Unlock Couple Happiness: How Marriage Therapy Can Be The Key to Relationship Success

Couples Counseling NYC,How to Save My Marriage,John Gottman,Travis Atkinson

Unlock Couple Happiness: How Marriage Therapy Can Be The Key to Relationship Success

Table of Contents

Marriages and love relationships face particular hurdles when living in New York City. The fast-paced lifestyle, long work hours, financial demands, and lack of space can strain marriages to the breaking point, much like trees bent to snapping.

But, as a Certified Gottman Method Couples Therapist, I’d want to offer you some encouragement. For nearly three decades, I’ve assisted hundreds of New York City couples in rekindling emotional and physical closeness, even after years of estrangement. My office has served as a greenhouse for numerous romantic relationships that were on the verge of dying.


I am sharing research-based insights into why healthy and happy relationships between couples in good marriages fall apart and practical Gottman Method tactics for rekindling that loving feeling in your NYC marriage or love relationship.

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Why Do Couples Disconnect Emotionally?


Couples lose their sense of “we-ness” for a variety of reasons throughout time. The following are some of the most typical causes of disconnect:


– Inadequate time together: Many NYC couples have demanding occupations that leave them with little leisure time, like two rivers that no longer confluence but flow side by side. You’ll need regular date evenings to reconnect your streams.


– Communication breakdown: Partners cease discussing their emotions and problems. You can’t contact or text your lover because you’ve lost cell service. Miscommunication occurs as a result of poor communication.


– Unresolved conflicts: Allowing NYC stresses and disputes to fester slowly erodes closeness, like termites eroding the foundation.


– Sex and affection drought: When sex and affection in New York City dry up, emotional alienation ensues—your link withers like plants without water. Physical contact is essential.


– Differing interests: Falling into ruts when you rarely enjoy things together contributes to years of growing apart. Your worlds separate into different orbits.


– Other habits: Being preoccupied with booming careers or competitive NYC parenting pushes the habits of being happy couples to the backburner. Like cold leftovers, your good connection and common interests can frequently become an afterthought in your relationship.


– Taking each other’s differences for granted: In NYC marriages plagued by competing priorities, partners fail to actively recognize each other’s efforts and contributions. Your relationship satisfaction and your spouse’s worth are neglected in the same way that an old trustworthy car is.


Happy couple smiling and leaning into each other in a therapist's office with a serene New York City view, including the Empire State Building, symbolizing the transformative power of couples therapy. Image illustrates key behaviors that set contented couples apart in relationships.


As a Gottman Method Couples Therapist in New York City, I’ve observed how this slow drift is sometimes caused by losing sight of friendship and connection among all the differences and turmoil of high-powered employment and endless family activities. Your connection becomes buried in dust and must be dusted.


The good news is that reconciliation is attainable with simple tools, with habits like repair attempts and intentionality. Even neglected gardens can thrive again with proper care and trimming.


Turn to Face Each Other


When you feel estranged from your partner, it’s tempting to withdraw or strike out. Conversely, a marriage study reveals that “turning toward” your mate when you’re sad or disconnected increases emotional trust and closeness over time in healthy couples, like a snowball gradually gathering mass, and can make all the difference in healthy relationships.


For happy couples, “turning toward” implies responding to your partner’s needs and requests for connection with caring, focused attention rather than apathy or tension. It could be as essential as engaged listening, eye contact, or expressing affection. You turn your positive focus to your partner’s point of view, as a moth does to a flame.


In my practice working with New York City couples, I guide couples in relationships to turn toward each other at least 86% of the time so they become like relationship gurus. It acts as an emotional cushion when things are tough, much like a deep well to draw from during a drought.


During hard times, if you see yourself withdrawing or becoming irritated, take a deep breath and turn toward, not away from, your spouse. Ask yourself, “How can I thoughtfully support my partner’s feelings right now?” Feed your own healthy relationship even during difficult times. Knowing that none of us is a mind reader, ask them directly when unsure what your partner feels. This can make a big difference in feeling supported by your partner in life.


Reinvigorated couple in a New York City therapist's office, reflecting the benefits of couples counseling as they experience renewed connection and understanding in their marriage journey.


Healthy Relationship? Hold Genuine Conversations


Couples frequently stop having meaningful conversations about their inner lives as time passes. However, substantial dialogue about your life with your partner is essential for closeness, just as oxygen is essential for a fire.


When you were initially dating, what kept the conversation flowing naturally with your partner? Like miners extracting gems, you asked open questions and listened closely to uncover your partner’s essence.


