You are not alone.
Parenting is quite the juggling act and it’s hard to make time for our significant partner when we always feel there’s one more thing we have to do. Many parents also do not have a toolbox of effective intimate relationship skills because often our parents didn’t teach or model them and our culture doesn’t expect us to learn these skills in contrast to the expectation of couples learning parenting skills. I know these struggles both as a couples therapist and a parent myself.
In today’s overzealous parenting and work culture, many parents feel pressured to invest ALL of their resources into their children and work.
Thus, you may be feeling exhausted and stretched too thin to keep your spark or even just your friendship alive with your spouse. You may be great “partners” in the business of life- work, home, and parenting, but you don’t have anything left to give to each other. Or, you might have a passionate marriage, but you don’t have the communication skills to argue respectfully and find mutual resolutions.
Having a child is a DREAM come true for most couples! Enjoy these precious moments with your children and cherish your partner too.
We reap what we sew. Relish this time with your children and take your significant role as their parent seriously. Also, by nurturing your intimate relationship, you can create enduring love and a solid connection with your partner before your children leave the nest. You will also be providing a model or blueprint for your children of a healthy, fulfilling, and vibrant relationship, which they can emulate in their adult life. This is the best gift- next to giving your children unconditional love- because adults tend to repeat in their marriage what they learned from their parents. Or, couples feel lost when they did not have a healthy model and are trying to create a framework on their own.
When parents don’t invest in their marriage before launching their children, their risk of divorce significantly increases and couples who wish to stay together have tremendously more work to do in reconnecting, falling in love again, and co-creating a more mature, satisfying, and vibrant relationship.
Fortunately, there is hope!
With the help of a compassionate and experienced therapist trained in advanced couple therapy methods, you can reconnect to your partner and recreate a more fulfilling, supportive, and passionate relationship.
Evidenced-based couples therapy and specialized workshops can help you revive your relationship
In our sessions, I will utilize evidenced-based couples therapy models (which have thoroughly researched marriage and long-term relationships) such as PACT, RLT, and EFT along with an overall strength-based, solution-focused approach that honors your individual strengths, relationship areas that are working or were assets in the past, and hopes and goals you identify for your future.
As a parent, a couples and family therapist, and married for close to 20 years, I know from experience how valuable it is to invest in my most significant relationship. Every time my husband and I sought professional help or relationship growth and knowledge through couples workshops, videos, books, etc. we healed, grew closer, and enjoyed our relationship so much more because we kept getting better at it!
With all important endeavors, we have to keep learning and growing to experience the benefits. When couples are willing to invest in their relationship through couples therapy, a couples workshop, and/or learning new skills and the research about what makes marriage successful, their satisfaction in their relationship can increase significantly!
As one of my parent clients explains:
“Trying to make your relationship what you dreamed it would be is the most rewarding project in the world! So many married couples live day to day, thinking their marriage is something to put up with. Lana helped us see how good a marriage COULD be and is supposed to be. Fulfillment is at your fingertips if you just have the right tools…” – A
This is where my couples therapy sessions and workshop for parents, “Keeping the Spark Alive” can help you. By clearing away intimacy barriers and rekindling passion, improving relationship skills such as communication and conflict resolution, and strengthening your knowledge and insight into how to have a successful long-term relationship, you will be able to give your children and future generations the best GIFT possible- a model for a healthy, loving, fulfilling, and vibrant intimate relationship. You’re worth it, your relationship is worth it, and your children are too!
I’m considering couples counseling, but still have questions and concerns…
I’m worried that couples counseling will cause more problems to surface.
Many couples initially worry that counseling will either entail an attack against them or their spouse and then feel overwhelmed by more problems. I help couples by leading you both out of your never ending conflicts and/or lonely disconnection. I will guide you to listen again, speak from your heart and remember what made you fall in love with your partner. Your sessions will focus on you clarifying and implementing your vision for your relationship .
I equally provide a safe space for you to express your concerns by maintaining a highly respectful, collaborative environment. I will help you identify the source of your relationship struggles (which may involve some personal growth work) and support you in addressing these issues directly and effectively by learning and practicing new skills in real time.
I’m worried about the cost and time since we’ll have to find childcare. How long will it take for us to see some improvement?
