How Couples Counseling Can Help You Restore Honesty, Trust, and Intimacy to Your Relationship

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How Couples Counseling Can Help You Restore Honesty, Trust, and Intimacy to Your RelationshipWhile 100% honesty with our partners is an admirable goal, it can be extremely difficult to achieve given our very human anxiety about telling any truth that we believe may be painful to someone we care about.

Dishonesty can take innumerable forms, from simple “white” lies about how you’re feeling at the moment and whether or not you like the new shoes your partner just bought to intentionally covering up an addiction or affair.

Unfortunately, any type of dishonesty – even small white lies to make your partner feel better – can add proverbial bricks to the wall between you and your partner and lead to a decrease in trust and intimacy in your relationship.

Knowing How and When to Speak Your Truth

We all face a myriad of questions on a routine basis in our relationships when it comes to be honest with ourselves and our partners. These can range from “How honest should I be?” to “When should I be honest?” to “Is it OK to ask for what I want?” to “Should I tell him I don’t appreciate the comment he just made, or ignore it to avoid an argument?”

For expediency’s sake, many partners decide not to speak their truth about what they see as little issues, such as not liking a new dress, choosing a move or restaurant to go to, or discussing the difficult day they’ve had. While this may seem to be the right thing to do at the time, or at least the path of least resistance, if we hold back our truth from our partner too many times, we add to an ever-growing list of things we don’t like about our partner or that we feel uncomfortable discussing with them.

These discomforts or grievances can go into a “resentment box.” And, while we may be able to keep these issues in the box for an indeterminate period, when a conflict or crisis arises we’re likely to dump the entire box of resentments over our partner’s head by bringing up seemingly unrelated issues and perceived wrongs from the past.

This is one of the reasons many couples seem to argue a lot about seemingly unimportant and/or unrelated issues. It is also one of the reasons why withholding your truth from your partner about even the most mundane issues can be poisonous to the long-term trust, intimacy, and health of your relationship.

How intimate of a relationship can you have if it is based on falsehoods regarding your true nature and feelings? If you aren’t open about your opinions, preferences, or desires then who is your partner really having a relationship with?

In the end, all forms of dishonesty result in us not being fully involved in our relationship – not deeply and intimately connected with our partner.

How Can You Rebuild Honesty, Trust, and Intimacy?

If you and your partner are struggling with a lack of open, honest communication in your relationship, or worse you’ve experienced a serious betrayal such as an affair, it need not be the beginning of the end of your relationship.

Assuming you’re both truly committed to the love you have for one another and the relationship you’ve built, and are willing to do the work necessary, you can heal the rift that’s been caused by any dishonesty in your relationship. And professional couples counseling can help!

Couples and marriage counseling can provide you and your partner a safe, contained, and confidential environment in which you can work towards re-establishing honesty and trust, both with your partner and with yourself.

A prerequisite of being honest with our partners is knowing our own truths and being honest with ourselves. Professional therapy can help you better understand your own motivations, desires, fears, and concerns, as well as communicate these to your partner in respectful ways that assure you’re heard and understood.

That having been said, successful communication requires more than just being able to communicate your feelings. You must be able to listen to and understand where your partner is coming from as well. Couples therapy can help you and your partner develop active listening skills as well as learn other communication tools and techniques to foster openness and honesty in all of your communications.

Above and beyond helping you and your partner communicate more effectively, professional relationship counseling can also help the two of you better prioritize your relationship and create the time, attention, and energy it needs to flourish and grow.

Through the use of these and many other therapeutic techniques, couples counseling helps countless relationships rebuild honesty, trust, and intimacy every day. This isn’t to say it’s easy. It can even be scary at times. It can also turn out badly. Discovering their own truths has led many couples to end their relationships while numerous others have become closer than ever.

Honesty only causes pain when it’s withheld. When all is said and done, couples counseling can help both you and your partner stand on solid ground knowing that the relationship you have with each other and yourselves is real. And this truth will make all of our relationships more fulfilling, not the least of which will be the relationship we have with ourselves.

If you have any questions regarding this article, or if I may be of any other assistance, please don’t hesitate to connect with me at or call me anytime at (714) 974-1621, to ask any questions, have a free phone consultation, or set up an initial office consultation. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Tricia Buttkus, LCSW – Licensed Psychotherapist
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Tricia Buttkus, LCSW - Licensed Psychotherapist
Couples, Marriage and Family Counseling provided by a
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