How to Increase Emotional Intimacy

When thinking about intimacy, many people only consider their physical connection with their partner. However, emotional intimacy is something you definitely want to work on. Feeling connected can help build a long-term bond between the two of you. This sense of emotional intimacy can improve your connection and get you through difficult times. This can also help your relationship grow and foster a sense of togetherness.

Here are some tips for increasing the emotional intimacy in your relationship:

Try Something New Together

Many couples have a default date night that they repeat on a regular basis. Scheduling a regular date night is a great step to take. However, going to the same place and having the same conversation does not necessarily help increase your emotional closeness. If you’re not trying anything different as a couple, then these date nights start to become routine.

A great way to build intimacy in your relationship is to try something new together. Pick something that neither of you have experienced. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a big dramatic date and can be as simple as taking a cooking class together. Doing something out of your routine opens you up to having new conversations and learning more about each other.

Encourage Honesty

Healthy romantic relationships require you to have some difficult conversations. When you create a long-term connection, you are bound to have conflicts and disagreements. However, even these difficult moments can be great opportunities to increase emotional intimacy with your partner.

Honesty is essential to intimacy. You should encourage your partner to be open with you. Make sure that you remain open to their feelings and strive to really listen to their thoughts without judgement. You should also feel like you can share your thoughts with your partner. Strive to stay emotionally connected, even when you don’t necessarily like or agree with what the other person is saying.

Couples Counseling

It is a common misconception that couples counseling is only for when you are having problems in your relationship. While counseling can definitely help when you are facing a relationship crisis, it can also be helpful for building a strong foundation. A couples counselor can help you learn the skills you need to build emotional intimacy. This is true even for couples who already feel like their relationship is strong.

At He Said She Said, we take a unique approach to couples counseling. We are a married couple that works as a team to provide both a male and a female perspective during your counseling sessions. We are experts in helping couples increase their emotional intimacy and will help you find intimacy-building strategies that you can use in your day-to-day life.

We offer a variety of programs from pre-marriage counseling to couples retreats specifically focused on strengthening your intimate connection. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to determine which program is right for you.

5 Tips on Building a Long-Term Relationship

When we meet that special person they make us feel attractive, loved and unique and we feel like we’ve discovered true love. Sparks are flying between you and that special someone, and the intimate bond seems inseparable. However, as your relationship matures, the reality of long-term relationships is that it takes work to transition from the infatuation of new love into a mature long term relationship. This process necessitates a deeper understanding of both yourself and your partner. The honeymoon phase doesn’t last, and by understanding yourself and your partner more deeply, you create the foundation of a resilient and long-lasting relationship. So how does one continue to maintain a healthy, intimate, loving relationship with their partner?

Here are five tips to keep in mind of building a long-lasting relationship

1. Developing goals for your ideal long-term relationship:

When getting into a relationship, it is essential for couples to evaluate what they seek in a long-term relationship. Whether it be values or goals, it is crucial that you and your partner are on the same page. By gaining a deeper understanding of each other’s core values, you begin to understand how you can support each other in achieving the goals which provide the meaning in life.

2. Mindfulness in a relationship:

The process of mindfulness allows couples to become less instinctual in their responses to one another. Some of the worst words and actions are expressed in moments of fight/flight/freeze. Mindfulness allows couples to stay aware of negative patterns of thoughts, communication, and action to treat each other with empathy even in times of emotional stress.

3. Establishing and maintaining a respectful communication style:

Communication is at the foundation of healthy relationships. Developing the ability to be kind and honest while discussing complicated subject matter increases the likelihood of healthy conflict resolution. As partners, you should be able to communicate with one another about issues and conflicts that arise in the relationship. Everyone has their style of communication, and it is vital to establish and maintain a form of communication that works well for both.

4. Learning to express feelings, needs, and expectations in a healthy manner:

Often couples become stuck in patterns of re-stating their perspectives in the hopes to convince their partner to agree with them. When couples develop the ability to identify and healthily express their feelings and needs, they increase the likelihood of being heard. By helping your partner understand how you are feeling without blaming them, you create an environment of compassion and love that transcends perspective.

5. Consistent Conflict Resolution:

Every couple has their fights disagreements are both natural and needed in a healthy relationship. The key is to have the tools to resolve conflict healthily. When couples find themselves arguing about the same topic over and over without resolution, resentment quickly builds. By understanding you and your partner’s conflict resolution style, you can avoid repetitive arguments which pull you apart.

