LGBT Therapy to Make a Marriage or Relationship Last: What the Research Says
Although I am not a couples therapist, I often work with LGBT clients in individual therapy in both Texas and Florida, who are trying desperately to cope with problems in their marriage or relationship. So what causes problems in a marriage or relationship to reach the point of no return, with one or even both partners feeling neglected, criticized or emotionally distant from the other? There has been a lot of scientific study on this particular question, and one couple, John and Julie Gottman--both psychologists, who have devoted their careers to answering this question--have arrived at some compelling conclusions.
Before delving into their findings, I want to first say that I am often asked whether all hope is lost if one's partner refuses to work with a couples therapist. The truth of it is NOT AT ALL. Families and couples operate under an unwritten set of rules. When one is used to seeing one's relationship partner behave in a certain manner and then subsequently witnesses a change in their behavior, one naturally becomes curious about what has brought about those changes. Individual therapy is very often the very catalyst, that gets both relationship partners into the couples therapist's office!
Some of the most compelling highlights from Gottman's research findings regarding romantic relationships and marriage:
Half of all marriages, that end do so within the first seven years.
The average couple waits 6 years before seeking help for marital/relationship problems.
69% of issues, about which a couple argues, are perpetual, unresolvable issues (that is to say, couples tend to have the same arguments over and over again!)
In stable relationships, there is five times as much positivity as negativity during conflicts.
Taken from https://www.gottman.com/about/research/couples/
These findings point to something highly important: It is not that we have arguments in our relationships that predicts whether or not a relationship will ultimately work. Rather, Gottman says, the manner, in which we navigate relationship conflicts tends to be more important. I regularly work with individuals in therapy, who have difficulty communicating their needs to their romantic partner because of fear of criticism or reprisal. Fortunately there are some highly effective strategies, which I can teach you to minimize these sorts of unpleasant interactions and increase the frequency of more positive, loving interactions. I would be more than happy to talk with you more about how I can help you regain some of the emotional connection in your relationship. Feel free to visit me online, and let's talk about how I can help you get your relationship back on track!