The honeymoon is over and the power struggle has begun. When your relationship is making you feel helpless, angry or anxious, you know something has to change.
Falling in love is easy, but staying in love can be a challenge, and seeking help with your relationship requires great courage and humility. If your relationship has reached an impasse or life’s pressures are affecting how you communicate, facing one another honestly whilst learning new ways to relate, may help transform your conflict and revitalise your love.
In couples counselling, you will be encouraged to cross the bridge between you and your partner, listen to each other’s feelings and rekindle a compassionate connection where you can be true to yourself while respecting the needs of the other.
We are often drawn to a partner who reminds us of one or both of our parents. In this person we recognise the qualities that frustrated us in our childhood so we respond as we did when we were young. Our unconscious attraction can trigger painful childhood wounds in the hope that they will be repaired.
Couples usually experience conflict during times of crisis or change – times when there is most opportunity for growth and healing:- moving in together, the birth of a child, a financial crisis, illness or depression, children leaving home, or retirement. Both of you are under stress, your individual needs are unmet, and this inevitably leads to anger and resentment. As arguments become more frequent or abusive, your original expectations of a loving partner are shattered.
Loss of interest in sex might be the first sign that something is wrong. The issue may be entirely physical, or possibly an expression of anger or lack of connection. Couples counselling can help you to explore what may be behind the problem and manage it with sensitivity and mutual respect.
When trust has been broken by an affair or secret, it takes courage from both partners to make sense of the rupture and work towards a reconciliation. An affair is often a symptom of unmet needs. Most couples survive an affair by listening respectfully to each other’s feelings, talking through the history and working to rebuild the relationship.
If one partner is depressed, the relationship is under pressure. With support from an impartial counsellor, the depression can be worked through and both partners find renewed optimism. If your partner is abusive, I would recommend individual therapy to understand the behaviour and any patterns of powerlessness or vulnerability that are triggered.
When divorce or separation seem inevitable, we will look at your relationship compassionately, listening to each of your wishes and exploring your options. You may then decide to create a new way of being together, or find a respectful way to part.
Whatever your reasons for couples counselling, by using this opportunity to give space to one other, you will discover ways to manage your relationship and approach future problems, which will almost certainly arise, in a more constructive and creative way.
“Only from the heart can you touch the sky.”