The beginning of relationships is filled with the excitement of new love; with awareness and intentional effort, couples can make the transition to a mature and long-lasting relationship. When you find the person you want to be with it is crucial that you put the time and effort into gaining a deep understanding of each other. Your relationship can be a source of immense love and also help you in becoming your best selves for each other.

Top 3 Tips to Create Healthy Communication Channels

Where does a relationship start?
Most relationships begin with a certain sense of mystery. While the start of a relationship is exciting and fun, they’re also the time when you feel out your significant other, with the goal of truly learning about who they are. As you start to get deeper in a relationship, it becomes more likely that you end up having issues. This occurs because you and your significant other become used to each other so you feel like you don’t have to try, the sun fades away and the cloudy grey skies arise. However, you can make it so your relationship remains as wonderful as it was in the beginning, with a little bit of work and communication skills.

Here are some tips on how to create healthy communication channels with your significant other:

Talk in person:
Being in a relationship, both partners should strive to properly communicate with one another. When things get serious, it sometimes makes one person in the relationship scared to confront the problem. This results in the issues you are having being held in or being confronted over a phone or through text. By keeping your issues inside, the problem will continue to be there and no closure or changes will be made to the situation. By talking about a serious issue via some roundabout method such as texting, the messages you are trying to get across to your significant other can be interpreted wrong, and the lack of face-to-face give the entire conversation much less impact. Thus, it can result in having an even greater setback with the resolution of your issues. However, if you talk in person, you are able to talk slow, see facial expressions, and truly understand the nuances of communication. It can no doubt be challenging sometimes, to confront an issue in person. If you are nervous about the upcoming conversation, then it is recommended that you write down a list of things you want to say. This way, you will have a guide and be less anxious during the conversation. It’s also possible that you will end up becoming emotional, something that you will need to accept if you truly want to work out your issues. In the end, you will end up becoming closer and happier with your partner.

Be Honest:
Being honest can be difficult at times because sometimes, the truth can hurt, especially those whom you care about most. However, being truthful is much kinder than lying. When you are truthful, you can prevent things such as your significant other finding out the truth at a later time, something that will undoubtedly be even more damaging in the end. By being up front, you allow your partner to have more faith in not only you but the relationship that you two share. Remember that it is ok to be wrong. No one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes every now and then. When you mess up, be honest and admit to it. Apologize for your mistakes and wrong doings. When you make excuses for your mistakes, it only makes it worse. By apologizing you are showing you understand what you did and you are ready to take steps that can allow wrongdoingsto hopefully move forward.

48-Hour Rule:
With every relationship, it is inevitable to fight and argue. However, in some occasions, a fight can be stopped by taking a deep breathe in. When you are upset, the only person that will know is you, unless you come up and say something to their face. Sometimes, people in relationships get upset for things that they shouldn’t get upset about. When this occurs, you should try and keep calm and wait a couple of days before jumping into a fight. By waiting and cooling off, the thing you were once super upset about might be nothing a day later. However, if you wait and are still upset then it is now clear that the thing you were upset about is something that truly needs to be addressed. At this moment, you should tell your significant other what is making you upset. Be confident in what you are saying and let your partner ask you questions if they are confused. Once your partner understands the situation, you can hopefully move forward with solutions.

What can you do to keep your relationship good?
Relationships are beautiful things, and for many, the most important aspect of their life. However, it is important to know how to deal with the ugly parts. At He Said She Said, we are committed to helping you prosper in a safe environment where you can talk about your feelings.
Please don’t be afraid to stop in.

Contact Us at 520.955.1876 or email us at hesaidshesaidcounseling@gmail.com.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Rebuilding your Relationship after Cheating

A relationship cannot exist without trust, and nothing breaks trust faster than cheating. When trust is violated and a person cheats in a relationship, it shatters it, turning it into something much different then it was before. Although you may not be able to see a future, it is possible for a couple to overcome cheating, should both parties wish to do so. That being said, it is not that easy to repair a relationship. It talks a lot of mental, emotional, and psychological work to repair your relationship.

Re-establishing and maintaining trust in a relationship after infidelity has occurred is one of the hardest hurdles to overcome, and it is the first one. When a relationship is built on trust and then that trust is taken away many find it the most difficult to regain that. Along with trust, the ability to forgive is in your favor when working to rebuild your relationship after cheating. Forgiving your partner after doing something such as cheating is an important step. If you plan on working on your relationship and making it strong again and you continue to hold a grudge or doubt, you will be unable to get the results you want. At the same time however, the person who has cheated must strive to remain honest, and must be willing to work hard to prove that they are worthy of this trust again. This is extremely hard work, and it must be understood that forgiveness does not come easy in these situations. Stay honest, communicate, and keep your promises. Only after this, time, and work can you expect to be forgiven.

