People entering couples counseling are oftentimes looking for a way to change their partner. Either they feel their partner changed over time (for the worse) or they themselves have changed (for the better) and wish their partner would as well. In truth, what usually has occurred is a new context of life, usually stress, imposing itself on the couple which sometimes brings out different responses in different people. Dormant skills emerge or embarrassing habits re-emerge. The bottom line is that the couple wants and needs to find new ways of being together, as they perceive staying together as less daunting than splitting apart.
In couples counseling, we carefully tease out the various contributions of each partner into what is making the relationship intolerable, and collaboratively devise new ways the couple can reassemble itself, renegotiate the expectations one has of the other, and new ways each can express their fondness and affection for the other.