Couples therapy is one of the best investments of your money, time and energy because you’ll be tapping into your relationship strengths and feelings of love that may have been forgotten and addressing your relationship issues at their source. By engaging in couples counseling, you are increasing your odds that your child will also be learning (from your example) how to create a fulfilling, supportive, and vibrant relationship—and that is priceless.
I understand the challenge of securing childcare and parents feeling spread thin. Thus, it is a win-win for couples when I only recommend they find childcare twice a month and engage them in longer sessions to help them get present and do the deep work they wish to in order to achieve long-lasting gains. The amount of time it takes for couples to experience positive change varies. The couples identified relationship goals, initial level of functioning, and motivation to be open and willing to change will influence the length of treatment. On average, couples need 3 months in order to reach some of their goals.
I am also committed to helping ALL couples who wish to invest in their most important relationship. Therefore, I offer a few sliding scale spots and have several community referral sources I can recommend as well.
I also offer a highly affordable workshop for parents called “Keeping the Spark Alive” once a year.
What if my spouse refuses to attend couples therapy?
This is a very common issue because more often than not one partner is ready to get help immediately and the other is reluctant for a variety of reasons, including the beliefs that relationships are common sense and that adults should be able to solve all of their issues by themselves. If only these statements were true, the divorce rate would not continue to be at 50%. Thus…
- Ask first! And if you hear anything, but “yes”, calmly ask your partner if they would be willing to listen to your feelings for just the next 5 minutes (when you would briefly share your hopes for your relationship). After you’ve planted the seed, let it go.
- Go anyway. If you’re ready to get help- you, your relationship, and your legacy to your children will still improve by going yourself! This is due to the ripple effect that relational therapists see all of the time in families! The partner who attends therapy will learn new relationship skills, decrease feelings of anger, anxiety and depression, and increase feelings of hope. By just exuding more confidence and conviction to no longer accept the relationship’s status quo, that can influence your partner to consider attending couples counseling.
- Keep the door open. Let your partner know that when they’re ready, you would love for them to join you at the sessions. Oftentimes when spouses know that their partner is going to therapy to discuss their relationship, they may feel more motivated to participate so their voice can also be heard.
I can still remember the anxious moment I asked my husband (who has a degree in engineering) to attend our first couples retreat and how pleasantly surprised I was to hear an instant, “yes”! I probably registered us within the next 59 seconds. Both my husband and I found that first retreat to be transformational and he admittedly is on the personal and relationship growth bandwagon.
Do you work with diverse couples? (LGBTQIA, different religions, race/ethnicities, etc.?)
Yes! I grew up in a diverse community in a Chicago suburb, attended Pride since I was a child, and purposefully sought work as a teacher and therapist in diverse communities as I find life is so much richer when a variety of perspectives and wisdom can be shared. I also believe that at our core, humans have more similarities than differences.
Are you interested in couples therapy for parents and think we might be a good fit?
Simply contact me for a free 30 minute in person consultation. You can conveniently schedule your consultation or first session on my on-line calendar or call Lana Isaacson, LCSW, CAC III, Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy at 720.432.5262.
You can also check out a one of a kind workshop for parents called “Keeping the Spark Alive“.
What clients are saying…
“What we appreciate about working with Lana is that she is so open and non-judgmental and a great listener. Lana always stayed positive and focused on what strengths we were bringing and how to strengthen the weaknesses.” – A
“I had fears that therapy would suck. I didn’t like talking about difficult issues and I thought counseling would be that on steroids. I should be able to understand and fix anything all by myself. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made. It has massively improved my life and the benefits stay with you going forward…
If I could wish for something, it would be that the negative stigma (especially among men) around therapy would disappear. I was trying to build something with no training and without the correct tools.Lana gave us perspective, the training, and toolbox to get the job done right. I was taught [metaphorically] how to keep my saw sharp and tuned properly, how to clean and adjust the carburetor and change the spark plug.” – J
“Lana guided us through the darkness we had been experiencing for months by helping my husband and I talk through the conflicts we had been facing and had us practice various exercises. After seeking couples therapy with Lana, I have literally fallen in love with my husband all over again. With her guidance, we have learned so much about ourselves and each other. We have come to such a wonderful place in our relationship where each day we are fostering greater understanding, respect, trust, friendship, and love. We have grown so much and established a renewed sense of commitment.” – K