are so intertwined it is sometimes necessary to unravel them both at the same time.
We work with each couple to determine which approach is the best. We have had success in working with and helping couples understand and improve their feelings of desire, as well as, performance and technique. We have helped couples to understand and deal with the "normal" psycho-sexual stages of a marriage including the change from the honeymoon to parenthood and the young family years, as well as, the menopausal and aging years of a marriage. We help couples recapture the passion by exploring their erotic nature.
What should happen in a long term, mature relationship is for the newness and excitement to be replaced by a comfort and commitment. Through this trust and confidence in the relationship... exploration and experimentation can occur. This can be the doorway to a deeper level of excitement and exploration.