Whether or not yours is a traditional relationship that includes marriage, many factors can affect how you work as a couple. For instance,
Some couples feel they don’t have the skills they wish they had:
All relationships are prone to:
Other couples might have additional tensions:
All the factors of who you are add up to the recurring patterns of your interaction. The factors each of you brings can result in distancing, attacking, blaming, or withdrawing into other interests than the relationship. This turns into a recurrent cycle that is your fallback way of relating, and the purpose of marriage therapy or couples counseling is to make you aware of your cycle so you can relate in new ways, with new understandings of each other and your relationship.
Dr. John Gottman, widely acknowledged expert and researcher in how relationships go wrong, uses the following signs to predict how rocky a relationship is:
Dr. Sue Johnson writes about deep primal needs for connection that make committed relationships more than just a bargain between two people. When the relationship is threatened, the thinking part of the brain shuts down because the inability to reestablish a connection gets people working out of pure emotion. Deep-seated emotions that people may be unaware of lead to behaviors that increase the conflict and spiral out of control. These emotions often relate to how secure the partners feel in their attachment to each other. Painful blow-ups happen fast. Learning the signs that you’re getting into your cycle assists you not to ramp up into high levels of anger and frustration where one or the other says or does things that hurt.
A decision to start therapy or couples counseling is a big one. Here are some of the situations that could bring people in:
Dr. Sue Johnson points out that people showed her.
They were more than willing, even if they had been terribly wounded by significant others, to fight their fears and to struggle to create a new kind of connection with their present partners.
That new kind of connection is the goal of couples therapy that takes partners beyond improved coping to the ability to understand and modify the patterns in their conflicts and the roles each one plays. The result can be a refreshing, new intimacy.
Standard research-based approach to relationship attributes that are devastating and how they need to change.
Provides clients powerful insights into practical ways to deal with emotional impasses to reach a deeper and more stable relationship.
How to think and act differently in arenas of conflict based on looking together at your best interest instead of fighting to hold onto your position.
For the relationship to survive, both the unfaithful partner and the betrayed one may need to communicate their pain and test their assumptions. They will need to confront their doubts and fears.