Happiness is possible, even likely
Two people come together, both wanting to be
happy. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. When it works, both
are happier than they were before. When it's not working, at least one
person is less happy, sometimes a lot less happy, than they were before.
Happiness with a partner comes from both people feeling committed, accepting and supportive of each other. From that strong foundation, their time together is rewarding to both, and their happiness grows.
Many things can happen over the course of time to weaken their acceptance or their commitment. Once this starts to happen, things can spiral in the wrong direction and misunderstandings and hurtful words and actions can further complicate the healing process.
When I work with you together with your partner in relationship, I don't allow you to re-traumatize each other during the session. Instead we focus on teamwork, mutual goals, and things that enhance commitment, acceptance, support and trust. Before forgiveness can happen, the root of whatever was hurtful in the past needs to be unraveled, dealt with, and gone. We work on that, always in the context of "us" and "we". I don't do mediation or negotiation between two individuals - I work with a couple who love each other.
In my experience, working individually with each member of a couple tends to pull them apart, while working with both partners together tends to pull them together. So normally I don't work on couples issues with a single individual, unless that person is already clear that they want to split. The one exception is when individual issues are getting in the way of couple happiness and both partners recognize this. Then, with the understanding that couples sessions will resume in X number of sessions from now, I will work with one partner to help them resolve the past history that is driving their present irrational and destructive behavior in the relationship.
In your couples sessions, I will help you focus on whatever helps you to rediscover and enrich your appreciation of each other, your commitment to each other, your love for each other, and your happiness together.