Marriage & Family Therapist​​

Victoria Swenson

Begin creating the relationship you want today by calling 408-375-7320, for a free phone consultation and to set an appointment.

Affairs/Infidelity and Betrayal

In the aftermath of an affair or other betrayal, partners are often left wondering if the relationship can or should be salvaged. Therapy offers a safe environment to:


  • Express feelings and thoughts about the hurt, loss of trust, fear and anger that typically follow the discovery of betrayal.
  • Understand the conditions in your relationship that made it vulnerable to infidelity/betrayal.
  • Decide on how to move forward—together, or apart.
  • Begin to heal the wounds that preceded and have been created by the betrayal; rebuild the trust and safety that allow you to move on as a couple.


If you have the commitment and willingness, it is possible to mend and recover from betrayal. Getting through such a difficult experience together has the potential to transform your relationship for the better.


Divorce

Arriving at the decision to divorce is typically fraught with pain, confusion,

ambivalence and uncertainty. I work with couples going through the process

of deciding to divorce or stay together, with those who’ve made the decision

to part, and with individuals transitioning through divorce.



When one partner wants to mend the relationship and the other wants to end the relationship 
Traditional marriage counseling is not ideal for resolving situations in which one partner is leaning toward divorce while the other wants to work things out. I offer Discernment Therapy—a process that is specifically designed for just this kind of circumstance. This short-term therapy (1-5 sessions) brings clarity and understanding to each partner’s thoughts and feelings about the state and direction of the relationship. It’s designed to build confidence in your decision to commit and work on the relationship, or to end it. If both partners decide to commit to the relationship, couples counseling is recommended.



When the decision is divorce 
When partners are able to sort out their thoughts, feelings and fears about divorce, they are often able to part with less hostility, acrimony and resentment. Therapy can help divorcing couples in working through the major changes they are facing by focusing attention on what’s happening now, rather than the past. Effective co-parenting is frequently addressed in divorce counseling. Parents who work through the issues of divorce in therapy are often better able to support their children as the entire family adapts to change.


Connection, Intimacy and Sex

A strong foundation of friendship is at the core of a good relationship. Finding ways to keep things fresh and consistently renewing your friendship is crucial to keeping a relationship vital and fulfilling. Distancing and indifference are poison to relationships; reengagement is the antidote. Together, we’ll examine how falling into a routine,

intolerance for differences between each other and/or resentments

may be derailing your connection. Most importantly, we’ll identify

steps you can take to get back on track.


Communication

One of the most common reasons couples begin therapy is to improve communication. While communication skills can be learned, it’s the willingness and motivation to use those skills that really makes a difference. That’s what’s missing in many relationships. In therapy, you’ll learn to better communicate as a couple. More importantly, we’ll explore when and why you may not be the best communicator you can be, and set a path for committing to use the skills you develop.

Conflict

We’re socially conditioned to expect a life of happy endings, but the truth is there are many bumps in the road along the way. The expectation of “living happily ever after” often leaves couples feeling disheartened, frightened and concerned when conflict arises in their relationships. Unaware of how to address conflict, many couples try to avoid it, leading to distancing

and unspoken resentments. Or, they get caught in a cycle of arguing

and blaming that never gets to the root of their problems. Therapy can

help you learn to manage conflict, and even use it as a springboard for

growth and a stronger relationship.

I work with couples to explore patterns and develop healthy options for creating new ways of relating. Both partners’ values, intentions, desires and goals are examined as you come to understand your individual roles in creating the triumphs and disappointments in your relationship. Attention is often given to issues like:


  • Navigating conflict
  • Improving communication
  • Reviving connection and enhancing intimacy
  • Dealing with infidelity/betrayal
  • Premarital counseling
  • Considering divorce
  • Moving through divorce
  • Balancing relationship/work/family demands


Most people wait too long to seek professional support when their relationships are in trouble. It’s estimated that on average, couples wait for 6 years after serious problems arise to give counseling a try. Be proactive when it comes to caring for your relationship…don’t delay, hoping that things will improve on their own.
Conflict is normal and inevitable in every relationship.  Learning to navigate through conflict and, especially, how to make repairs is far more important than the fact that conflict has occurred.
Don’t expect perfection; struggle is often the pathway to growth. A successful relationship is one that endures and learns from the hard times while cherishing the good. Taking the risk to move out of your comfort zone is generally necessary to get the outcome you are seeking.
Examine and act on what you can do to improve your relationship; don’t expect or wait for your partner to change. When either of you insists on being right or having things your way, you both lose.
The euphoria of infatuation doesn’t last. As differences between partners inevitably emerge, “loving” becomes much more important than “being in love”.  Accepting each other’s flaws, embracing each other’s strengths and supporting each other’s dreams, even when they’re different from your own, are keys to growing together rather than apart over time.
" You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.” ~Henry Drummond
"Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike​.” ~J.K. Rowling
MarriageCounselingofLosGatos.com 315 Los Gatos Saratoga Rd. Los Gatos, CA 95030 408-375-7320
Material on this website is for informational and/or educational purposes only and is not intended to provide or be a substitute for professional services. Use of this website does not establish a therapeutic relationship.