Linda Pevnick – Psychotherapy in St. Louis, Missouri

LINDA PEVNICK, LCSW
Individual, Couples, and Group Psychotherapy

655 Craig Road, Suite 320 ~ Creve Coeur, Missouri 63141

Couples Counseling for Marital Issues

Do you and your partner fight about the same things day after day? Do you lie in bed at night wondering if this relationship is right for you? Do you want it to work out, but don't
know how to begin? If your relationship has begun to feel toxic, it may be time to look for help.


It can be hard to reach out for help. It may feel hopeless that you can ever please your spouse or that he or she can ever change. There are times when one partner behaves in
ways that are intolerable, shouldn’t be tolerated, and are so much a part of that person that they can’t be changed. Addiction with alcohol, drugs, gambling, and others can be difficult
to change. Sexual, physical, or emotional abuse should not be tolerated under any circumstances. If you have one of these problems, or have been living with a spouse with
one or more of these, it is likely you are overdue to get some help to figure out if there is any hope for this relationship.


In the absence of addiction or abuse, it is usually the case with any couple that the two of you have gotten into a pattern of relating to each other, an emotional “dance” if you will.
You both know the steps only too well and repeat them unconsciously over and over again. In that case, it takes both of you to identify and change the steps that you each contribute
to the ineffective and destructive pattern.


Marriage doesn’t come with an owner’s manual. Some of us are fortunate to learn good relationship skills growing up and some of us are less fortunate and we learn negative ways
of relating. In that case we may inadvertently seek out a partner who has problems with relating as well. It is always easier to see what your partner does that isn’t working and
harder to see what your own part might be.

How many times have we each heard that someone divorces because of the problems their ex had? This is often true, but, too often when convinced that your spouse is the only one who is having problems relating, you may neglect what your part is in the emotional “dance”. In that case, you may never see what you contribute to relationship difficulties.

Then you may just go on and repeat those ways of relating that don’t work in your next relationship and even the next after that. That is exactly why we see that second marriages
end in divorce at a greater rate than first marriages. Third and fourth marriages, etc. fair even worse. So, even if you end up deciding that this relationship you are in is not reparable,
you can at least identify and change relationship styles that won’t work for you in any relationship.

It is hardest to make that first step to reach out for help particularly if you haven’t seen a therapist before, the idea can be intimidating. Some people feel a stigma about needing
help. Some people give you the idea that needing help is a weakness. I think knowing when you need help and getting is a strength. The willow that bends in the wind is sturdier in the
long run than the stiff oak that ends up breaking because it cannot bend. Relationship skill are learned, the better ones and the worse ones. If your relationship isn’t going well,
learning new skills, unraveling the knot of conflict, repairing trust, and finding your way back to attraction and love, may be well worth the effort in seeking out marital therapy.

10 Ways You Can Tell If You Are in a Marriage That Needs Help?

1. You care about your partner, but, you aren’t “in love” any more. You have been
together for a long time, and you care about your partner’s welfare, but, you no longer
have that “in love” feeling. You know that feeling comes and goes in a long marriage,
but, it is hard to imagine that feeling ever coming back the way things are going
between the two of you.

2. Your arguments are getting mean. It feels like there is an edge to every conversation.
You end up feeling like nothing you do is ever right. The arguing is getting more frequent
and more intense. You often feel at the end of your rope with frustration.
3. Sex is a distant memory. You can’t remember the last time you had sex and even then it
was just going through the motions. You don’t feel attracted to your spouse anymore
and not sure the attraction will ever come back. You wonder how long can you stay in a
marriage with no affection?

4. All you get from your partner is criticism and sarcasm. “Death by a thousand cuts” is
how your marriage feels now. Every conversation with your spouse is full of cutting,
sarcastic, or contemptuous remarks. You are more and more reluctant to even try to
work anything out.

5. You end up keeping secrets. When it feels like your every comment is met with insults,
you stop talking about whom you met or what you did that your spouse might not like.
Pretty soon the things you feel like you can’t say start mounting up. As a result you feel
more and more distant from your partner.

6. You are feeling so alone. You are all too aware of how lonely and trapped it feels to live
with someone that you don’t feel close to. You wonder if it would feel better to just live
alone instead.

7. You find yourself crying much more than is usual for you. Sometimes you just feel
overwhelmed by how unhappy you feel and it just spills over and you can’t help
yourself. The feeling of emptiness is just so great.

8. You find yourself keeping your upset from friends and family. People are noticing
something and asking you if everything is ok. You hate to air dirty laundry with friends
and family. You still hope that somehow things will turn around. You don’t want the
other people in your life to think poorly of your spouse when you tell them what is going
on.

9. You find yourself withdrawing from socializing. You are just feeling down and don’t feel
good about being in public with your spouse. The sniping starts and it feels awful. Other
people are noticing. It feels easier to stay home and avoid being together.