When working to overcome infidelity it is important to identify the problem, and then work to resolve it. When it comes to identifying the issue, you and your partner must identify the reason why your relationship led to cheating. This step takes honesty, it is hard to admit what went wrong in your relationship which led to this. Some examples include loss of interest, emotional abandonment, attraction to someone else, and even something that could have happened in the past. This is a very important step for moving forward and repairing your relationship, and may reveal harsh truths about one or both members of a partnership. It is of course only the beginning to find these issues, the next step is to resolve them.

Many couples strive to return back to “normal” after infidelity. This can be toxic to the relationship especially since somewhere in the normalcy of the relationship in the first place, the infidelity occurred. It is important for the couple to evaluate what their “normal” looked like and identify that it may have been a problem and work to resolve those issues. This is harder said than done but can be easier with the help of counseling or a workshop. Keep in mind that simply ignoring the infidelity, or pretending it didn’t happen is also a sure path to a doomed relationships as well. The repair of trust is something that requires hard work, and a true desire from both parties.

After a partner cheats it can be a very dark time, the feeling of being betrayed by the one you love is a heartbreaking feeling. You can make it through and repair your relationship, should that be something you desire. Many have said that they have come out of something like this with an even stronger relationship, fighting through a problem that many never recover from. You can use the tips listed above, though you may find yourself needing some outside help.

It is challenging repairing a relationship on your own, with the help of a couples counselor it will make repairing your relationship that much easier. It is okay to ask for help. Here at He Said She Said we have many different kinds of relationship counseling programs, from premarital counseling to marriage counseling, available to suit the needs of any couple. Give our programs a look, and give us a call at (520) 955-1876 for help rebuilding your relationship with the one you love.

Couples Counseling Before Marriage

There is nothing more exciting than finding the person that you know is the one, the person who you want to spend the rest of your life with. Don’t let your excitement get the better of you, however! Make sure that before you tie the knot, you’ve taken the time to have some sessions of premarital counseling. It might seem wrong to get couples counseling before there have been any serious issues, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Premarital couples counseling with a couples therapist is an excellent way to set up your future marriage for success, taking care of issues before they even happen by preparing with strong communication for a stable and healthy relationship. If you’re still on the fence about the idea, consider these three important issues that are worth discussing before marriage, issues that can be handled best with assistance from a marriage counselor.

1. Having Children
The topic of kids has ended more than a few marriages when the couple doesn’t see eye on how to handle the idea of eventually raising them. Sometimes people want to have children right away, excited to be a mother or a father as soon as possible. Others also want kids, but only after having had some time to enjoy adult life without them. And of course, there are people who would be satisfied never having children at all. Just knowing about whether or not you want children out of your life isn’t quite enough either. It’s very important to discuss how you will raise your children, should you want them of course. Agreeing on parenting style is very important to stop future arguments and ensure that your children will grow up in a stable and united home, with quality role models in you and your spouse.

2. Finances
Money is rarely an easy topic to discuss at the best of times. It’s even harder to discuss as a series of hypotheticals, the actions that you as a couple will take through the twists and turns of the future. What is your future career path? How about your spouse’s? What will you both do if one or the other’s doesn’t work out? Are you both planning to buy a house? How will you together handle an expensive emergency, like the loss of a car? How about a medical emergency? Not making a plan is a plan to fail, and having considered these sorts of money-related issues in advance will make it so much easier should one come to pass. Nobody likes discussing the possibility of failure, but doing so will make you happier, healthier, and safer in your relationship in the future.

3. Addressing Confrontations
Even the most laid back couple will inevitably find themselves in an argument. It’s unavoidable. Alternatively, you and your fiance may be the sort of fiery personalities that have arguments all the time. Either way, it’s a good idea to work out strategies and develop communication skills that can help prevent disagreements from dealing lasting damage to your marriage. Conflict resolution skills are something that everyone can benefit from, and there’s no better way to learn them than under the tutelage of a skilled relationship counselor.

