Mark T. Palmer, PhD​

 Call Me :     720-271-2199

Couples, Marriage, and Relationships

Relationships are hard!

If you're reading this, you probably have already come to this conclusion.  We start out in relationships with all the best intentions, on our best behavior, focussed intensely on the other person and the way we get along and spend our time together.  Then over time, we may begin to feel that something has changed. You may be asking:

  • Has he or she changed?
  • Is this the same person I married or started out living with? 
  • Are changes in my life or theirs outside of our relationship interfering with us?
  • Can I trust him or her anymore?
  • How come we can't talk any more, let alone feel intimate or close?

Relationship problems can emerge at any time in the life of a marriage or couple.  Sometimes we can point to an issue clearly and start to focus on a solution. Other times the sources of problems are hidden and require some digging to uncover them.  Taking each other for granted or living with incorrect or unreasonable expectations can pull two people apart.

Therapy can help couples to focus on problems, reduce emotional strain, and develop new ways to deal with issues. In therapy we can learn to appreciate differences and let go of anger and incorrect assumptions and expectations.  

Communication, Communication, Communication

I have a firm believe in the power of direct and open communication to help clear away confusion and get people to a realistic and workable connection.  I have a PhD in Interpersonal Communication and relationships and focus on communication as a tool that can hold a relationship together.  We don't always like what we hear or like what we must say to another person, but with improved communication skills, we can approach difficult situations with more control and better chance at resolving problems and preventing new ones.

Two Whole People Coming Together

My experience is that relationships work best when each person involved is working toward their own improvements.  When each partner can feel whole, they rely less on the other person to complete them or to fill in a spot where they are lacking.  This does not mean that couples don't rely on one another or have needs that they help each other meet.  It does mean that the better we feel about ourselves, the more confident we are in our own abilities, the more we bring to a relationship.  One of the things that can wreck a relationship are unreasonable demands and expectations.  When we can clearly articulate our true needs and know our own strengths and weaknesses, then our partners can know how to help.  

Therapy begins with learning to positively express feelings and emotions and also realistically and honestly defining our needs individually and as a couple.  If we can do this, we know what to realistically expect of the other person and what we and they can expect about ourselves.  When this happens, many feel a great stress and pressure lifted off their backs.