I find it hard to believe that any couple begins their relationship with the expectation of one day growing apart, or worse yet, getting to the point where things get so ugly that they begin to consider parting from the relationship. I think we all begin relationships full of hope, love, and optimism. Yet unaddressed problems and chronic patterns of negative interactions have the potential to erode a relationship over time. Regardless of the length of unhappiness in your relationship couples therapy represents a chance to take the first step towards reclaiming the type of relationship you and your partner desire.
Fighting Back Against Problematic Cycles
When I first begin working with couples in couples therapy I commonly hear the same words to describe the state of affairs in the relationship:
“We often get in fights that can last up to 2 or 3 days, and usually by the time we resolve the fight neither of us can even remember what exactly it was that started the fight!” “I hate feeling like I am walking on egg shells with my partner!” “Why do I feel like it’s impossible for us to ever feel connected like we were at the beginning of the relationship?” “I hate to say it, but I really don’t know if there’s any hope for things to turn around.”
To say that most, if not all, couples enter couples counseling sharing these remarks is not to take anything away from the uniqueness of the current circumstances in your relationship. It’s just to point out that you and your partner are not alone in the problems you find yourselves stuck in today.
When conflict strikes every couple has a cycle–a dance if you will–that is unique to their relationship, yet one that has the ability to produce similar feelings and thoughts as the one’s listed above. Couples counseling is an opportunity to help identify the current cycle that keeps luring you back into conflict, bitterness, and resentment. Together we will unpack the key issues that this conflictual cycle capitalizes on in a safe ,warm and empathetic environment so that we can work towards a mutual sense of resolution.
For many couples, disarming these problematic cycles begins to open up space to return to different ways of interacting within the relationship. It presents a chance to get back to the love, compassion, and trust that they always had hoped for.