- 12 October, 2022
If you have ended up here, there is a high probability that there is something in your relationship that is not working. At least not the way you want it to be.
You are in the process of investigating all the possibilities for what can help in your stuck situation. You might think that Google has the answer to your prayers.
I can tell you, that you won’t find a definitive answer no matter how many Reddit forums, women’s magazine articles or horoscopes you read through.
You might find that you have persistently tried to learn more about something that is not necessarily solvable from outside sources.
Perhaps you may have lacked the confidence to share your problems with the outside world. Especially a psychologist can be intimidating. In general, it’s frightening to let someone into a vulnerable part of your life.
But you have decided to give your relationship a chance and that is the first step on the way to being able to work towards something that could look like a solution.
Right now, it may seem as if your partner is too disconnected from you. Perhaps it’s almost impossible for you to imagine how things can go back to the way they were.
But you discovered couples therapy.
So, how does couples therapy works and how do you get closer to the path leading to a better relationship?
You are not alone
It is not uncommon if you may have experienced feeling alone. It can be hugely isolating to exist in a relationship where you feel alone.
It may feel as if the same sense of security or stability exists in the relationship, as it has in the past. There can be a distance between you, which can manifest both mentally and psychically, and it can be difficult to talk about.
One of the tasks from the psychologist’s side is to help you navigate and communicate the discomfort that there may be in exploring your relationship.
The communication that takes place inside the room, helps to strengthen and support a couple’s relationship. In this, it is essential to have trust in one another.
The conversation along the way focuses on getting into the challenges you have, both joint and individual.
Listening to each other as a couple will also develop you as a family and as an individual.
When you seek help from outside sources, initially, there may be some resistance. It is not always possible to predict where it may come from, but It can be both conscious and unconscious
Regardless of its format, it is most often a measure of your nervous system, which is trying to protect you from any sort of danger.
It could also be that your partner is not open to the idea of couples therapy. Maybe they believe, that your problems are solvable by yourself.
Maybe you don’t have the budget to start therapy at this point in time.
Perhaps your relationship is so vulnerable, that your partner fears that the whole house of cards will collapse if you open up about it.
Where does the responsibility for your problems lie?
When you and your partner have agreed to go to couples therapy, it is likely that your conflicts have been brewing for a long time.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
With this in mind, it can be helpful to look back in time. You might want to consider this thought before entering the therapeutic room.
What is the narrative of your relationship?
Have your conflicts always existed, or did they come as a result of life events that put you both under pressure?
Have you met your partner with understanding, empathy and courage? Or have you felt disappointed by them and often end up in conflict with your partner?
These are thoughts that both of you should consider, in order to get the most out of being in couples therapy.
There may be several reasons why your relationship has changed over time.
Communication may have increasingly started to go awry. There may have been past infidelity and jealousy that could have affected your dynamic.
Perhaps you have become more like friends than lovers. It might feel like a more practical arrangement rather than a close-knit family unit.
Couples therapy can help you understand why those intimate feelings of closeness may have disappeared.
Only then, you can start searching for the common grounds that connected you in the first place.
Some people believe, that all conflicts that arise in a relationship are not meant to push your partner away. On the contrary, it is an attempt to bring them closer.
It may seem like somewhat of a paradox, but it is often the truth.
We need to know, that we have our need for emotional safety and stability met with our partners. If we don’t get those needs met, we can become quite desperate.
Therefore, it can be advantageous to work on this together with a couples therapist.
It doesn’t take as much as you think
Many may be inclined to believe, that an enormous amount of work is required in order to change your relationship dynamic.
The fear of this could easily keep some people away from couples therapy altogether.
The pure thought of having to dive into your emotional turmoil and wallow through it can be more intimidating to some, than having to run eight marathons in a row.
But in reality, you don’t have to alter your everyday life completely in order to see a change.
Couples therapy is a help. If the tasks from the therapy go on and become overwhelming, then the pace has gone too fast.
Change takes time, but it shouldn’t feel so hard that you want to give up.
It’s more about being aware
How do I react to my partner? Do I speak and act based on what is actually happening?
Am I being consistent with wanting to be emotionally closer to my partner?
When is it too late to go to couples therapy?
You may have gone to couples therapy the day after your wedding, but if your general level of functioning is not compatible, is like beating a dead horse. Psychologists can help, but they are not miracle workers.
However, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
You cannot expect a well-functioning relationship if you do not give your partner the opportunity to improve their behaviour. You have to pick your battles from time to time.
The responsibility for your relationship lies within both of you.
Therefore, you need to show trust and give time to your partner before things can change.
In therapy, the conversations can lead to development, but it is far from the only work that is of importance.
It is also what you do with the discoveries and perspectives that you get in therapy, that matters in your everyday life.
Can couples therapy save my relationship?
A relationship is a dynamic organism that is constantly evolving.
Families and lovers are a social constellation where we get our needs for safety, security and stability met.
However, the challenge in relationships can also be that they are not static.
Our focus in couples therapy is to gain a common understanding of the inconvenient patterns that fight against the closeness and intimacy that both parties seek.
If both parties are equally invested in this relationship, this is often an indicator that there is motivation to work forward.
It is fully possible to turn your world around, and if you are willing to work, there is a highly likely chance that couples therapy will work for you.