Although it is, of course, possible to have these sorts of conversations without the aid of a counselor, having one to help mediate the discussion about such issues can be incredibly important in ensuring that everything necessary is discussed, with a neutral arbitrator to help prevent tempers from flaring. Here at He Said She Said we have many different kinds of relationship counseling programs, from premarital counseling to marriage counseling, available to suit the needs of any couple. Give our programs a look, and give us a call at (520) 955-1876 if you are ready to set up your future marriage for success.

3 Relationship Issues Involving Kids

Have you and your partner decided to expand your family?

Marriage is a beautiful partnership with the one you love. In marriage, both partners should be comfortable and happy with the life they share with their partner. Of course, no marriage is completely happy every moment of the day. In order to grow your family, you must have a solid foundation to rest upon when times get tough. When children are involved, the doors are opened to a plethora of issues and problems at home. Most couples would love to still be the same as they were before kids. Reality is, no one is the same after children. Healthy relationships must evolve, and couples must learn to adapt, and more importantly, grow together. Children give us an opportunity to grow together as couples. Kids can uncover how difficult a relationship can get. Learning how to balance your relationship and children is a constant struggle for any couple. If you are married with children or consider having a blended family, here are some things to be wary of:

Time for love and marriage:
People everywhere play a balancing act of knowing how to manage home life, children, work, intimate, healthy relationships, and friendships. Free time almost becomes a thing of the past. The lack of intimacy, the stress of making time for your partner, children, and friends, and the depleted feeling along with lack of quality time with oneself poses a significant issue when it comes from both parties in a relationship. Time is precious, and once it is spent, it is the only thing in life that you can never get back. Wouldn’t you want to spend your time on things that are worth it? For instance, spending time on family members, love, and marriage. When one branch of life takes center stage and becomes the focal point in your life, that is when issues can begin to take hold. By waking up with an intention for each day you can add so much to your life. Your intention to choose your partner, your intention to be there for your children, and sometimes the most important one of all, the intention to give yourself the love and attention you give to the world on a daily basis. Life can get crazy, but prioritization and intention can help significantly. Prioritize and recognize that you are still human. Check in with your partner, establish a routine with your family members, let your work know when your plate is full, and any job should be able to accommodate the people they truly value. You have neighbors, friends, close family, and even co-workers who can help take the load when the weight is too much to bear. Having time for love and marriage helps strengthen a family system to grow healthy family relationships. Even for the best of us, it takes a village, and not just to raise a child.

Rest:
Sleep is sacred. Sleep should be your time to recharge and re-group. Parenthood is an around the clock job that you’ll have for the rest of your life. Parenthood means losing sleep over a crying infant or lying awake as the early morning rolls in and your teenager hasn’t come home yet. An ideal relationship has both members putting in 100% effort at all times. Even if this is the norm in your family, there are times when one falters, and the other must pick up the slack, sometimes working beyond 100%. Frustrations can rise, and irritability can run rampant. Some of those feelings can bleed into your relationship with your partner and result in tension, resentment, and misunderstanding. The confusion in the midst of exhaustion may cause fights to commence and lead to ignorance of each partner’s needs. Rest is the blank slate to help build a foundation of understanding and resolve.

Rules for a strong family system:
Children have a way of giving your life a new sense of purpose. Life with children can be some of the best years you’ll ever know, but not without a bit of struggle. The push and pull between parents and kids make structure and rules more difficult to establish. Not being on the same page as your partner is one way to condemn not only how a child is raised, but the structure of your relationship. Establishing rules and boundaries will allow each party in a family unit to know expectations set by each other, therefore creating more structure in the household. These rules will help decrease tension, miscommunication, and resentment. Like a sturdy brick wall, parents should hold their ground as a team and always stick together, in unison with one another.

What can you do if you are having issues at home?
We know that balancing love and marriage is a tedious task and can be even harder when it comes to being married with children and forming a blended family. Even balancing your friends and family to establish harmony in your life could prove to be challenging. Having healthy relationships in both your marriage and your family is crucial to being happy and feeling comfortable in your life. Whether you are running into problems with your partner, couples counseling and marriage counseling can be the solution. It is always good to talk about these problems with a couples therapist, someone who can help find where the issues stem from. There is nothing wrong with having couples therapy, and if anything, it is a step in the right direction when it comes to love and marriage.

At He Said She Said, we are here to help counsel and re-establish your relationship into one that will leave you feeling good and be able to survive the times. Whether it be marriage counseling or just couples counseling, at He Said She Said we want to help strengthen those intimate bonds. We understand the daily, private struggles of relationship problems. We know because we’ve been there. Going through struggles alone is never a good idea, and never easy. If you and your partner aren’t seeing eye to eye, you have us to confide in and to support you through our couples therapy. We will lay the groundwork for rebuilding your relationship and rediscovering the love you and your partner share.