10. Your arguments have repeating themes. You argue about how you will spend your
time, spend or save your money, how often you will have sex, whether or not you will
have children, how often you see the in-laws, and/or who does or does not do the
chores. These arguments can become so frequent that it increases resentment and
divides you increasingly more.

11. You can’t stop thinking about leaving your spouse. You find yourself looking online for
apartments for rent. The idea of having the option to move feels like the only way you
can get through a day. Imaging living on your own feels so appealing.

12. You can’t remember any more when the last time was that you were happy in your
marriage. It is true that most people wait and wait to get help for their relationship,
hoping that the problems will go away or will get better on their own. Unfortunately,
neither is likely to happen. More often, the problems just get worse and more
complicated over time as resentments build and compound themselves.

If some of these statements feel all too familiar, it is more than likely that your marriage is in trouble. There is frequently a point of no return in relationships, when any change is too little, too late. If you
want to try and repair a marriage that is breaking, it may be time to act right now, before your relationship is irreparable.
Most couples that I see report that they have trouble communicating. I help couples learn how to enhance their ability to connect with one another. I can teach you the communication styles that
research has proven works best in couples that are the happiest. I can help you and your partner build a relationship based on understanding and compromise. You and your partner can learn to break your
destructive patterns and greatly improve your relationship.

We can get to the bottom of the resentment you each feel and what fuels the constant arguing. It may not feel possible at this moment, but, I have helped many couples to understand the anger you have
with each other and begin to see your partner’s point of view as well as your own. It is possible to rediscover what attracted you to one another. When trust has been broken by
disappointment, hurt, and anger, it is possible to repair the damage done. The amazing thing is that when trust is rebuilt, it can become even stronger than it was before. Hard to imagine, but, I have seen
it to be true many, many times.

If any of these things I have talked about ring true for you, give yourself and/or your children the greatest gift—the good, happy, and satisfying relationship that you want and deserve. I would like to help you accomplish just that. I have had the privilege to help many, many couples and I would like to help you and your partner. Any of us has only to look around to see how hard relationships can be.

Don’t let yours become a statistic. There are proven methods of improving relationships. You don’t have to struggle alone. I am looking forward to put my experience and training to work for you. Call me for an appointment today!

 

Many people ask, "Can I change my relationship without couples counseling?" One thing I know for sure, you can't change anyone else, only yourself. I believe that you can, in some cases, change your relationship by changing yourself. We can look together to see if there is anything you would like to change about how you relate to your partner, perhaps better limits or better communication are possibilities.

 

Couples Counseling for Marital Issues

Do you and your partner fight about the same things day after day? Do you lie in bed wondering if you are in the right relationship? Do you want it to work out, but don't know how to begin?

I help couples learn how to enhance their ability to connect with one another. It is possible to rediscover what attracted you to one another. When trust has been broken by disappointment, hurt, and anger, it is possible to repair the damage done. When trust is rebuilt it can become even stronger than it was before.

Communication is vital to your relationship. We all want to be with someone who knows and likes who we are. I can help you and your partner to uncover the issues that separate you, and to build a relationship based on understanding and compromise. You’ll both learn proven ways to break your destructive patterns of behavior and improve your relationship.

 

Divorce

 

Sometimes, there are situations where no repair is possible, trust is too long gone. The next inevitable step may be divorce. Or perhaps divorce has been thrust upon you? In either case, even in the best handled divorce, there is enormous emotional upheaval.

 

Going through the divorce process has been described as a “crazy” time. Your moods may vary greatly, from relief to heartbreak, anger, fear, disappointment. Divorce affects your self-esteem, your lifestyle, your emotional health, your kids, your family, your finances, you name it!

 

People create a “crisis” where the normal ways of coping just aren’t adequate to get them through this stressful time. Therapy helps you learn a new group of coping strategies that you can use to help you cope more effectively.

 

Many challenges exist when it comes to divorce. How to stay on an even enough keel to keep on working or parenting while on an emotional roller coaster? What is the best way to deal with your ex when having to co-parent in the best interest of our children?

 

Support and Recovery

You need people to talk to. Going through the divorce process wears out not only you, but, your friends and family as well. People who care about you mean well, but, may tell you what you want to hear or repeatedly say the wrong thing. They may lack objectivity because they care about you so much, or are so angry at your soon to be ex-spouse.

 

Consulting with a therapist gives you a place to air all your feelings, thoughts, and fantasies  in a confidential place. You can say anything and everything and count on being understood without judgement or criticism.  I offer my clients my objective perspective and support. Being able to work through the feelings, being able to stand back and take a long look at the situation, and getting proven advice on how to handle certain things can really make the difference in how you cope with this traumatic time of life.

 

Therapy helps you discover that even with this serious loss, there is opportunity for personal growth and future happiness. Everyone going through divorce can benefit from counseling during or after the divorce process.