You have relationship problems, and you’re ready to work them through in Houston marriage counseling and relationship counseling. Only one problem… your partner isn’t. Maybe he is in denial that you have problems. Or perhaps she just doesn’t “believe” in counseling. Whatever the issue, many people find that they have a partner who is reluctant to seek professional help, even though the marriage may be in dire need of it.

Here are a few tips for talking to a reluctant partner about going to Houston marriage counseling:

Talk about yourself. If you put the focus on your partner and the issues you want him or her to work through, it can put them on the defensive. Instead, discuss the things you want to work on in counseling for yourself and explain that you think both of you can benefit from learning to communicate better. The key is to INVITE with something that sounds like this, “I need help in learning how to become a better partner for you.  I think that any relationship specialist would also need you in the room in order to help me.  I hope you’ll consider helping me by going with me, so I can become a better lover to you.”

Ask your partner to give it a try. Don’t ask for a commitment to ongoing therapy upfront.  Instead, say you want to your partner to go to one session and see how it goes from there. If Houston marriage counseling seems like the right fit, then you can continue going.

Make it clear that you don’t want to separate. Often, people assume that therapy is the first step on the road to a divorce. Even if your spouse hasn’t brought it up, it may be in the back of his or her mind, so address it. Explain that you want to strengthen your relationship, not dissolve it.

Don’t make it an ultimatum. This can just lead to a fight and further exacerbate relationship problems. This can also feel like a “power move,” and some people will react by saying no, just to feel in control again. Use a very soft voice, eyes, and face with your invitation(s) to join you at the counselor’s office, give them space to think, but also be persistent and keep coming back every so often.   “Kindness + Persistence in Inviting” are keys to success.

Talk to a counselor yourself. Maybe you’ve tried bringing it up and failed. Or you’re simply afraid to bring up the subject. Talk to a professional and get his or her advice on the matter.

Remember to keep it positive. Focus on your desire to have a happy, healthy, and successful relationship together and how you think this can be achieved through Houston marriage counseling.

As a Houston marriage counselor, one piece of relationship advice I offer my clients is to embrace the power of the compliment. Everyone needs to feel attractive, appreciated, and needed. In the beginning of a relationship, we usually make a point to compliment our partners, letting them know when they look good or made a nice meal. But over time, we forget to let the other person know what we value about them, and it can start to make you feel taken for granted.

But it can be easy to overcome this – get back to those compliments! Here are a few to get you thinking about all the ways that you appreciate your partner.

You look great. The next time your significant other gets dressed up for an event, take a moment to appreciate him or her. Or just any day that your spouse is looking their best!

You did a great job with… When your significant other does work around the house, let him or her know that the result was amazing!

That meal was delicious. Does one spouse do all the cooking? It may have become such a routine part of your day that you forget to let your partner know that it was yummy.

I love it when you… When you’re having sex or just being intimate, there are likely things that your partner does that you love. Let him or her know!

These are just a few ideas to get you started. Be creative, and stay aware of all the ways that your spouse makes your life richer! Don’t stop catching your partner “doing something ‘right’” and letting them hear about it from you.  We all need to be appreciated, and this human need is one that requires frequent satisfaction.  Research shows that 5 appreciations are required by the human brain to offset 1 criticism of a committed love partner. If you need further relationship advice, give my offices a call to talk to a qualified Houston marriage counselor.

As a Houston relationship counselor, I work to help couples stay together. I believe that sticking together and working through relationship issues is usually the best thing for most couples. But for some, this isn’t possible, and the break-up that follows can be tough.

Some people’s reaction to heartbreak is to shut out future possibilities. They believe that finding love is impossible for them, or they will never be able to trust anyone again. These strong feelings are natural in the beginning.  Your body is essentially going through a sort of withdrawal from the hormones associated with being in a long-term relationship, such as oxytocin which is associated with love, caring, sex, hugging, kissing, and other forms of touching.

But here’s the good news: your body will adjust. What you are feeling now will pass. Your broken heart will heal, and you will be able to fall in love again. From my experience as a Houston relationship counselor, I can tell you that you can make the grieving process easier by following these simple tips.

5 Tips for Curing a Breakup from a Houston Relationship Counselor

Get support from family and friends. You know that oxytocin you are missing? Get a little bit of it back by asking for a hug from a friend or snuggling with a family member.

Stay active. Introduce some new happy hormones in your system. Exercise releases endorphins, plus you’ll get in shape which will help your self-esteem.

Stay busy. If someone invites you out to the movies or a party, go! Even if you don’t feel like it. It will help keep your mind off of negative relationship thoughts.

Smile. It will increase your levels of serotonin and endorphins. Having a hard time turning that frown upside down? Indulge a little. Get a massage. Treat yourself to some ice cream. Whatever makes you happy.

Let go. If you are having trouble and feeling stuck on your old relationship, it can help to go to counseling. Even though your partner is not there, it can really help a lot to dialogue with a relationship specialist about what happened, try to understand the relationship issues you faced, and learn how you can move on. If you want to talk to someone, call our offices to talk to a qualified Houston relationship counselor.

As a Houston marriage counselor, I can’t tell you the number of times couples have expressed annoyance with their partners to me. They lament the fact that their significant other doesn’t do X, Y, or Z, but often don’t bother to talk about these expectations with them. Or when they do “talk” about it, those expectations end up coming out more like emotional demands and cause further relationship problems.

Why do we expect our partners to just know they should do certain things or act a certain way without communicating with them about it? The answer has to do with how we idealize them early on in the relationship.

Idealizing Your Partner Leads to Problems, Says Houston Marriage Counselor

In a new relationship when you are just falling in love, relationship problems are the last thing on your mind. Giddy with endorphins, you glorify everything your loved one does, and imagine a life full of joy, peace, and hope. They are perfect, and will make you perfectly happy in a way that you never could be before.

But as time passes and this magical vision of life doesn’t come about, we start to resent our significant other, and may even start to feel like they’re actually standing in the way of us achieving those dreams. Worse that that, we feel like they’re withholding that happiness from us, and become increasingly annoyed with them. Eventually, this can lead to serious relationship problems.

A Houston Marriage Counselor Can Help

If you find yourself stuck in this rut of feeling annoyed that your partner can’t give you what you need, seek out professional help. The first step in alleviating your relationship problems is to find an effective way to talk about your emotional needs and how they are not being met.

Talking about difficult things can often lead to an argument, especially if either of you enter into the conversation in an emotional state. As a Houston marriage counselor, I can show you how to “take a holiday from being you” and learn how to share your partner’s experience and discover how to help them get what they need just by listening.

Have you ever had an “aha!” moment with your partner where you realized that they really do think very differently from you? So many relationship problems are caused by this very thing. We have an innate inability to see beyond ourselves, but when we finally do, the reaction is amazing and can really help to bring you closer to your partner.

If you’ve tried this on your own and can’t seem to get past your relationship problems on your own, contact a Houston marriage counselor today.