Contact Us Today at 520.955.1876 or email us at hesaidshesaidcounseling@gmail.com

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

He Said She Said Counseling – How It Began

He Said She Said Counseling Center was created by two therapists, Tarah and EJ Kerwin, who have over 25 years of combined experience in the counseling field.  Tarah and EJ, a married couple and blended family with four children felt passionate about creating a counseling center that exclusively focused on emotional wellness of couples and families following the birth of their twins in 2014.   In the first year of their twin’s life they found communication breaking down, disconnected as a couple and felt stretched to the limit as professionals, parents and partners.  Many issues including sleep deprivation, stress and parenting factored into the challenges in their relationship.

On yet another sleep deprived morning, as Tarah was pushing those crying bundles of joy in the double stroller through Reid Park, tears streaming down her cheeks, she had her A-HA moment.  Tarah called EJ immediately and said “Honey, I know what we are supposed to do… He Said She Said, wouldn’t it be wonderful to support couples and families to stay connected and better meet each other’s needs, so that life will feel more manageable during stressful times?”  That was the beginning thought in what is now the creation of He Said She Said Counseling Center and after 2 years of planning and research, EJ and Tarah opened the doors to serve the Tucson community in 2016.

He Said She Said Counseling Center offers individual, couples and family counseling.  The unique approach to couples counseling is that sessions are co-facilitated by Tarah & EJ who have found facilitating sessions in this manner creates balance, warmth, compassion and understanding of each couple’s unique situation and needs.  In addition, the combined insight of two clinicians with unique perspectives and backgrounds creates a diverse environment for the couple to grow and make the needed shifts toward a healthier relationship.  Tarah and EJ created two specific programs at He Said She Said Counseling Center.  Their 12-week program, Relationship Renovation – is designed for couples who need help in navigating stressors in the partnership that are resulting in disconnection, anger, resentment and mistrust.  Their 8-week program, When Sparks Fly – is geared toward engaged and/or newly committed couples taking a pro-active approach to relationship wellness to avoid disconnection and deterioration of their relationship.  These programs help couples explore what EJ and Tarah have found are the fundamentals of a happy and healthy relationship.

  • Honesty and Trust
  • Emotional Safety
  • Strong Communication Skills
  • Healthy Conflict Resolution
  • Forgiveness and Flexibility
  • Consistent Emotional and Physical Intimacy
  • Healthy Attachment and Boundaries
  • Collaborative Goal Setting
  • Mindfulness and Awareness of Dysfunctional Patterns
  • Resiliency

The goal in this blog is to discuss the issues that individuals, families and couples face.  When primary relationships feel good and needs are being met then the inevitable ups and downs of life feel more manageable.  When primary relationships are unstable, life becomes more stressful, hopeless and unmanageable.  Tarah and EJ are passionate about making this world a better place through helping individuals, couples and families create and maintain loving connections and emotional wellness.

Stable Relationship, Stable Life

Long-term committed relationships are the very base level of connectivity within our culture. They are the building blocks of families, which make up our schools, community organizations, businesses and every other facet of our society. With a divorce rate of over 47%, it is easy to see that in order to begin to build a happier, healthier and more stable society we must focus on the wellness of intimate, committed relationships. Without a solid foundation, the most structurally sound building cannot withstand the ebbs and flows of life as time passes. However, couples rarely take time to work on their relationship unless they reach a point of crisis.

Everything in life becomes much more manageable when individuals feel safe and supported in their relationships. Work and parenting are natural stress inducers; both are easier to navigate when individuals feel safe and secure in their relationship. They have confidence in the fact that they will be loved and accepted no matter what happens. This security allows individuals to feel a sense of freedom in their decision-making. The comfort of knowing that another individual accepts and loves them unconditionally allows individuals to remain confident and creative.

Belongingness and Love are the gateways in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs between the basic needs of shelter and food, the building of self-esteem, and the progression of meeting one’s full potential. A stable and loving relationship gives individuals the confidence that even if there is a threat to their base needs (security/safety,), they will be supported and loved. By building this resilience and durability, they have the potential to build the self-assurance to work towards being their best self.

With this in mind, we can benefit from taking steps early in a relationship to create healthy communication, intimacy, and emotional connectivity. By doing so we can create more stability in families, communities and throughout our society.