Steve Milburn, LPC, is a professional counselor who specializes in relationships, sexuality, and addiction. He loves working with individuals in all types of relationships and, with his training and experience, has learned that for most couples, learning to listen to one another is key. Each partner needs to really listen, and to “soften”, or back a little bit away from a position which alienates the other person. Sometimes couples get so stuck in their own point of view that they can no longer see a future together. By “softening” your position, you can actually help your partner to soften their own position, so that true understanding, if not compromise, is possible. With understanding, often a couple can reconcile even when there has been a lot of hurt.
For example, Steve says, “I have been seeing a couple who have been dealing with infidelity. Of course that plays a huge role in their sexual relationship and in this case, their decision about whether or not to get married. The infidelity stopped all that, for a while.
“The man was unfaithful. She was upset of course, even more so because her father had cheated on her mom, she didn’t want to repeat that pattern in her own marriage. She wanted to call off the wedding. But he wanted her to be more understanding, to realize that it happened because she was spending so much time rehearsing for plays at the community theater. She was sometimes away from home 4 or 5 evenings a week. He loved her, but he didn’t want to begin a marriage with an unavailable wife.
“While the woman wanted him to understand how much she loved the theater, and hoped that he would encourage her and be proud of her talent, and even hoped he would join her by volunteering there! So the arguments were about time: how do you make time for each other with all of life’s pressures? For many couples, there is no time for a relationship!
“This couple has been working hard in therapy. I taught them a communication exercise which allowed them to really listen to each other and get them to soften their positions, and get away from the power play. Now they are back to planning a wedding!”
To make an appointment with Steve or with one of the other couple therapists at Psych Choices of the Delaware Valley, please call our Intake Coordinator at 610-626-8085 ext. 213, or simple visit the “Request an Appointment” page on our website and submit your insurance and other information. Our Intake Coordinator will get back to you within a few days to let you know of possible appointment times.