Prioritize intimate check-ins with your partner without devices or distractions in your NYC marriage. Set aside time for serious discussions on deep feelings, values, passions, and perspectives. Explore each other’s inner worlds once more to stay on course.


Be fully present and curious to uncover new layers in your successful relationship with your partner for your well being. Like a Polaroid photograph, couples feel that shared understanding and forgiveness for previous disconnections will emerge organically.


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Rekindle Physical Intimacy in Your Own Relationship


Sexuality is frequently influenced by emotional distance with your partner. However, because attachment involves bonding, rekindling physical intimacy is essential for reconnecting more generally, much like reattaching broken circuits.


Don’t give up if NYC stress or long-term relationship squabbles have caused you to stray intimately. Consider the following suggestions:


– Openly and honestly talk about any barriers. Collect feedback from one another. Bring to light issues such as mold behind a sink. Make an effort to share while talking with respect. Building habits that replicate happy couples can make it become your reality.


– Reintroduce novelty to make sex more enjoyable. Investigate new postures or lingerie. You should surprise each other like you did when you were dating.


– Turn off devices before going to bed. To get in the mood, everyone should decompress together. Relax your brains after a long day.


– Restore nonsexual touch: massage and cuddle. Encourage affection. Spend some time together simply being present.


– Increase the frequency with which you initiate sex and foreplay. Make intimacy a priority. Water the garden regularly to ensure that your relationship continues to bloom.


Physical closeness is likely to follow as emotional connection improves. However, taking on the role of initiator can help break the ice. Take the initiative to restart the dance.


Gay couple sharing an intimate moment, showcasing their strengthened bond and happiness after successful sessions at 'Loving at Your Best Marriage and Couples Counseling PC


Happy Relationship? Have a Good Time Together


It is critical that even the happiest couples spend time in new and exciting, spending time alone together. However, duties frequently bog down a couple’s romantic relationships in New York City. The turmoil consumes your enjoyment when you spend time together.


Purposefully organizing enjoyable activities offers you the happy hormones you’ve been missing. Change things around in your routine. Remember how trips used to give you butterflies? Recreate that euphoric feeling.


Some suggestions from a Marriage and Family Therapist


– On a weekend date, visit a new NYC district or a museum exhibit. Explore places you’ve never been before. Allow your curiosity to guide you.


– Take part in an exciting NYC activity, such as rock climbing at Brooklyn Boulders or sailing at Hudson River Park. Get your hearts in your relationship to beat in unison.


– Attend a cocktail-making workshop for happy couples at the Institute of Culinary Education. Drink your favorite beverage and get tipsy like you did when you were newlyweds.


– Stay at a hip boutique hotel: The William Vale in Brooklyn or the Standard High Line in Manhattan are two of hundreds of examples. Find your favorite or a new favorite hotel. Pretend you’re on a hot vacation.


– Attend a Broadway musical or concert. NYC has an abundance of arts and culture. Reminisce about your early dating experiences.


Novelty enhances the pleasure regions of the brain. When you participate in new things together, feelings of fun and partnership are restored, and once again, you become a happy couple, like flowers budding after a winter frost.


Mixed-race couple joyfully walking on Broadway in Times Square, embracing their rejuvenated romance after fruitful sessions at 'Loving at Your Best Marriage and Couples Counseling PC


Exercise Appreciation


It’s easy to ignore your partner’s great features and take their efforts for granted when you’re disconnected in your relationship. Their consistent assistance, like dependable electricity, goes unnoticed.


Feeling unappreciated can be countered by conscious appreciation. Take note of your spouse’s everyday gestures of kindness and willing contributions to good and healthy relationships in your own life NYC marriage. Express genuine thankfulness.


Thank your partner for making you laugh after a long day at work or for taking the kids so you can sleep in before an interview. Demonstrate that you do not take them for granted.


Written love notes have a powerful influence. Describe some of the reasons you love your partner. Like adjusting a camera lens to enhance focus, these acts direct your attention away from your problems and toward all that is good.

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Be Forgiving to One Another


In high-pressure places like NYC, it’s unavoidable that you’ll occasionally let each other down. Carrying resentment is like refusing to unload bricks that weigh down a knapsack.


Forgiveness is a love gift that necessitates empathy, honesty, and acknowledging your partner’s humanity.


