“We’re usually good at solving problems, but with our relationship… we’re stuck.”
You’re used to being able to solve problems in other areas of your life. But with your relationship, the same issues seem to be happening again and again.
I can’t get him to tell me what’s wrong, he just shuts down and we don’t talk about it.
I get so angry at him sometimes and it scares me. It scares both of us.
I feel criticised all the time, like I can’t do anything right.
We want different things sexually and we don’t know how to get our different needs met.
I feel like we’re competing with each other, and it’s hard to be supportive when something good happens for him.
We feel more like roommates than partners now.
Some of these might sound all too familiar.
You’ve tried everything and you’re at a loss about how to make things better.
In moments of frustration, you think about what it would be like to end the relationship and start over with other people.
Maybe you’ve already opened up the relationship and are struggling with how to balance the excitement you have with new guys and the stale problems in your primary relationship.
Perhaps even the thought of opening up the relationship feels like an escape from the problems you’re stuck in right now.
Fights can be brutal, and afterward, you can go hours or days without talking about the fight, or with each other.
During these times, you find yourself feeling hurt, and don’t know how to move forward. So you just wait for the pain to pass and hope this won’t happen again.
But despite your best efforts, some big fight or misunderstanding happens again. And each time it does, those same feelings of hurt creep back and the cycle continues.
Sometimes when you look back at your childhood, you wonder if you’re repeating the same relationship patterns you saw growing up and it scares you to think you might be doing the same things.
Thinking about all these issues right now, that familiar hurt might be feeling particularly strong. You might even be feeling ready to give up on your relationship and wonder if there is any point in working on your relationship when things have gotten so bad.
The pain that you’re feeling right now makes a lot of sense. If you’ve been struggling in your relationship for a while, it’s no wonder you’re feeling hurt, and maybe even hopeless.
It’s really common to feel overwhelmed when you’re trying to find a counsellor and also thinking about all the issues you want to work on.
Now, imagine it’s a new day and you’ve been able to start resolving some of the issues in your relationship.
You wake up next to your partner well rested, and you’re feeling safe, happy, and excited to be with them. You’re not scared about when the next fight or criticism is going to happen.
Imagine feeling like you can work through disagreements calmly with your partner and still feel connected afterward.
Imagine being able to express your differing needs to each other and find compromises that work. Yes, even different needs around sex and intimacy.
Imagine feeling truly understood by your partner, and being able to truly understand them.
Imagine knowing you’re on a team with your partner so that you can confidently count on your relationship as a source of support when times are tough.
As a fellow gay man in a longterm relationship, I’ve spent hours looking for a counsellor who I thought would understand me. The issues gay men face in their relationships are unique, and it’s a relief to feel someone will just get it.
I help partners understand each other better, get unstuck from negative patterns, and build closeness so that they can enjoy their relationship.
My approach to relationship counselling focuses on helping partners develop practical tools to navigate their relationship while also being sensitive to the difficult emotions that can arise during counselling. Most of my approach is drawn from a research-based relationship counselling model called the Gottman Method.
It’s very common to feel anxious, or even embarrassed, about a counsellor hearing the current struggles in your relationship. Often, It can also feel overwhelming not knowing where to start when there are many areas you’d like to work on. It’s totally okay to have all these feelings. 🙂
To start, we’ll spend time getting to know each other, your relationship, and the areas you’d like to work on. This will help us determine the best way to help you work toward your relationship goals.
Some of the ways we’ll work together include:
✓ Getting a detailed history of your relationship, and each person, at the start of counselling so that counselling is efficient and targeted.
✓ Learning how to take better care of yourself, and each other, by building skills that can help you stay grounded and connected when disagreements arise.
✓ Learning how to share emotions and needs in a way that leads to feeling understood and taken care of.
✓ Negotiating the type of relationship that works best for you based on your needs and values. This includes different needs and values around intimacy, sex, and monogamy.
✓ Learning how to intentionally strengthen the friendship and intimacy in your relationship.
✓ Practicing how to communicate better so that you can get unstuck from negative patterns.
I’m glad you’re here. You’ve taken an important and courageous step toward your wellbeing by searching for help.
Click the button below to schedule a free 15 minute consultation call so that I can get to know you better, and we can talk about getting you some help.