When we think of relationships, one may usually be drawn to the stereotypical man - woman union and when we consider, that for most of us, the union between a man and a woman, in matrimony or not, is usually the longest and strongest relationship that most of us will ever have. Of course we live in a more liberal world these days, thankfully, and the relationship of same sex couples takes on all the same attributes and complexities of the former. Although sometimes the difficulty, in my experience as a therapist, often comes from outside of the relationship in the form of prejudice and bias by others, e.g. parents, friends, bosses and, in a more general sense, society at large.
Of course there are many other types of relationships to consider and all equally as important, e.g. parents, children, friends, colleagues, even casual ones too. And the last but by no means least (in fact the total opposite is true), is the relationship with our own self.
Without a doubt, the relationship that I deal with the most, in therapeutic terms, is the self relationship because when that relationship is poor, it very often spills out into the totality of our life. That aside, one of the most frequent issues that brings people to therapy for a relationship issue, is the relationship between two people, the love relationship! Although mostly the deterioration or breakdown arises because of specific circumstances, e.g. ones needs not being met, infidelity, anxiety, stress, depression (often over the long term), jealousy, bereavement and many other kinds of chronic life challenging matters.
Whenever possible I like to work with the trilogy of this relational unit, i.e. the two people, as individuals and the two of them as a couple. It has been my experience that when you help a person improve their “self-relationship” all other relationships take on a different perspective and that just makes life, love and relationships seem that little bit easier. And if you think of it, if the cause is related to any of the above, helping the client with the personal challenges they have, will often evoke compassion and love by the other towards their common objective!
However, working with couples can often be quite challenging and the functionality of their two minds is usually the major component for finding the, or a, solution! Very often it is not what other people think of us that causes the issues we face but rather what we think they think! The logic appears to be, if we do not think much of our-self, why would anyone else? And there is a certain truth to that, although not the truth as we know it but rather the truth as we believe it to be. So, naturally, when we improve the way we feel and think about our own self; all other perspectives usually follow that line!
The dynamics of couples therapy is vast and the journey through therapy can be very intriguing and, like most things in therapy and life, the opposite of what you think you want, may actually be what you really want! Sometimes it is the absence of a partner we fear more than the loss of their apparent love? Perhaps the fear of loneliness may be a way to explain that more succinctly?
If you are in a relationship that is failing or moving towards difficulty, why not come in for a free consultation?