If you need assistance with forgiveness, I offer a safe environment and tools in counseling to help you process disappointment and gain perspective. Forgiveness is not fast, but it is possible to heal past wounds with compassion, much as salt dissolves slowly in water.


Couple walking hand in hand near iconic New York City landmarks, reflecting a moment of forgiveness and renewed connection after overcoming past relationship challenges.

Using an example with a couple we’ll call Sam and Jesse to protect confidentiality, in one session, Sam shared how they were still upset in their relationship and that Jesse prioritized work events over their anniversary meal last year. But in counseling one week, we talked about Jesse’s situation: a big promotion was on the line. Sam’s resentment faded when they realized their reasons. Sam apologized to Jesse for failing to meet their requirements that night.


Stress Management


Tension from the fast pace and pressures of New York City seeps into couples, bursting budgets, robbing sleep, and escalating conflict. Stress builds up like a parked automobile with the emergency brake off, steadily rolling downhill and gathering speed.


Prioritize self-care and teamwork. Maintain regular stress check-ins. Work together to address problems. Identify sources of tension before they erupt.


Invest in measures like massages, workweek boundaries, and couples counseling to alleviate stress in your relationship before it affects your marriage. Don’t let stress eat away at your foundation.


When couples are in healthy and happy relationships, they support each other through difficulties rather than ignoring them, bringing them closer together. Take care of yourself and your partnership. When things go wrong, it is crucial that to feel safe, you need to know that you can count on each other.


Don’t Give Up Hope


It takes bravery to reconnect in a relationship, yet regaining Intimacy and companionship is possible. You may resurrect your NYC marriage with research-backed methods and persistence even after long separations. You can find your way again as lost hikers stumble into a trail.


If you require extra assistance, my NYC therapy practice can help couples communicate effectively and relate joyfully again. To get started, please get in touch with me. If you need help, seek the assistance of a guide.


The magic you once felt is still there, only buried behind the chaos and rubble of daily existence. You can discover it again if you work together. I have faith in you. You may rediscover it with patience and teamwork.


Additional Suggestions for Emotional Reconnection


Spend Quality Time With Each Other


Make time for one-on-one conversations, pleasure, and closeness regularly. Prioritize your relationship over frequent family and work obligations. Couples can feel more connected through date evenings, weekend getaways, and vacations. Keep other priorities from taking precedence over your marriage.


Demonstrate That You Understand Your Partner’s Love Languages


Read the “5 Love Languages” to discover how your partner feels most loved – through gifts, physical touch, serious talk, quality time, affirmation of commitment, or acts of service. Make an effort in your relationship to express your partner’s love language and talk to your lover regularly. Fluently communicate in their native tongue.


Be open and honest in your communication


Don’t let your disappointments or frustrations fester in your relationship. Bring up issues gently and honestly with empathy when they emerge, taking breaks as needed. Hidden resentments frequently manifest as fury later, like pressured air exploding at a weak point.

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Give each other compliments


Don’t take positive characteristics for granted. Express your feelings regarding your partner, like happy couples do. We all want regular reminders that we are valued in our relationships, just as plants require water.


Foster Intimacy and Affection


Kissing, hugging, cuddling, holding hands, and massaging are all part of a happy relationship. As you share intimate details, your romance can grow and you’re more likely to be on the same page — seeing your partner’s perspective. The bonding hormone oxytocin is released during affection in a relationship. Don’t let your passion wane. Flirt, surprise each other with romantic gestures, and continue your relationship. To keep the fire going, fan the flames.


Make Sacrifices


You will only sometimes agree. Compromise necessitates understanding each other’s points of view. Strive to discover answers that respect both points of view. Like two opposing magnets, they meet in the middle. Couples in a relationship need to avoid the possibility to hold grudges to have a happy relationship.


Give Each Other Time Alone


Individuality and self-care are fostered by space. Discuss how much alone time each of you believes is healthy. Time apart can help you enjoy time together more, as you can delight when rejoining after a long absence.


Participate in Meaningful Activities


Finding pastimes that both of you enjoy leads to bonding experiences. Join a reading group and start a creative project together – it offers you something to speak about and enjoy. Having things in common with a person connects your lives.


Asian couple joyfully biking together in Central Park, NYC, radiating happiness and renewed connection following a successful couples therapy session at 'Loving at Your Best Marriage and Couples Counseling PC.


Emphasize Friendship


Encourage friendship. Tell stories, make jokes, go on adventures, and enjoy meals. The cornerstone is friendship. Keep sight of the importance of having fun together in your house, apartment or while having a night out in the city. Through storms, the deepest roots support the bond.


