Oftentimes, couples will not initially come in for sex therapy, but for some disappointing aspect in their relationship—a conflict that is not resolving itself but growing and building resentment. One may not feel that they are getting from the other what they had expected in the relationship and are unsure of how to reconcile that disappointment.
A question I like to delve into very early on is, “What first attracted you to your partner?” and oftentimes, you can draw a very clear line from that statement to the problem at hand.
People often choose each other for offsetting reasons with the hope that someone who is open and gregarious, for instance, will offset one’s shyness. Behavior change often does not take place, and what used to be the attraction slowly becomes the greatest obstacle in the relationship.
I help couples look at their relationship through a different lens—from what they are not getting to what they are receiving from the relationship. There are always behavior inequities and disappointments in a relationship. I help couples accept non-perfection, and not lose sight or take for granted those positive things that each individual is deriving from the relationship. In my couples therapy sessions, partners begin listening to each other in a non-defensive way and reframing the way they view their relationship.