Too many couples suffer secretly from chronic negativity and emotional distance.
Many couples struggle to communicate about sensitive topics. Patterns of painful interactions lead to chronic stress and tension. Partners find themselves distant, easily triggered, and shut down to each other. They don’t know how to fix the negativity and they’ve lost hope trying.
Couples often teeter on the edge of separation or divorce for years, making threats in moments when the situation feels unbearable.
We make threats when we are in moments of unbearable pain and frustration. It is very corrosive to the bond in a relationship to threaten to leave, if you don't actually mean it, and are ready to take action to separate.
The cost of living keeps rising and finances are increasingly harder to manage. More couples now stay together because they can’t afford to separate. But that doesn't mean they are happy.
Some couples separate in the house, using separate bedrooms or even floors, others continue to sleep in the same bed.
There is a way to make separation therapeutic and productive - a healing experiment that may reboot a relationship that has gone stale - not just reactive and confusing.
No one taught you about emotional reactivity.
We were not prepared for what intimate relationship actually requires from two people over time. It started out positively, then something happened. It’s hard to pinpoint, but things got edgy, not as warm. There was tension. At first, the repair would be fairly soon, and it would last a while. Over time, the repair became less effective, and the next conflict came sooner.
You didn’t want to admit it to yourself, and the two of you didn’t talk about it.
Negativity became chronic, unresolved, a constant background noise.
No one told you what you would really face in a long-term relationship.
You’ve heard about what marriage and house-holding does to romance, sexuality, and the bond between people.
There’s no room/time/energy for sex, intimate talks, hanging out, the friendship.
Stress, overwhelm and fatigue took over. Whatever you say, your partner takes it the wrong way. You can’t bring up a serious topic without getting a negative reaction. You feel pent up, unsafe initiating connection.
You feel tired - very tired.
Why is your relationship life suffering?
Why are you struggling to communicate with your partner? What is the real cause? Why is the closeness fading? Why has this become so draining and hard?
What happened to the love?
Underneath chronic couples conflict, distance, and intimacy blocks there are engrained defensive and self-protective patterns we learned long ago, in childhood, when we were helpless and had to cope with whatever was going on with our caretakers and household of origin.
There may be trauma back there. Trauma has a wider range of severity that most people realize, and is involved whenever we had to disconnect from our essence to protect ourselves by attaining whatever safety and connection we could with our caregivers, especially if it was over time during childhood. We bring these patterns with us into our adult relationships, subconsciously projecting and defending to a degree of intensity that often is more of a match with the wounds from childhood than the offense in the present, but sometimes harrowingly similar.
There is a way to heal the re-wounding cycle.
What is it going to take to change your relationship for the better?
You need pause, take a step back and learn to observe what is happening in the dynamic. There is a way to illuminate the history and the present situation clearly, unclouded by emotional reactions, and begin to sort them out, seeing cause and effect, and presenting actions to take for change.
What do you need to learn to do? To be smart and effective in your communication with your partner, to use proven principles in your language and approach instead of just winging it. Practicing new communication tools shifts the dynamic into a new way that works by creating connection, not distance.
This process heals the past, gives a new way of communicating in the present, and moves you forward with skills and confidence to create fulfilling connection together.
Imagine that you are in a relationship where you and your partner feel safe and open talking with each other – about anything.
You can go to your mate with your true feelings and be heard. Understanding each other is a priority and you both create time and safe space to resolve issues, connect deeply and grow together.
Or, you have come to a painful but clear decision to end a relationship, and you are discovering that the process can feel safe, mature, and even loving.
I help people who are struggling with relationship problems.
I work with a range of couples - married, domestic partners, straight, gay, dating. What I find is that relationship is relationship, and the patterns show up in all of them.
My clients learn reliable tools that avoid communication breakdowns, repair painful interactions, and create fulfilling connection.
The skills I teach help people overcome barriers that keep them from communicating effectively and truly connecting. The work offers powerful relationship healing and skills for reaching each other and being heard and seen in a whole new way. This opens the door to personal peace and deeply fulfilling partnership.
Since 2001, Yaj has been helping couples and individuals in her private practice. Her approach gives clients real life skills for having healthy and gratifying relationships.
“When you learn how to work on your relationship, your relationship works.”
When I first came to couples counseling with my wife, I was very upset because things were so bad between us and that was killing me. Now we’re like kids again. We’re having fun again. Sex again. This is amazing.