Opt for Optimism


Consider difficult circumstances to be chances for progress. Maintain hope that you will overcome obstacles if you communicate openly and support one another. Believe that you will emerge together, like gold that has been tried and cleansed by fire.


Don’t Expect Your Partner to Read Your Mind


When you expect your partner to understand your needs without communicating them, frustrations arise. Express your emotions and requests plainly and directly. They won’t be able to read your mind like a psychic.


Exercise Forgiveness


Letting go of disappointments and carrying grudges allows for new beginnings. Forgiveness is not instant, but it should be your objective. Forgiveness thaws ice-cold hearts.


Make an Effective Complaint


Discuss topics without criticizing the character. Use “I” statements to express how you feel rather than “you” phrases that blame your partner. The goal is comprehension. Avoid putting your partner on the defensive.


Schedule a weekly Check-in


Set aside time to discuss what is going well in your relationship and what could be improved. Celebrate favorable developments. Discuss problems constructively. Regular tune-ups help to avoid major breakdowns.


Be Respectful of Differences


Accept attributes that complement one another. Don’t try to alter your partner’s essential personality. Respect their individuality. Consider how your differences, like yin and yang, balance each other as a healthy relationship.


Prioritize Intimacy


Intimacy is frequently the first thing to suffer when partners are anxious or isolated. However, affection is essential for bonding, so prioritize physical and emotional connection. Make intimacy a habit, especially in your house or apartment. Don’t let it slip through your fingers.


Continue Dating


Make time for new and exciting dates. Dopamine is produced by new activities, reactivating that early relationship spark. It is an answer to reintroduce passion into the equation and create a habit of romance.


Avoid Obsessing Over the Past


Allow old wounds to heal. Reminiscences and resentments taint the present moment. Concentrate on making new pleasant memories. Look ahead rather than back.

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Show Your Appreciation


Gratitude feeds healthy and happy relationships and the habits of happy couples and relationships. Over time, we take our partners for granted and can lose our appreciation. Regularly express to your partner what you appreciate in your connection. Daily expressions of gratitude fuel healthy and happy relationships, and the habits of happy couples and relationships that nurture your bond make a difference.


Create Shared Meaning


Talking about principles, ambitions, and ideologies fosters connection. Recognize each other’s sources of significance. The same goal strengthens friendships. Construct on common ground.


Facing Each Other


Show complete presence, interest, and empathy when your spouse discusses feelings, hopes, or challenges. Don’t dismiss them or shift the subject. Make storm shelter available.


Rekindling Emotional Intimacy


Knowing and being known are two aspects of emotional closeness. It grows due to time invested, intelligent questions, attentive listening, vulnerability, and sharing intimate details of your inner world.


You need to learn more about your mate. Continue to delve into their dreams, viewpoints, eccentricities, and values. When interacting, put distractions on hold. Focus your attention on their inner landscape.


Discuss your emotions, doubts, desires, and experiences. Emotional closeness necessitates honesty, courage, and the ability to perceive each other’s humanity. Be courageous in unveiling your inner world once more.


Physical Intimacy Rekindled


Physical Intimacy increases oxytocin levels and emotional we feel connected-ness. However, busy lives can lead affection to wane. Intimacy, like an untended plant, withers without care.


Make nonsexual affection a daily priority, such as hugs, snuggling, and massage. It fosters Intimacy. Enjoy sensitive moments when you are entirely present with each other.


Flirt frequently and initiate sex/foreplay. Emotional reconnection is followed by sexual connection. Rekindle the flames of passion.


Discuss any reservations openly. If necessary, seek counseling. Examine the blocks calmly and frankly.


You’ll be surprised how soon that love feeling returns when you first prioritize affection and intimacy with communication in a good, healthy, happy relationship. Take care of your connection daily, and it will blossom.


We have one essential answer to the goal for happy couples: commit to the adventure of rediscovering each other. You can save your marriage with effort, the right mindset, perspective, compassion, commitment, and determination. It is possible to make repair attempts in a good relationship to rekindle happiness and closeness. They are vital ingredients for happy couples in a relationship.


At Loving at Your Best Marriage and Couples Counseling, Paul, Jon, Tiffany, and I are here to guide and support couples like you. Never feel that you have to face this journey on your own. We’re just a call. LiveChat, or email away.

Image of Travis Atkinson, the Founder and Director of Loving at Your Best Marriage and Couples Counseling.


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